Sauerkraut combines two healing remedies in one delicious dish: probiotics and cabbage. The mucins in cabbage line the stomach and form a protective layer while the healthy bacteria from the fermentation aids in digestion.
Time: 30 min for initial preparation/1 to 4 weeks or more to ferment
Ceramic crock OR food–grade plastic bucket (1 gallon/4 liter capacity or greater) OR four wide mouth quart glass canning jars
Plate that fits inside crock or bucket or small canning lid that fits inside wide mouthed canning jar
Weight to press down on plate or small canning lid (Can be a bottle or jar of water)
Cover to keep out dust and dirt (can be a dishtowel or bath towel)
5 lbs cabbage (about 3 medium heads of cabbage), cored and shredded
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
3 tablespoon sea salt per 5 lbs cabbage
- Core and shred cabbage.
- Mix cabbage, optional caraway seeds and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Let sit for 20 minutes to release the juices.
- Pack into quart-size wide-mouth mason jars, crock, or bucket. Press the cabbage down until the juices come to the top and cover the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least one inch below the top of the container.
- Once the cabbage is packed, place weights on top of the plate or canning lid. If you are using wide-mouth mason jars, fill pint-size jars with water and seal them. Use these as weights to push gas bubbles out of the fermenting sauerkraut (Insert the smaller jars of water in the open jars of cabbage).
- Push down on the weights once a day and watch the trapped bubbles escape to the surface.
- Depending on the time of year and the climate, the sauerkraut will take between one and four weeks to ferment.
- Although you can eat the sauerkraut right away, the flavor will grow stronger as it ferments. When bubbles are no longer being formed, the fermentation process is complete.
- After fermentation at room temperature, store in refrigerator.
I modified this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.
For more homemade fermenting ideas and recipes, check out my list of non dairy probiotics.
Since I was able to juice with cabbage for 23 days will I be able to tolerate sauerkraut? I use to eat it as a child because of my German Swiss heritage. I also use to eat cooked cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. I am also a type A blood type and I am advised against eating cabbage. Will I need to test for this? I have been craving sauerkraut and looking for it here in Ohio but I can only find it canned or in jars made with white vinegar. I know I react adversely to white vinegar as I had a flare up cleaning with it. Thank you.
As long as you don’t react to anything else in the sauerkraut besides the cabbage, yes should be able to eat sauerkraut. Since you react to white vinegar you will need to either make your own sauerkraut using the recipe above or find a live culture version for sale that doesn’t have any vinegar in it. Sometimes health food stores carry live culture sauerkraut. Anything in a sealed jar or a canned will have had the cutures killed by the heat used in canning.
When I am fermenting the saurkraut on my counter, do I need to cover it? Do I also need to keep it away from my Sourdough starter that is culturing on my counter? I read this in a couple of sources and am wondering if you have any insight into it?
It is best to cover fermenting sauerkraut with a dish towel to protect it against dust, fruit flies, and the like. It is also good to keep it away from your sourdough starter. In your sauerkraut you want primarily lactobacillus to predominate. In your sourdough culture you want yeast to predominate. Neither culture benefits from from being near the other.