If you love fermented foods, then sauerkraut will no doubt feature as one of the all-time favourites. As far as fermented foods go, sauerkraut is arguably one of the most versatile foods that perfectly complements any dinner plate, while also being a strong entree food or even a quick snack. And making it at home? Very easy. Below we’ll show you our foolproof sauerkraut recipe, plus a few tips on how to make the process super easy!
What is Sauerkraut and how is it made?
The word “Sauer” in German means (surprise) sour and “kraut” means cabbage. By the powers of deduction - we are left with “sour-cabbage” and the Germans (as usual) are pretty spot on. Sauerkraut is literally made from fermented cabbage. The cabbage is sliced finely into threads and fermented over a period resulting in delicious, fizzy morsels that go with almost anything!
Why is Sauerkraut good for you?
You may be thinking why is cabbage that’s been in a jar somehow way healthier? It’s a good question - and here’s why: During the fermentation process, live (healthy) bacteria or probiotics are produced resulting in increased nutrients, vitamins such as vitamin C and K, phosphorus, and calcium. Sauerkraut is known to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system by assisting the gut in breaking down foods and helping the body to absorb important nutrients.
What do you need to make Sauerkraut?
Making sauerkraut is really easy. You don’t need any fancy equipment - but there are two or three things that can be indispensable if you want to make it taste really good. If you want to make your first ferment a success - consider our complete Masontops Pickle Pipe Mega Fermentation Kit. It’s got everything you need to get started, including:
Yes, this fun-sounding implement is the secret behind many good homemade sauerkraut recipes. And it’s very simple too. A pickle pipe is a special lid that fits on a jar that allows for one way airflow - keeping out any contaminants and facilitating the fermentation process. Try to get one that is FDA approved, waterless, and dishwasher safe.
2. Wide mouth mason jars
These jars are ideal not just in terms of size, but go perfectly with the pickle pipes and allow for easy access when you’re packing your cabbage into the jar. If you venture out into other vegetables - these jars are ideal for a range of different ferments.
3. A pickle packer
This wooden implement fits perfectly into the jar and makes packing your cabbage super easy, you’ll also want to minimise contact with your hands - unless they’re super clean. Plus, this way you’re able to make the most of your jar space by packing it in tight.
4. Pickle pebbles
These are small weights that are used to keep the pressure on the cabbage in the jar and keep it below the brine level - thus ensuring no oxygen reaches the kraut.
The Sauerkraut Recipe
Here it is. Remember patience is key, and before you get started, make sure all your implements (especially jars) are washed and clean.
- 1 head organic green cabbage
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt
- Water to cover
- Shred the cabbage finely. Use a mandolin, or a double-edged peeler and gently carve it back and forth. Cut the cabbage in half if you find it difficult to hold.
- Put your shredded cabbage into a large bowl and add half the salt.
- Massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to feel softer. Add the rest of the salt as you go - taking care not to overdo it.
- As you massage the cabbage you’ll start to notice liquid or ‘brine’ begin to form.
- Cover the bowl and leave for 45 minutes, then come back and give it another massage until the brine runs freely when you squeeze it.
- Add the cabbage and brine to the jar, taking care to compact it as you go. The brine should cover the cabbage. Any extra can be used in a second jar!
- Once the jar is almost full, space your pickle pebbles on top and secure your pickle pipe lid, and store in a cool dry place for 3-7 days.
You’re done! Now you can enjoy delicious sauerkraut from the comfort of your kitchen. To start your fermentation adventures, order our vegetable fermentation equipment online today!