Homemade Sauerkraut

Did you know that the food we eat has a great impact on our feelings and emotions? Recent studies showed that our gut influences our brain much more than the other way round. An important role comes to our gut bacteria, which leads us to fermented food.
Fermentation is and was not only a mean to make fresh living food durable, it also makes these foods more nutritious and easier to digest and delivers healthy gut bacteria.

Sauerkraut in our region is the most known and common kind of fermented vegetable. Nowadays unfortunately many of the ones available in the stores are pasteurized or similar – which destroys most of the benefit.
So the best way is to make Sauerkraut ourselves. And it’s really easy!

First step is to finely cut the cabbage. The more fine you cut it, the easier is the kneading process for squeezing out enough liquid.
I put the cut cabbage in a big bowl and add natural sea salt, which is 20 g per kg cabbage.
You may also add some spices like caraway, turmeric, curry etc. if you like.
Then I knead the salted cabbage thoroughly in order to squeeze out enough liquid that when filling the cabbage in the jar it will be totally covered by this liquid.

Next step is to squeeze the mass very dense in a glass jar and add the liquid to cover the cabbage. I like to add some juniper berries – as this was the way it was done in my childhood.
Please take care that there is some space on top of the jar, otherwise it might happen that either the pressure in the jar will become to strong during fermentation or some liquid will issue.

For finishing there are different possibilities. I mainly just leave it like described and just close the jar airtight. But you also could put a stone or weight on top to make sure that the cabbage stays beyond the liquid.
In any case it has to be closed airtight and left for fermentation at least 10-14 days at a quiet place at room temperature. It must not necessarily be a dark place but it should be out of reach of direct sunlight.

After the fermentation time as mentioned the Sauerkraut is ready to eat. When opening first time be careful as their might be some pressure from inside. Once opened it’s recommendable to store in fridge.

A fermentation time of 10-14 days is some kind of minimum, but there is no maximum. It can be left much longer before first opening. Only you might check from time to time that there is no mold inside. Usually as long as the cabbage is covered with enough liquid, it will stay well.

So, unpack your creativity and experience to find your very own way of Sauerkraut!
Have fun and put all you love inside which will increase the health benefit even more <3

Copyright by Sabina Stebegg