Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Heart Homemade Sauerkraut

I've been hungry for sauerkraut.  I love sauerkraut.  Plus, it's a great winter food.   It's tasty.  It's good for you.

One thing though - it stinks.

We make it anyway.   I've posted some old fashioned methods here before.

Here's the first time I made kraut.

Here's the second one.

This year I decided to try a method I found on Food in Jars blog.  It was super easy and there was no pounding.   It does mean getting your hands in there and squeezing for a bit.

I used a small head of cabbage, about 1  1/2 Tablespoons of salt and a sprinkle of caraway seeds because I'm all about the authentic kraut experience.

I cut the cabbage into quarters and removed the core.  Then I sliced everything very thinly by hand with a knife.  I put it all in a giant bowl, mixed the cabbage and salt and seeds with my hands, squeezing it all until the cabbage released the water.  It only took a few minutes, interrupted by the occasional washing up of jars, table, etc.   When the cabbage was looking transparent and there was a good amount of water in the bottom of the bowl, I packed it all into a quart jar. [It'll feel WET.  You'll know.]  Put some sort of weight in it to keep the cabbage below the water.  The water came to the top of the jar, so I set the whole thing in a bowl to catch the overflow.   As it ferments, bubbles will form in the kraut and displace some of the water.   It will ooze out, so make sure you put your jar on a dish,  in a bowl or a deep lid.   Watch for overflow and empty and wash it at least every day if not more often.   Let it set on your counter/window for a week, then pop it in the fridge and it's good to go.   Naturally fermented.  Nature's finest food.

Note on weights:  I used a wide mouth jar for the kraut, so I used a narrow mouth glass insert from an old zinc jar lid as my weight.   You can use a small mouth canning lid, a 4 oz. jelly jar capped and full of water, or a real life pickle weight instead.   Feel free to be creative. [I confess, I'm kind of really wanting those pickle weights, though...]

Hope you make some and hope you love it!    Happy November!

UPDATE:  It took 7 days to get gorgeous and delicious sauerkraut this way.  Fastest ferment ever.   Bonus, no stink.  This will forever be my go-to method for making sauerkraut.  

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