easy homemade fermented sauerkraut
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Easy Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut

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In todays post I am showing you How To Make Sauerkraut in a simple step by step tutorial.

easy fermented sauerkraut ingredients on a table

If you didn’t already know this, sauerkraut is alive! It is a fermented food and one that is simple to make. It is also an easy way to add a good source of probiotics into your diet just by simply having some with each meal. I place our jug on the table at meal times and we each scoop out a bit onto our plates. It is tasty side and a habit worth creating. By doing this so often, my daughter now asks for it instead of me reminding her to add some to her plate. Another fun one to make that we also love is Lacto Fermented Pickles and Homemade Yogurt. Both are just as simple to make.

What You Will Need To Make Sauerkraut

3 small cabbages

2 tbsp sea salt

1/2 gallon mason jar

ferment lid or piece of cloth

food processor (optional)

jar weights (optional)

Directions

Begin by chopping up the cabbage.

Make sure to leave out one or two large pieces of cabbage uncut for later use. For cutting the cabbage, you can opt to use a food processor if you want it to be quicker and your sauerkraut a bit finer chopped. I personally just use a knife as we like our sauerkraut on the thicker side.

Place the chopped cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the salt.

Then begin massaging the cabbage with your hands. This will help the cabbage to release its water creating a brine for the fermentation process. This can take several minutes. You can also massage the salt in and let it sit for several minutes. Then massage it a bit more or stir it around with a large spoon.

What you want is the cabbage to feel wet and see the brine form inside the bowl before packing it into your jar. When the cabbage is wet, begin packing it in a clean mason jar. Smash the cabbage down as you add more.

smashing down cabbage to make fermented sauerkraut

This will also help the brine to form as you work with the cabbage. Three small cabbages should fit one full 1/2 gallon mason jar when packed tightly.

cabbage being added to a mason jar for fermented sauerkraut

When filled, take the saved large cabbage leaves and smash it over the top creating a lid or barrier between the top and the chopped cabbage. You want everything in the jar to be below the brine line to prevent mold.

Make sure to check the sauerkraut daily to ensure the cabbage is underneath the water line.

easy fermented sauerkraut inside a mason jar

The sauerkraut takes about 3-5 days depending on your. home temperature. You can taste test the sauerkraut to see if it is to your liking. If not, allow it to sit longer. The sauerkraut is dull in color but the best way to ensure it is ready is by tasting. Place the jar in the fridge when ready. Sauerkraut has a long shelf life and should be stay fresh for weeks.

easy fermented sauerkraut
easy fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar

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Half Gallon Mason Jars Set of 2

White Plastic Mason Jar Lids

Fermentation Lids

Fermentation Weights

How is eating sauerkraut or other fermented foods beneficial?

As I mentioned above, sauerkraut is an alive fermented food. During the act of the fermentation process, good bacteria is collected in the environment around the food being fermented. The good bacteria takes over the bad bacteria essentially and the food becomes what appears to be “pickled”.This is typically when you know the item is ready to be eaten. The good bacteria in the fermented food is excellent for your overall gut health and is what is known as a probiotic.

By consuming probiotic foods you are adding in beneficial bacteria and enzymes that will increase the health of your gut microbiome and intestinal flora. This can help your body absorb more of the nutrients in the food you are consuming, increase availability of nutrients, help your body digest better, and aid in mood. Since the gut and brain are linked, it stands to reason that a healthy gut can influence our moods and emotions. Lastly and maybe most importantly, a large portion of the immune system is housed in the gut. By adding in beneficial bacteria you are supporting your gut lining which makes the immune system more robust.

If you try this recipe and love it, I would love it if you would come back and give it five stars!

easy homemade fermented sauerkraut

Easy Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut

Yield: 1- 1/2 gallon mason jar of sauerkraut

a simple guide to making healthy fermented sauerkraut at home

Ingredients

  • 3 small to medium cabbages
  • 2 tbsp of sea salt

Instructions

    1. Begin by washing the cabbage and removing the wilted outer leaves. Half and remove the core. Make sure to leave out one or two large pieces of cabbage uncut for later use.
    2. For cutting the cabbage, you can opt to use a food processor if you want it to be quicker and your sauerkraut a bit finer chopped. I personally just use a knife as we like our sauerkraut on the thicker side.
    3. Place the chopped cabbage in a large bowl.
    4. Sprinkle over the salt.
    5. Then begin massaging the cabbage with your hands. This will help the cabbage to release it's water while creating a brine for the fermentation process. This can take several minutes. You can also massage the salt in and let it sit for several minutes. Then massage it a bit more or stir it around with a large spoon. What you want is the cabbage to feel wet and see the brine form inside the bowl before packing it into your jar.
    6. When the cabbage is wet, begin packing it in a clean mason jar.
    7. Smash the cabbage down as you add more. This will also help the brine to form as you work with the cabbage. Three small to medium cabbages should fill one full 1/2 gallon mason jar when packed tightly.
    8. When filled, take the saved large cabbage leaves and smash it over the top creating a lid or barrier between the top and the chopped cabbage. You want everything in the jar to be below the brine line to prevent mold.
    9. Remove the center part of the mason jar lid and replace it with either a fermentation lid or cut a small piece of fabric as I did in the photo. This will allow air flow and keep fruit flies out.
    10. If you are having issues with your cabbage staying underneath the water line even with the cabbage leaf. You can use fermentation weights or add a few rocks to a ziplock bag then place then on the top to weight it down.
    11. Your sauerkraut will take anywhere from 4 to 6 days depending on the temperature in your home. You can taste test it to see if it is to your liking. If it is still in a crunchier state, simply leave it out another day or so. Then taste test again. When ready store in the fridge with a plastic mason jar lid or the original lid it came with.

Notes

You Will Need:

crock or 1/2 gallon mason jar

large bowl

piece of fabric or fermentation lid

fermentation weights or rocks in a zip lock bag (optional)

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