By: Elizabeth Roberts
Fresh sauerkraut is a terrific way to get natural probiotics into your diet. Eating just
a tablespoon of sauerkraut per day can be very beneficial to your health. This recipe is a
personal favorite of mine because I love garlic. If you prefer a more traditional Sauerkraut, just omit the garlic.
Before you get started there are just 2 things to remember:
1. Never wash the cabbage before you use it. You can remove any damaged outer leaves, but don’t wash it. Cabbage naturally has good “germs” on it and you want to keep them to get the best fermentation you can.
2. Use only distilled water or water that you are 100% certain does not contain chlorine. Chlorine kills germs, both bad and good, like those you’re trying to promote during the fermentation process. So, don’t kill your good bacteria, use only chlorine-free water.
1 head red cabbage
1 head green cabbage
2 leeks, white & light green only, washed & chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs salt
2 Tbs celery seeds
2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs yellow mustard seeds
1. Sterilize two 1 quart, wide-mouthed canning jars and lids.
2. Cut cabbages in half, remove core, then cut into slices – the thickness is your choice, I prefer thinner slices.
3. Put sliced cabbage, leek, garlic, salt, celery seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds into a large bowl. Using your hands, mix thoroughly.
4. Let cabbage stand 10 minutes. Then use a wooden pounder, meat pounder, or your hands to massage the cabbage to begin to release the natural juices. Let cabbage rest 5 minutes, then pound or massage cabbage again. Repeat this process 2-3 more times until you have a good amount of juice in your bowl and the cabbage is limp and pliable.
5. Pack cabbage mixture into canning jars a handful at a time. Use your fist to pack cabbage tightly after each addition. As you do this, the juices will release and cover the cabbage.
6. Leave at least 1 inch of space between the cabbage and the top of each jar, being sure the cabbage is covered with juice. If necessary, use juice from the bowl or distilled water to achieve this.
7. Cover jars, tightening lids loosely and leave at room temperature (between 65-75 degrees F) for 1 week. Every couple of days remove lids and check that cabbage remains submerged in liquid. If necessary, add more distilled water, repack, and replace lid. By the second day you should have a good, bubbly fermentation going that may cause your liquid to overflow – I like to keep my fermenting jars on a tray to catch any spills.
8. After 1 week, you can transfer jars to refrigerator – store them either in the door compartment or on the top shelf, or if you have a basement or cellar that is no warmer than 50 degrees F you can store them there.
9. The sauerkraut is ready to eat at any time, but the flavors will continue to develop the longer it ages. It is not uncommon for sauerkraut to age for 3-6 months before consuming but it will last a year or more if stored at the correct temperature.