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
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.