Saturday, January 12, 2013

Homemade Sauerkraut


I absolutely love sauerkraut. I had never eaten it until about four years ago and now it's usually a regular part of my diet. I used to stock up on the large jars of Bubbies sauerkraut whenever I was in the city, but in the past few years I started making my own. Not having local access forced me to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. There's something special about making my own kraut - I think its the same feeling as growing your own food. It's rewarding to put the work in and then sit back and let the magic happen for x number of days before its ready to eat.

I finished a batch before we left for Cuba and within a few days of being home I started a new one. I especially love to eat it with my breakfast eggs and in my salads, and my favorite combo is a simple mix of green cabbage, carrot, and caraway seeds. This new batch inspired me to share the recipe on this blog even though I've already posted on Universal Eater a few years ago.


Sauerkraut

For step by step instructions with photos check out my original post HERE.

1 large green or red cabbage
2 carrots, shredded, optional
1 tablespoon himalayan salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, dried dill, or other herbs/spices (optional)

1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and thinly slice it with a knife or in a food processor.
2. Toss the cabbage, shredded carrot, and salt together in a large bowl. The salt draws water out of the cabbage, creating a brine, and also preserves it during the fermenting process. I added caraway seeds at this point.
3. Massage the cabbage, speeding up the release of water, and/or place a plate with a weight (rock, or jar filled with water) on top until you notice the liquid. I like to massage it and then let it sit with a weight for 20- 30 minutes. A good amount of liquid should be release before moving on.
4. Add herbs/spices of your choice, and/or other veggies and toss together.
5. Spoon the mixture into glass jars and then firmly press the kraut down (I use a wooden dough press) to release all air bubbles, and to bring up liquid level. The liquid must rise above the cabbage.
6. I like to press the extra cabbage leaves on top, to hold the mixture down.
7. Screw the lids on and set the jars in a neutral temperature for a few days. Check after 3 days and then store in the fridge, or ferment for a few more days. I usually ferment an old large pickle jar for 5-7 days. It will continue to ferment as it's left out, and will stop once refrigerated.

Note: Sometimes a layer of mold will form on top of the kraut (although it's never happened to me). Apparently it's still safe after skimming this top layer off, however I did have a jar go bad once and threw it out.


Have you ever made your own kraut? If you're intimidated like I was at first, just give it a shot. What have you got to lose? A head of cabbage is cheap! (But I'm sure it'll turn out).

Shared at Wellness weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays

11 comments:

  1. I really want to try this!! I've read about it a few times now, but yes, I'm intimidated. I just need to bite the bullet and give it a whirl. I do love sauerkraut!
    -Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

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    1. I think you should give it a try Michelle :) You'll quickly see how easy it is. I was the same!

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  2. Yum! My favorite!!!! I've made my own before but I'm usually too lazy! Lol!

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  3. I wouldn't have started making it if it weren't for the fact that the closest place to buy is a 4 hour drive away!!! lol

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  4. Wow - you make it look really do-able! I think I just might try it - I LOVE sauerkraut : )

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    1. I promise that it's easy, you just have to make it to see that :) Let me know how it goes!

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  5. Okay,so my cabbage has been sitting under a weight for over an hour now, after its massage, and there is still only about 2 tablespoons of liquid. What am I doing wrong?

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    1. Did you slice it thin enough? That's important. In your case, add a little purified water to the mixture. Make sure you have enough salt too.

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  7. I'm pretty sure it was thin enough. I even added extra salt hoping that would help. lol I'll try adding the water and see if that does anything, otherwise, I guess we'll be having cooked cabbage for supper tonight. lol Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Also, it might not seem like that much liquid when its in the bowl but once you start stuffing it into jars you'll see the water rise up as your press down really hard.

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