The new popularity of fermented foods is a good thing. They’re good for you and are generally easy to make.
All you really need for sauerkraut is a head of cabbage, a tablespoon of salt, and a large jar and mixing bowl.
First, we clean the jar and bowl with boiling water for that clean fresh feeling.
Then finely slice or cuisinart the cabbage. Layer it into the bowl with salt sprinkled between layers. Next, massage it all firmly for a few minutes to mix in the salt and break down cabbage cell walls releasing sugars and water.
By the handful, pack the now wet mix into your jar, pressing each handful down hard as you go. Make a little salt and water mix,if needed, to be sure the top is just covered because the lactic acid brine deters any bad microorganisms.
Then loosely close the jar and leave it out on the kitchen counter, letting the fermentation happen. After five to seven days and your sauerkraut hits the level of tanginess you like, pop the jar into your fridge to slow the fermentation.
It’s fun and you can experiment by adding in ginger, peppercorns, apple, carraway seeds, dill seeds, juniper berries, or beets. But you don’t have to stop with this list. We haven’t made one experiment yet we didn’t like.
We always hope the five-day fermentation time between batches flies by so we can start in on the latest batch of kraut.