Simple Sauerkraut – A Probiotic Superfood

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Cabbage, carrot, and scallions sauerkraut

Learn how to make homemade sauerkraut in this step by step tutorial and transform the humble cabbage into a probiotic superfood.

This transformation takes place through lacto-fermentation, a process that preserves food, enhances its nutrition, promotes healthy digestion and enhanced immunity. Most store bought sauerkraut is pasteurized and no longer contain all these benefits.

Ingredients and Tools

Ingredients and tools needed for making sauerkraut

1 cabbage
1 tablespoon sea salt (make sure your salt is noniodized)

Cutting board and knife
Large bowl
Wide mouth canning jar with metal lid or ceramic fermenting crock

Step 1

Preparing cabbageRemove outer leaves from cabbage and chop,
or grate with a food processor or box grater.

Step 2

Adding cabbage to bowl with saltAdd shredded cabbage to a large bowl with 1 tablespoon sea salt.
The salt helps pull water out of the cabbage and inhibits any bad
bacteria from forming.

Step 3

Knead cabbageKnead cabbage with your hands until its juices release.

Step 4

Cabbage with natural juices in canning jarUse your fist to pack cabbage with its juices tightly into a wide mouth
canning jar. Press one of the reserved outer leaves into the jar to keep the
cabbage submerged in its brine.

Step 5

Sauerkraut ready for fermentingCover the jar tightly and allow to ferment at room temperature for at
least 3 days – less if your kitchen is warm, more if cold.
Store in the refrigerator.

“Could it be that in abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation and in our insistence on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisms?”

Sally Fallon | Nourishing Traditions


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Homemade Sauerkraut
You can add other vegetables to the mixture like grated carrots and chopped scallions (pictured above) or experiment with your own creation (onions, garlic, fennel, beets, turnips, apples, caraway seeds, or other herbs and spices).

1 cabbage
1 tablespoon sea salt

1. Peel the outer leaves from the cabbage (reserve one for later). Shred the cabbage with a knife, grater, or food processor.
2. Add shredded cabbage and salt to a large bowl.
3. “Knead” the cabbage until its juices are released.
4. Place cabbage and liquid into a wide mouth canning jar. Use your fist to pack in the cabbage tightly into the jar and allow its brine to *cover the cabbage.
5. Use reserved cabbage leaf to cover the cabbage and keep it submerged in its brine.
6. Close the jar and allow to ferment for 3 days or longer- less if your kitchen is warm, more if cold. Store in the refrigerator.

*Some older cabbages may not produce enough brine to keep its contents completely submerged. If that occurs, create your own salt water brine (1 teaspoon salt diluted in 1 cup water) and pour enough to cover the cabbage by one inch.

Additional Resources:

Learn more about the benefits of fermented foods.

Get the classic book: Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.

Watch a video on How to Make Sauerkraut from Feed Me Like You Mean It.

Check out Real Food Forager’s Probiotic Food Challenge Linky with great recipes and articles pertaining to probiotic foods, fermenting, and culturing.


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