Updated: Apr 13
Sauerkraut is a staple in many households and for good reason - it’s delicious and incredibly good for you! This tangy and crunchy side dish is the perfect addition to any meal and it's surprisingly easy to make at home.
In this blog, I'll be sharing with you my passion for sauerkraut and why it has become a staple in my kitchen. I’ll also be taking you through the simple steps of making your own homemade sauerkraut, which is not only cost-effective but also allows you to control the ingredients and flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned sauerkraut eater or just looking to try something new, you’re in for a real treat!
So grab your cutting board and let's get started on the wonderful journey of making your own sauerkraut!
Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish made by fermenting finely shredded cabbage with salt. This process not only gives sauerkraut its tangy flavor, but also creates a variety of probiotics and other health-promoting compounds. Here are some of the health benefits of eating homemade sauerkraut and a simple recipe to make it at home.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut:
Supports Digestive Health: The probiotics in sauerkraut help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can improve digestive function and relieve symptoms of digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis.
Boosts Immune System: Sauerkraut is high in vitamins C and K, both of which support a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight off infections and diseases, while vitamin K helps to regulate the body's inflammatory response.
Supports Heart Health: Sauerkraut is rich in potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting heart health.
Promotes Weight Loss: Fermented foods like sauerkraut are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great option for those looking to lose weight.
Recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut:
1 head of green cabbage - about 5" round
1 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds (optional)
Large bowl or dish basin
Pounder or meat mallet
Clean mason jar with lid
Fermentation weight (optional)
Clean and shred the cabbage: Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, and slice it in half. Remove the core, and then shred the cabbage into thin ribbons using a sharp knife. * the thinner the ribbons, the better the end result.
Mix in salt and spices: In a large bowl or dish basin, mix the shredded cabbage with the sea salt and caraway seeds (if using). Use a pounder or meat mallet to pound the cabbage until it starts to release its juices about 5 minutes.
Let sit overnight, covered with dish towel.
Uncover and give it another 5 minutes of pounding to release more juice.
Pack into jar: Transfer the cabbage mixture to a clean mason jar, using a pounder or meat mallet to pack it down tightly. If using a fermentation weight, place it on top of the cabbage mixture to keep it submerged in the brine.
Cover and ferment: Cover the jar with the lid and only tighten slightly. Store the jar at room temperature (around 68-72°F) for 10 - 14 days, depending on the desired level of sourness. Check the jar daily, making sure the cabbage is submerged and skim off any mold or foam that may form on the surface. Yellow is ok, pink mold is a sign that it may have gone off.
Enjoy: Once the sauerkraut is fermented to your liking, secure the lid on the jar and store it in the refrigerator. Serve as a side dish or use as a condiment on sandwiches, salads, or soups.
Making your own homemade sauerkraut is a simple and cost-effective way to incorporate this nutrient-rich food into your diet. With its delicious tangy flavor and numerous health benefits, it's sure to become a staple in your kitchen.