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Have you ever wanted to try homemade sauerkraut? Its way easier than you think! And waaaay more delicious than the store stuff. Below I’ll show you all the steps to easy homemade sauerkraut. Not only will you have yummy fermented cabbage in a week or two, you’ll get all the benefits of those probiotics without paying the supplement price (sauerkraut from the store typically won’t have those probiotics because it’s pasteurized)! Let’s get started.
Step 1: Set Up
- two 1 quart mason jars
- salt (I like Himalayan, or you could use pickling/preserving salt. But don’t use just regular iodized salt)
- big knife
- cutting board
- big bowl
- “weights” (I use tiny jars, I’ll explain later on)
- coffee filters/rubber bands
Step 2: Prepare the Cabbage
- Remove the outside leaves and set aside for later. Rinse rest of cabbage.
- Cut cabbage into quarters, then remove the core
- Shred cabbage into small strips
- Put a little cabbage in your bowl. Sprinkle some salt on top.
- Repeat the layers of cabbage and salt until your whole cabbage is used and 1 1/2 tbsp of salt is used.
Step 3: Mash the Cabbage!
Now to the fun part! With clean hands, start punching, squeezing, mixing, working the cabbage for 10ish minutes or until liquid is released. Then cover with a clean kitchen towel for one hour.
Step 4: Stuff the Jars
After you’ve patiently waited one hour, you stuff your two 1 quart mason jars.
Do this part in layers as well. Add some cabbage, stuff it down firmly with a spoon, repeat. Do this until both jars are filled.
Step 5: Prepare Jars for the Wait
First, make your weights I mentioned earlier. Fill a tiny jar, like this one (although I just got mine from Menards), with a solution of 1/4 tsp to 4 oz ( or 1/2 cup) of filtered water.
Place some of the reserved cabbage leaves on top of your cabbage in the jars. Make sure it covers all the shredded cabbage. Then put the weights on top of that.
Cover jars with coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Place jars in a cool, dark location.
Step 6: Wait and Periodically Check
Here comes the hard part. You’ll wait for a total of 1-6 weeks (depending on temperature, humidity, how sour you like it).
Check after 36 hours to make sure all the shredded cabbage is submerged in the brine. If it isn’t, add some brine in the same ratio as in the weights (1/4 tsp to 1/2 cup water). It is important all the cabbage is submerged because the salty solution is what keeps the “bad” bacteria from growing on your cabbage.
Next you’ll check it at a week or two. Just taste a little piece and see if it is done to your liking. If it is, take the weights and the top cabbage leaves out, wipe the rim clean, place a new lid on, and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months (but I doubt it will last that long!). If it isn’t done, put the top leaves, weights, and coffee filter back over it and keep checking every couple days, or every day until it is.
Step 7: Enjoy your Yummy Homemade Sauerkraut!
Have it as a side dish, top some brats with it, make any classic German dish, you can even make these very tasty Ukrainian dumplings. Yum Yum!