Old Fashioned Sauerkraut
Ah lacto-fermentation. Our ancestors found the perfect way to preserve vegetables throughout the winter months and provide our bodies with enzymes that make a healthier gut.
All without using an ounce of electricity. How cool is that?
One of the most well known fermented vegetables is cabbage, in the form of sauerkraut.
Variations of sauerkraut have been 1.”highly prized throughout history for its delicious taste and medicinal properties.” I have been making sauerkraut for several years now, and it is a fairly simple procedure.
All you need is some cabbage, wide mouth mason jars, non iodized salt, weights, and airlock lids.
Fermentools was kind enough to send me a sample of their airlock fermentation products, and I have to say: I am very impressed. I love the fact that the lids are made from stainless steel, and not aluminum, and I also love that the products are made in the USA and Canada.
Here I have about 4.5 pounds of cabbage. You can use any type of cabbage you want. I just love the way the red and green cabbage mix and make a gorgeous purple sauerkraut.
Remove the core of the cabbage, and chop finely. Place in a large bowl, and sprinkle salt on top.
(Fermentools has an awesome Himalayan Pink Sea Salt that is extra finely ground, which makes it dissolve much more easily than other salts.)
You will need approximately 1 Tablespoon of this salt for every 2 pounds of cabbage. If you are using a more coarsely ground salt, you will need to use a bit more.
Use a wooden pounder or spoon to pound the cabbage until the juices begin to come out. The cabbage will begin to break down a little bit, and slowly become juicy.
You can add caraway or celery seeds at this point if you like. ( I LOVE sauerkraut with caraway 🙂 )
Place the cabbage into wide mouth quart or half gallon jars, and press down until it is covered by it’s juices.
Place a weight on top of the cabbage to keep it pressed down. (This is where Fermentools has REALLY come through for me. I have been searching for a couple of years for an appropriate sized, heavy object to hold the cabbage down under the brine, and these glass weights are SO PERFECT for this!)
Assemble your lids using the original “ring” that goes to the mason jar. Fill the airlocks halfway with water, insert them into the stopper and install the stopper into the lid.
Store in a dark cupboard or room for 3-5 days, depending on the temperature of the room.
Longer for a cooler room, and shorter for a warm room.
After 3-5 days, transfer to a root cellar, or the top shelf of your fridge. The sauerkraut can be eaten immediately, but is the most flavorful around 6 months of age. It will become slightly translucent and more juicy over time. Waiting is definitely the hardest part of making sauerkraut!
Here is some 6 month old sauerkraut (made with green cabbage only.)
Some of our favorite ways to eat sauerkraut are:
- On all-beef, nitrate free hot dogs
- Plain as a side dish
- On sandwiches
- ALL TIME FAVORITE WAY- On baked potatoes!!
How do you like to eat your sauerkraut?
1. Weston A. Price Foundations- Lacto Fermentation
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