This is how the original homesteaders preserved their cabbage harvest— homemade sauerkraut! The only ingredients needed are salt and cabbage!
Harvest your cabbage and discard the outer leaves to remove any bug chews and dirt. We don't wash the cabbage because you want the natural biology to innoculate your sauerkraut.
We use an antique, well seasoned kraut cutter but you can also cut thin layers with a sharp knife. Looking for a cabbage shredder? Here's one suggestion: https://cabbageshredder.com/products/... (Also, not an affiliate link!)
The salt should equal 2% of the cabbage weight. So 2 lbs equal ~907 grams; 2% of that is just over 18 grams. We use 15-16 grams and have never had a problem. So you decide!
The type of salt you use matters! Do NOT use iodized salt-- the iodine messes with the fermentation process. Use a canning salt; it contains no added ingredients. Or use an unprocessed salt like Redmond's Real Salt. (This is not an affiliate link-- just sharing a good resource!)
We add a little bit of hot pepper and garlic to ours-- but that's totally optional! There are other variations you could try, including caraway seed, juniper berries, beets, carrots, ginger, dill, fennel, or radish. Have fun with it!
We mix up two batches in a large stainless steel bowl and fill a 2 quart wide mouth canning jar. Each batch gives you a quart of finished sauerkraut; so 2 batches are needed to fill a 2 quart jar.
Here's our Prairie Road Sauerkraut recipe for a 1 quart batch of sauerkraut:
- 2 lbs of shredded cabbage
- 16-18 grams of salt
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- 1 small hot pepper (optional)
Mix all the ingredients and allow the salt to start pulling the juice from the cabbage, making the cabbage limp. Fill the jar and press the cabbage down below the neck of the jar.
We used repurposed plastic lids to weight down the cabbage, keeping it under the brine. But with all we've learned about plastics leaching into our foods, we're gonna purchase some glass weights.
5 pc set or a 10 pc set
(These are affiliate links, which means I do make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. These are just a recommendation; feel free to research other options.)
After filling the jar and adding your weight, wipe it clean and cover the top with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place-- 70-75℉ to ferment. Let the fermentation process work for a 7-10 days. The longer the ferment, the tangier the sauerkraut. We usually ferment ours for 7 days.
After your 7-10 day fermentation, sterilize a bread knife and the number of lids you need. Remove the plastic and the weight. With your knife, tamp down the cabbage to make sure it's level. With a clean piece of paper towel, wipe the inside of the neck of the jar. Then wipe the outside ring area with a damp paper towel to remove any salt residue that might cause the canning ring to corrode.
Top it off the jar with a sterile canning lid, add the ring, and tighten. Label with the date and place in the refrigerator for storage. You can store your sauerkraut for a whole year!
Watch our video on YouTube as we make our sauerkraut-- from harvest to ready-to-eat! Click this link and enjoy!
Wishing you an abundance of sauerkraut!
Our best to you,