With all the good things we’ve been hearing about fermented foods lately, chances are you’ve been adding a few more of them to your grocery cart. Foods and beverages like yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, kefir, and cultured vegetables are rich in beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut in balance and support good digestion and health. Below is a super simple recipe for homemade sauerkraut you can prepare right in your kitchen!
30 minutes to prepare, 7+ days to ferment
5 tbsp. fine sea salt
1 quart purified water
2 heads red and/or green cabbage, cored and shredded
Combine 3 tbsp. salt plus water in a large bowl. Let sit until salt dissolves completely. Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle even with 1 tbsp. salt. Massage and squeeze cabbage thoroughly with your hands so the natural juices of the cabbage are released. Transfer cabbage and juices to ten 12-ounce wide-mouth glass jars or a 1-gallon crock, pressing the cabbage down tightly. The juices should completely cover the cabbage. If not, add brine to submerge. The liquid should be no closer than 1 inch from the lid. If the cabbage floats above the liquid, you will need to weigh it down with a plate or lid.
Leave jars or crock in a dark, warm place in your kitchen (such as a pantry or cabinet). Allow cabbage to ferment for at least 7 days, loosening and retightening the lid (if you are using jars) every 3 days to release pressure. Check regularly to be sure the cabbage remains submerged, adding more brine if necessary.
After 7 days, taste the sauerkraut. If it is not to your liking, wait another day and taste again, and so on until it reaches the desired flavor. At that time, move the jars to the refrigerator to slow any further fermentation and to set the flavor. If you’ve used a large crock, portion the sauerkraut into jars or glass storage containers to store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. Enjoy!