FERMENTED RAW SAUERKRAUT – HOMEMADE, INEXPENSIVE & HEALTHY
Never did I think I would be making homemade sauerkraut. I have eaten and liked canned processed sauerkraut for years. I stumbled across a video on fermented sauerkraut while researching how to get my ‘gut’ flora in balance, good bacteria & bad bacteria. I have always had stomach and digestive problems. Sinus, eczema and allergies. In the research of eating fermented cabbage some of the benefits they mentioned were: improved digestion, promotes a healthy immune system, it is a pro-biotic food (like yogurt), loaded with vitamins & enzymes, controls sweet cravings, it is alkaline and very cleansing. The list goes on and on. I am convinced that most health issues stems from our gut and I want to get mine right. I asked myself, “how does FERMENTED RAW SAUERKRAUT taste compared to the canned? I purchased a pint of organic raw fermented sauerkraut. I was SHOCKED at the price of $9.99. There were some even more expensive. Now I knew I was going to make it myself, since I eat about ¼ cup before my meals and sometimes as a snack. It tasted GREAT. I know some of you are don’t like sour, but I do. It can be an acquired taste. FERMENTED RAW SAUERKRAUT is way better than canned. Not as salty, mushy or sour. You can control these flavors by how long you ferment. There are fermenting kits you can purchase. My Grandma made her sauerkraut at home, so I decided to give it a try. I think she is smiling down on me and saying, “You go girl”. Well maybe not that phrase. But I am sure she is happy with me. Here is how I make RAW FERMENTED SAUERKRAUT. Make sure your area & supplies are VERY CLEAN.
Glass jars – I started with a wide mouth quart jar. I prefer wide mouth jars so I can easily push down the cabbage.
Glass plate – to place quart jar on and catch any liquid spillage
Bowl – Glass or stainless steel and LARGE. For bigger batches I now use my stainless steel ‘stock pot’.
Knife – For cutting and chopping. You could use a food processor.
Small glass jar – which will fit inside the wide mouth quart jar. This is used to weight down the cabbage & keep it all submerged in liquid. UPDATE: I am now using Ball Glass Weights https://www.amazon.com/8-Pack-Premium-Glass-Fermentation-Weights/dp/B06WRR8N11/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501685312&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=glass+wide+mouth+weights&psc=1
Cabbage – 4 pounds organic
Sea Salt – 2 tablespoons for every 4 pounds of cabbage
***Food processor if you do not want to chop with a knife***
1. Take off only the dirty outside leaves of the cabbage and throw them away. Now remove a couple of large leaves from this clean cabbage. Set aside. We will be using them to cover the sauerkraut at the end.
2. Cut the cabbage in half and in half again. Take each quarter and remove the core. Chop each quarter into THIN slices. Chop as finely as you would like.
3. Put chopped cabbage into large glass bowl.
4. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sea salt for every 4 pounds of cabbage.
5. Massage, knead & squish this salted cabbage to start bringing the water out of the cabbage.
6. Let the bowl of cabbage set of a couple of hours. Periodically coming back to massage, knead & squish. This cabbage will reduce to a smaller amount and there will be a lot of liquid. You want this.
7. Pack your quart jar with this cabbage mixture. Pressing down with your fist or wooded mallet. Leave a few inches of space from the top of the jar. You want the cabbage to be COMPLETELY covered with liquid.
8. Take the reserved large cabbage leaf and place it over the chopped cabbage. Pushing it down around all the edges. The liquid should cover the large cabbage leaf.
9. Take the small glass jar (like a baby food jar) fill it with water, put cap on and use it as a weight on your cabbage. Push this jar down so you see the liquid covering the cabbage. If there is any little pieces of cabbage floating around above the ‘large cabbage leaf’, remove the tiny pieces. YOU WANT ALL CABBAGE SUBMERGED.
10. Place the sauerkraut jar on a plate in case it bubbles and over flows a bit. Put the lid on the jar or cover the jar with plastic wrap. Because my weighted jar was higher than my sauerkraut jar, the lid wouldn’t fit on so I covered it with plastic wrap. I used a large rubber band over the plastic wrap to hold in place. You want it air tight. Sometimes the sauerkraut process will bubble and froth. They say this is normal. Just make sure the cabbage is under the liquid completely.
11. Place jar in a dark area the is between 65-70 degrees. No warmer. I covered mine with a towel to keep it completely dark.
12. Some say the sauerkraut is ready after 5-7 days. Taste it. MAKE SURE YOU USE A CLEAN FORK. DO NOT ‘DOUBLE DIP’. You want this to stay germ free. I wanted mine more sour. I let mine ferment for a month. It was PERFECT for me. I now ferment it 6 weeks and the taste is GREAT.
13. Refrigerate after you get the taste you like.
You may think you shouldn’t use that much salt, BUT it is necessary to use this amount for the fermentation to work. Also, if for some reason your chopped cabbage didn’t produce enough liquid to cover the cabbage in the jar, you can make a salt solution and add it to the jar. DO NOT USE CHLORINATED WATER to do this.
Good luck my friends. Please let me know how you liked the process. There are different ways of doing this FERMENTED SAUERKRAUT on the internet. This is the one that was the best for me.