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Homemade Sauerkraut

Fermenting things might sound scary, but its really not very hard at all! It an old timey storage tradition and I have memories of my Slovenian grandpa showing me his crock of fermenting cabbage. The lacto-fermentation method adds nutrients and a bazillion little friendly microorganisms (way more then even yogurt) that can help the winter warn body ward off flues and colds and maybe even the winter blues. Kraut can be made in mason jars or other non-metallic containers, just make sure you keep the cabbage submerged in the liquid (a smaller glass in the mouth of the mason jar works well for that, or a weight plate in a bigger container).
  • 2 medium cabbage heads (about 4 to 5 total pounds, cored and finely shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Toss cabbage and salt together in a large mixing bowl and begin to squeeze the cabbage and salt together with your hands, kneading it thoroughly to break up the cellular structure of the shredded cabbage.
When the cabbage has become limp and releases its juice, transfer it to a sauerkraut crock or jars. Pack the salted cabbage into the crock tightly as you can, eliminating air bubbles.
Continue packing the cabbage into the container until the cabbage is completely submerged by liquid. Cover loosely and allow it to sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for at least 1 month and up to 6 months, testing the sauerkraut every few days until it is done to your liking. Transfer to the refrigerator or other cold storage where it should keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.


If scum appears floating in the brine of your homemade sauerkraut, simply spoon it off. You won't be able to remove it all, but spoon of what you can and don't worry about it. The real key to preparing homemade sauerkraut, and any fermented food, is that the solid materials rest below the liquid. Fermentation is an anaerobic process and you want to keep the cabbage under the water so it does not get exposed to microorganisms in the air.