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I’ve made sauerkraut before (as seen in my Lactofermenting for Dummies post), but that was not sauerkraut. Not compared to this stuff. Wowzers, this stuff is amazing.
After making sauerkraut the first time, I heard somewhere that in order to get the full probiotic benefits, the kraut has to ferment for a full thirty days. That sounded just gross enough to be intriguing.
So I tried it, not really believing it would come out without totally spoiling. But it did. And it is so zingy and flavorful and fresh and amazing! So much better than the two-week stuff, so much better than store-bought or canned. This is real sauerkraut, and it’s really easy. And cheap. And it’s super healthy for you (check out this post for an explanation of probiotic benefits).
How do you make this stuff? It’s very simple: shred cabbage, either by cutting it thinly like I did…or take a shortcut and just pulse a couple times in a food processor. Put it in a bowl. Add salt and pepper (embarrassingly enough, I can’t find the note I wrote to myself about how much I used. I probably used like a teaspoon or two of salt and about half that of pepper. I don’t like my sauerkraut to be super-salty, and you can always add salt when you eat it.). Let the cabbage and spices set for a couple minutes to start sweating the juices out, then massage it with your hands to get the juices really flowing. Stuff this cabbage mixture into a quart-sized canning jar, using the handle of a wooden spoon to sort of mash it down and pack it so you can fit more in. Fill the jar to about an inch from the top. Add 2-3 tablespoons of whey left from Greek yogurt making and then fill the jar up with pure water so that it covers the cabbage but there’s still about an inch of room at the top of your jar for expansion. Screw a lid on your jar and set it in a cool dark place like a basement. Let it do its work for 30 days, but unscrew the lid every day to let the pressure from the gasses escape. If you don’t do this, your jar could explode. Yes, the fermenting sauerkraut will stink like crazy when you unscrew the lid, but that’s normal. Once the sauerkraut has fermented the full 30 days, put it in the fridge and start eating! It’ll keep for a good long while. Don’t heat it or you’ll kill the probiotics.
You can find this recipe in my cookbook, Necessary Food.