Old Fashioned Sauerkraut

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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 saltweights, 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.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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!)

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com

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.)

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut | areturntosimplicity.com


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


This post has been shared at The Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Monday, Tuesdays With a Twist, The Backyard Farming Connection, The Homestead Blog Hop, Down Home Blog Hop, The Home Acre Hop, Simple Lives, Link and Mingle, The Pin Junkie, Freedom Fridays,  From the Farm Hop, Old Fashioned Fridays, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, Clever Chicks, Mommy Monday, and The Art of Homemaking

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10 responses to “Old Fashioned Sauerkraut”

  1. I love the addition of the caraway seeds, must be something about my German roots 🙂 Thanks for the beautiful pictures and clear instructions!

  2. Marla says:

    We make our own sauerkraut but do it a little differently- we just use the old fashioned crocks and let it set and ferment. Although your idea sounds great and certainly worth considering. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday. Twitted. Have a health happy Thanksgiving!

    • Angi says:

      I like the crock method too Marla! This method is just better for small quantities of ferments. This way you can do a couple quarts of kraut, a quart of carrots or pickles, and a pint of cranberry relish. I would use the crock method if we used LOTS of one kind of ferment, or if I had a huge crop of cabbage to preserve.

  3. I’ve never tried fermenting anything but it is definitely on my list of to-trys! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop, hope we see you there again next week.

  4. Joby says:

    Awesome! have been meaning to start some more fermentation projects. We have only tried one lacto-fermented pickling project but it was a grand success. its so easy it feels like cheating.

  5. Charlene says:

    I don’t have a root cellar unless closets in my home would count (I have 3 I use for storing canned foods). I also don’t have room in my fridge for a couple of quarts of sauerkraut to sit for 6 months. After the 3 to 5 days can the sauerkraut be canned using a water bath canning process? My family loves sauerkraut and I would love to make it myself.

  6. Elisabeth says:

    It’s awesome and we make “Sauerkraut” every year. Greetings from Austria (Europe)

  7. Jeanette says:

    I have everything I need to try my first batch of sauerkraut, but I’m unclear what I’m supposed to do after the 3-5 days. Do I leave the airlock and stopper lids on or do I change to a regular flat for storage? Thank you for your help!

  8. I noticed in your 6 month old sauerkraut there was no liquid. What happened to it.


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