Sauerkraut is a powerful superfood. Full of probiotics and antioxidants, it fights inflammation in the gut, boosts immunity and maintains a harmonious inner ecosystem. While I love all fermented vegetables, sauerkraut is my favorite and I eat it every day!
Store-bought sauerkraut, as convenient as it may be, does not compare to home-made. There is no telling how much beneficial bacteria it actually contains, and is usually quite expensive (for a head of shredded cabbage). Many of the store-bought brands are also comprised mainly of water and sold in plastic containers. The chemical compounds in plastic are shown to kill beneficial micro-organisms, so that’s another thing to keep in mind. This is why I always (except when traveling) make my own.
- 1 head of cabbage (I go for green as it doesn’t stain)
- 1 Tbs Celtic or Himalayan salt
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- I glass mason jar
- 1 glass or ceramic bowl
- 1 small towel
- Finely chop cabbage or shred in a food processor, avoiding the rind.
- Let sit in glass bowl and mix with salt and chopped garlic cloves
- Place a slightly smaller bowl on top filled with water. This will add some pressure to the shredded cabbage and help it condense.
- Put a towel over the two bowls and let sit for 30 minutes while the cabbage sweats out some of its liquid.
- Pack the salted cabbage/ garlic mix into a glass mason jar. With each handful, make sure to press it down as much as possible. For this I usually use a smaller jar with a flat bottom. The goal is to release the juices and reduce air in the jar.
- Pack the jar until it is about 1 inch from the top. There should be a small brine of liquid covering the cabbage.
- Screw on the lid and leave sit for at least 3-4 days. It’s optimal to leave it out for a month or two so that you get high amounts of probiotics but I usually can’t wait that long. This is why I suggest making it in bulk so that a few jars can have time to really ferment.
- When fermentation is done (anywhere from 3 days to 6 months) move to refrigerator and enjoy!
If you’ve never had sauerkraut, start small. A few tablespoons at every meal will get your taste buds and gut acclimated!