How to Make Your Own Nutritious SauerKraut {Sour Kraut}

Some of the benefits of menu planning?

  • I always have what I need for each meal–I don’t come up short of ingredients at the last minute!
  • My girls know exactly what I want prepared, so if they’re helping cook, they don’t make extras.
  • Meals are served in a more timely manner because I’m not scrambling to throw things together at the last minute.
  • It saves me money because I’m not buying things I won’t use.
  • And last, but not least, I have the time and opportunity to make meals more nutritious when I plan ahead…

This week I splurged and decided to give the kids a treat.  I bought Costco’s all beef hot dogs.  It’s been a long time and they love them.  But if I’m honest, I had ulterior motives.

I was craving Sauer Kraut!!  😀

I gave up on buying it by the jar a long time ago.  It just doesn’t stretch very far with a large family, and the store stuff doesn’t even come close to the nutrition you will get with making it at home.  We’re talking raw, fermented sauer kraut, not the boiled and pasteurized stuff. 😉  Plus, making it at home is EASY Peasy.

  1. Trim cabbage heads and wash thoroughly.  Quarter, core and shred the cabbage finely.  You can use an antique Kraut shredder (like the one pictured below), a food processor, or just a cutting board and a good sharp knife.

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2. Prepare/ sterilize a nice big bowl or crock to hold your kraut.

3. For every quart and a half of loosely chopped cabbage, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sea salt or himalayan salt and 1 Tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar over the cabbage.  Stir it around, and allow it to rest for just a bit.

4. The salt will begin to draw the water out of the cabbage, and the ACV helps preserve the color while giving it an innoculation of good bacteria from the get go.  Massage the cabbage, squeezing and mixing until the cabbaged wilts, shrinking down in the bowl, and the liquid rises.  A tamp is a very useful tool in this process, if you have one!

5. When there is plenty of liquid, use a plate or appropriate weight to hold the cabbage down and allow the liquid to rise above the cabbage.  As long as the cabbage is well covered it will ferment, stay crisp, and there will be no rot or mold.  If you don’t think there’s quite enough liquid from the cabbage, just add a little water on top.

6. Cover the bowl with a towel, plate or some other covering that can breathe, and set in a cool place for between 3 and 7 days.

Some people make their kraut in canning jars.  There are various other vegetables and seasonings you can add to change the flavor.  The longer the kraut ferments, the more sour it will become.  I started my kraut on a Monday night and we ate it with lunch on Friday.  It was tasty and perfect for the “Littles” or anyone who likes it mild.  I personally like mine stronger and will let it go 5 days or longer.

When your kraut has finished fermenting, there will likely be some yeast visable on the top of the liquid.  Pour all that liquid off and then uncover the cabbage.  It will be darker and you will smell the sour.  It’s crunchy and full of probiotic goodness.  The lactobacilli has digested much of the starch out of the cabbage, leaving it lower in carbohydrate and much higher in vitamin content than plain raw or cooked cabbage.

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Store in glass jars in your refrigerator.  As long as you keep the liquid above the cabbage it will pretty much last for months {though it goes fast around here}.  It will continue to age and get more sour in the fridge, though it will happen very slowly at cool temperatures.

Kraut aids in digestion, gives your gut a good shot of beneficial bacteria, and is well known for a host of wonderful “side effects”.  It’s a truly nutritious add on to any meal.

Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Nutritious SauerKraut {Sour Kraut}

  1. Sheila

    My grandfather used to make sour kraut. I never cared for it myself, but I did enjoy watching him make it. He also made brewed his own beer and make homemade root beer! That was the best!

    Like

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