Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Small Batch Homemade Fresh Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut.  Those of you who know me...know I can eat a sauerkraut sandwich and be a happy camper.  I do consider myself somewhat of a sauerkraut snob - no tin can sauerkraut - EVER!! See My Mom's way of making sauerkraut.

While European peasants preserved the cabbage with salt in an effort to keep hunger away during the dark months, their preservation fulfilled another need - nourishment.  The process of fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins and is extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria.  

Cabbage is cheap.  With the sales going on now for St. Patrick's Day, I bought a small head of cabbage today for $.18 cents!  What can you buy these days for 18 cents?  With corned beef on the horizon and a good Reuben sandwich in my future, I decided to try and make some homemade sauerkraut.  Kraut is not any more difficult to make than coleslaw.  Everyone makes coleslaw, so don't call me crazy.  You don't need any special equipment and only two ingredients - cabbage and salt.

2 lbs. cabbage
2 Tbsp. sea salt

 Chop or slice the cabbage.  I sliced it as thin as possible.  Toss with salt.

Squish the cabbage with a potato masher (or your fist if it's been a rough day) to start releasing the water from the cabbage.

Wait ten minutes.  Squish down again.

Continue waiting and squishing until there is about 1" of liquid covering the cabbage (about 30 minutes).
If you don't have enough liquid, mix 1 tsp. sea salt with 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve.

Transfer to a clean quart jar.
If you want to get fancy....get some labels  
I saved one piece of cabbage to add to the top of the cabbage to keep it submerged.
Set a small dish under the jar and leave it on the counter for 4 days with a lid on.**  That's when the magic happens.  All the GOOD bacteria comes out to play.  It's safe and people have done this for centuries.
If you see any scum or "bloom" remove.
Refrigerate and store up to 3 months.
Nutrition and Health - Lacto Fermentation 
**It's day 4 of fermentation and I think we need to go a little longer, depending on your taste for tartness.
Small Batch Fresh Homemade Sauerkraut  on Punk Domestics
~Adapted from Wild Fermentation
Makes 1 Quart

5 comments:

  1. love pinned it so I can find it later

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  2. Cabbage is 7¢ a pound right now, this sounds amazing! Don't have sea salt though, except for the flavored ones the boys gave me. Bummer.

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  3. wow this is really impressive I am a kraut hound myself love bavarian style, I have never had it fresh and this has me really intrigued to try sometime. Nice instructions and thanks for showing me a new world here!

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  4. I make kraut every Spring! Love it! Love your blog!

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  5. Patti, than you for posting this recipe. It is really hard to find small batch recipes especially for sauerkraut. This is my first visit to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back I hope you have a great day. Blessings...MAry

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