Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Growing up we often had sauerkraut and hot dogs for dinner and I loved it! Now I normally choose a beef sausage instead, but it's an easy and quick meal. Sauerkraut is also delicious as a salad topper! Homemade sauerkraut is so easy to make and it's so much better for you because there are no added ingredients like most store-bought brands. All you need is some cabbage, salt, and time to ferment! Check out this delicious homemade sauerkraut recipe that's both tasty and very nutritious for you.

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Why is homemade sauerkraut better?

First of all, many brands add sugar or preservatives to their sauerkraut, claiming to boost flavor and shelf life. There's absolutely no need for these added fillers! Sauerkraut can have plenty of flavor on it's own or by adding some caraway seeds or other veggies. It also has a pretty long shelf life because the brine acts as a preservative.

Secondly, a lot of brands cook their sauerkraut and that kills all the good bacteria in it. I'm all about gut health and fueling our bodies in the best ways and sauerkraut has millions of good bacteria strains in it but heating it up at all will kill all of that good bacteria! If you do buy sauerkraut, be sure to buy raw sauerkraut to get all the health benefits from it.

Place a towel over it and let it sit for 1/2 hour.

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Isn't there supposed to be some juice or brine?

Yes! You are absolutely correct! The salt pulls the juices out of the cabbage, which makes the brine. You are looking for something like this after 30-60 minutes:

Once you see this, you can add it to your jars immediately or you can pound it a little bit longer in your bowl. Don't go over 2 hours without putting it in your jars.

Do I need any special tools?

Not really. I started making my sauerkraut with just regular canning jars and spoons as pounders. I've slowly gotten other things for ease of use but they aren't required to be able to make some yummy homemade sauerkraut.

Some tools that make the chopping, fermenting and pounding a little easier:

 

Easy Fermenter Lid Kit

This just helps the air flow out as the gases build up during the fermentation process so that you don't have to burp the jars every day.

Kraut Pounder

This is easier to ensure that the cabbage and/or veggies are tightly packed into the jar and aids in packing the jars with as much as possible.

Food Processor

I can't live without this thing! It makes the cabbage evenly shredded and is quicker than cutting all that my hand. It's a must-have in my kitchen (not just for sauerkraut)!

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Yield: 2 quart jars
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Homemade sauerkraut is so easy and it's simple to make a couple of batches at one time. Don't buy the stuff at the store with a bunch of added ingredients...all you need is salt and cabbage!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium head cabbage, organic
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt, unrefined
  • 1/2 cup whey** (optional, adds flavor and good bacteria)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (optional, to taste)

Instructions

  1. Chop or shred the cabbage by hand or with a food processor. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Cover with a light towel and leave it sitting on your counter for 1/2 hours. During this time the salt will start to pull the juices out of the cabbage.
  2. Mash the cabbage a few times with a potato masher, meat hammer or kraut pounder to ensure it is getting juicy. Leave for another 1/2 hour if desired or proceed to the next step.
  3. Transfer the cabbage mixture to clean, quart-sized, wide-mouth jars. Press down on the cabbage firmly inside the jar so that liquid comes to the top of the mixture. (Be sure to leave at least 1-inch of space from the top of the jar to prevent overflow.)
  4. Put the lid and band on and screw tightly. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks. In the first 24 hours, open the jars and press down on the cabbage firmly again to release more juices. (Can do this a couple of times to make sure the mixture is fully covered by the brine but do not do it after 24 hours or your sauerkraut will be soggy at the end of fermentation.)
  5. At warm temperatures, the fermentation may happen faster. Burp the jars daily (unless using an airlock jar or vessel) and keep the jars on an old towel to catch any overflow liquid.
  6. If any mold appears, skim it off. Anything below the brine is still completely safe to eat. (The brine acts as a preservative and it is not uncommon for mold or fuzz to grow on any pieces that did not get fully submerged.)
  7. You may stop the fermentation when you like the flavor and texture of your sauerkraut. Some people like it best at about 7 days but for peak nutrition, 3 weeks is optimal. Transfer the jars to the refrigerator or cool storage to stop/slow down the fermentation.
  8. Good for several months, if they don't get eaten quicker!

Notes

I like to use 1 red cabbage and 1 green cabbage for each batch. This is just my personal preference, you can use all red cabbage or all green cabbage if you choose to.

Can add other chopped veggies as desired. My favorite is finely chopped carrots, but almost any veggie will work! Keep the ratio 5:1 (cabbage to other veggies) to ensure the fermentation actually softens the mixture.

**Dairy-free: Do not use whey.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 708mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

This nutrition information is an estimate. Seek help from a nutritionist for more precise information.

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