Sauerkraut is probably the most well-known lacto-fermented vegetable. Old fashioned sauerkraut is made with thinly sliced crispy cabbage and salt. Like any traditionally homemade food, sauerkraut can be made in a number of ways with a number of ingredients. Whether you add a secret ingredient to your homemade sauerkraut or keep it basic, kraut has a slew of health benefits. It is rich in probiotics, vitamins fibre, and minerals, which can contribute to improved digestion and a stronger immune system. Sauerkraut can also help promote a healthy heart, stronger bones, and weight loss.
It’s suggested to add a small amount of fermented foods to your main meals regularly to keep topping up the good bacteria in the gut.
Check out our beginner’s guide to fermenting for more info: How To Ferment Foods Guide.
1.5 litre jar
- 1 medium head fresh green cabbage
- 1 1/2 tbsp of fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional for flavour)
- Remove, set aside but save the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core (keep the core handy as you can use that as a weight). Then slice the cabbage into thin ribbons.
- Transfer cabbage into a big steel or glass bowl and mix in the sea salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage with the salt with your hands or a potato masher. After 5-10 minutes the cabbage will gradually become limp and watery.
- If using, add the caraway seeds to the mixture and mix in now.
- Pack the cabbage into the jar ensuring all the liquid is added as well. The cabbage should be completely submerged in liquid. If not, add some filtered water.
- To ensure the cabbage stays underwater during the fermenting process, use a couple of the outer leaves of the cabbage and place them on top of the mixture in the jar. Then use the core as a weight ti push down the vegetables and outer leaves underwater before closing the lid.
- Wrap a tea towel around the jar and over the top, store in a dark place (cupboard) at room temperature and allow to ferment for 3-10 days. Start tasting after 3 days.
- Place in the fridge and consume within 6 months.