How to Make Sauerkraut

OMG! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how easy it is to make sauerkraut? Over the years, I must have tried at least three different contraptions and all kinds of recipes, but it’s turns out you don’t anything but a head of cabbage, salt, your hands and a mason jar…

Ok, so, I am a really big fan of making as many staples as I can in my own kitchen. For a few reasons. One, I like to control the ingredients. If I make it, I know what is in it and how fresh it all is. Two, it creates less waste. I don’t end up buying bottles and jars and things to add to the landfills. And three, why not. If it is easy.

And sauerkraut is ridiculously easy and tastes exactly like sauerkraut from the store/jar. I read the how-to in a book by Beverly Lynn Bennett and tried it. One week later, I had sauerkraut. And now you can too.

I have been eating it on everything; it is delicious in a mixed salad. My favorite one is below the recipe. It is my copycat plate of a salad from a restaurant called Sissy’s up in Kingston, New York. It’s lettuce, purple cabbage, tomatoes, baked tempeh, chickpeas, the sauerkraut, and some homemade tahini dressing. Yum!

Sauerkraut

Make your own sauerkraut at home!

Servings 1 jar

Ingredients

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Save a few of the big outer leaves. You will use them to cover the cabbage in the jar. Shred the rest of the cabbage, using a knife or shredder attachment in your food processor.

  2. Add the cabbage to a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt.

  3. With clean hands, begin to massage the cabbage. After about 5 minutes, the cabbage will start to wilt, become translucent and release water.

  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then massage it again for another 5 minutes.

  5. Stuff the cabbage into the jar, really tightly, stopping right under the rim of the jar. Press it down being sure there is liquid all the way up to the top of the cabbage. If you need it, add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

  6. Tear the leaves of the extra cabbage and arrange them over the top of the shredded cabbage being sure it covers the cabbage well and no air can get under or around the sides.

  7. Cover with a kitchen towel and wrap with a rubber band. Let sit on the counter for 5 days.

  8. Remove the kitchen towel and the extra leaves. Cover with a regular lid and place the sauerkraut in the refrigerator and eat until it's gone. Then make another jar!

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