Homemade Sauerkraut

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20oct-kraut

Sauerkraut is so easy to make and I love it. I can’t believe it had taken me this long to make my own at home! I looked up a few recipes online and then went to making some. I am still perfecting it to my personal tastes. For example, one recipe used 2 Tablespoons of salt for one head of cabbage and that was way too much for me. I used one tablespoon for the last batch and I will continue cutting it down to determine the optimal amount for my taste. If you have some sauerkraut tips please share them.

Ingredients
1 head of cabbage, green or red.
1 Tablespoon salt
2 24 ounce glass jars with lids

Instructions

First step is to sterilize the jars. Carefully place the two jars, uncovered with the lid in a pot. Cover with water. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil for a minute. Turn off the heat. Carefully, with tongs and potholders, remove the jars and lids and set on a clean towel to dry. This is not necessary but I like doing it. Just make sure the jars are clean.

In a large food processor, grate the cabbage into shreds. I have an 11-cup food processor and it can almost hold the shredded cabbage from one head. Typically, once the processor bowl is full, I have to empty the contents in a large bowl before being able to finish shredding the remaining cabbage.

When the entire head is shredded, sprinkle a tablespoon of sea salt on it and massage it together using clean hands.

Pack one jar with shredded, salted cabbage. Press the cabbage down tight and leave about an inch of space at the top. Repeat with the second jar. If you have leftover cabbage you can use it in a stir fry or cabbage salad.

I don’t have canning jars with lids that have mouths and bands that can be cleaned and sterilized so I place a piece of parchment paper on the jar and then cover it with the lid.

I put the jars in a plastic bag (in case they leak) and place them in a cool, dry cupboard from one day. The next day I open the lids and look inside, to make sure everything is clean and clear. I have never experienced it otherwise so I can’t make recommendations if it is gray.

I put the jars in the refrigerator and leave them for at least a week. After that, it’s time to enjoy. The sauerkraut will only get tastier with time.

Here is my first batch of Ruby Kraut with Red Cabbage.
26sept-cabbage

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  1 comment for “Homemade Sauerkraut

  1. Sabrina Walkosz
    November 26, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Nice minimalist recipe, but the nurse and biologist in me can’t help pointing out that if you sterilize your jars, yet use your (“clean”) bare hands to massage the salt into the shredded cabbage that you have just whizzed in your (“clean”) food processor, you truly are sterilizing those jars for no good reason: Clean, recently washed jars are fine for your purpose. Additionally, the original recipe uses salt to cut down on undesired microbes in the cabbage, ditto refrigerating the jars of cabbage/salt mixture. However, the business of your kraut only tasting better with the passage of time suggests you’re still getting some growth of lactic acid-producing bacteria that was originally present on your cabbage, and/or your hands (Especially under your fingernails). The only problems I see in terms of possible negative health consequences are 1) Can’t tell what is up with the parchment paper/jar lid arrangement. Does it allow for the free exchange of gasses from jar to fridge? And 2) The amount of salt added. You state you are gradually cutting this down, to taste. Basically, you are selectively ranching microbe pets in your kraut jars, and this is absolutely desirable, but you don’t want your jars to explode or even just leak all over the fridge, so leave the lids a bit loose. You don’t want an “off” taste or texture in the finished kraut, as this can equal a very unhappy tummy. Make sure the kraut remains completely submerged in the brine during storage. If you are determined to cut down on the amount of salt in the recipe instead of just rinsing or briefly soaking your kraut in cold water prior to serving, I suggest you consider hedging your microbial pet-bet by adding a couple tablespoons of whey from plain yogurt with active cultures. This way you know to a fair degree of certainty what is colonizing your kraut: The list is handily written on the back of the yogurt container. Once you do a successful batch with the plain yogurt whey, you can save the kraut liquid to marinate other shredded veggies, or make delicious salad dressings with your kraut “vinegar”… It will be lactic acid rather than acetic acid, but it’s all good!

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