This is guest post from Shannon.
Sauerkraut is easy, it happens automatically. Stuff the right amount of cabbage, salt and water into a jar and the friendly microorganisms do the rest.
The key to the best homemade sauerkraut is organic cabbage, because then you can be assured that the right bacteria to start fermentation is present.
You can also throw in shredded carrots and other veggies, for beauty and added taste.
This recipe makes one quart-sized jar of mason jar sauerkraut. Multiply the batch as necessary if you desire more sauerkraut.
- 8-10 cups shredded cabbage, loosely packed. This is about 2 pounds, roughly 1 cabbage.
- 1-2 tsp. un-iodized or pickling salt
- 2 tablespoons salt for finishing after the ferment
Flavoring Ingredients (optional)
- 10 juniper berries
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
In a clean bowl, mix cabbage, juniper berries, caraway, mustard seeds, and salt.
Stir cabbage to release juices.
Let rest 10 minutes then mix again. You may let it rest longer (1-2 hours) if needed.
Sterilize jar and lid by boiling for several minutes in water and draining on a clean dishcloth.
Pack into a sterilized quart-sized, wide-mouthed jar, pushing down with a wooden mallet. Add filtered, or non-chlorinated, salty (1 teaspoon salt per cup of water) water to rim of jar and cap loosely with a sterilized canning lid. Place jar on a tray to catch overflowing juices.
If you have chlorinated water, just let it rest in the open air for about an hour, the chlorine will quickly evaporate into the air.
The sauerkraut will ferment on its own, just keep it between 65°F and 72°F for 2-3 weeks in a dark area.
After bubbling stops, check container and top off with an extra 2 tb of salt.
Fill with water to just below the rim.
Skim any (harmless) white spots or film from the top.
Close jar tightly, wipe the jar clean, and store in the refrigerator until eaten.