“I think I am going back for seconds.”
Those are words I NEVER thought would come out of my mouth when eating sauerkraut! But, there is a first for everything. Tonight, we had our first meal with my first ever homemade batch of sauerkraut and I am impressed! This version might even get a non-kraut girl like me to eat more of those great fermented foods!
I keep hearing about how great fermented foods are for you… that can include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and of course fermented vegetables. They contain tons of probiotics and are great for a healthy digestive system. Here is a quick article with basic info on it. I love yogurt and kefir and have even enjoyed kombucha a bit. But, I really know nothing about how to make them myself and so just buy the store versions. However, when I realized that the store-bought sauerkraut contained high-fructose corn syrup, I just couldn’t bring myself to but it and serve it to my family (i.e. my kraut-loving husband). So, I made my own!
It is super easy to do, super inexpensive, and so delicious – again, words I NEVER thought would come out of my mouth. I am taking a class on fermented foods in August and I just can’t wait to find out what else I can make at home!!!
We enjoyed our sauerkraut with brats, spicy mustard, and grilled broccoli and cauliflower.
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
1 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2-3 large carrots, shredded
3 tsp. sea salt
half-gallon wide-mouthed mason jar
small pint mason jar
In a large bowl, combine cabbages and carrots. Sprinkle with salt.
Use your hands, not just to mix but to gently crunch the shredded vegetables. Do this until they start to release the liquid (about 5 minutes).
Pack the mixture into a meticulously cleaned half-gallon mason jar. Pack it down tightly, allowing the juices to rise. I had just enough to fill the jar almost to the top.
Fill the small mason jar about 3/4 full of water and place into the mouth of the large jar as a weight to hold the vegetables under the liquid. If, after putting the weight on top, the vegetables are not under water, add a few tablespoons of water until all are under water.
Cover loosely with a towel and leave sitting on the counter. Check daily to make sure the vegetables stay submerged. If small bubbles form on the surface of the liquid, skim it off. Let it ferment for at least 3-5 days before testing the flavor. We tested it after 5 days and then decided to let it sit for another couple of days. The flavor will continue to increase with each day, getting more sour and pungent as you wait.
When the sauerkraut reaches your preferred flavor, put the lid on top of the jar and place in the fridge. Enjoy for the next several months. The fermentation will slow down but not be stopped completely so the flavor will continue to mature with time.
Husband Rating: He didn’t give it a number but said it was mild but good.