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Sauerkraut.. The Elixer of Life! | by AlyssssylA
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Sauerkraut.. The Elixer of Life!

Step one in the making of homemade kraut. MMMmmmmm.

 

Making Kraut 101

Here are instructions for making one quart of jar fermented sauerkraut.

1 quart is a great amount to start with... enough for your whole family to try

it a couple times, but not so much that you will feel overwhelmed. It's easy

enough to scale up or down as needed. Good luck!

 

Phase one: Shopping

1. Find good quality, organic green or purple head cabbage. One 8 inch

diameter head will be more than enough, but it's not a bad idea to pick up

more than you think you'll need. Your family can always use more cruciferous

veggies in their life, right? :) Weigh your cabbage.. remember this number.

2. Buy good quality sea salt, but don't worry about fleur de sel or some

imported stuff. I use Real Salt and highly recommend it.

 

Phase two: Cleaning and Chopping

1. Get a quart size mason jar with a lid. You can either buy 6 or 12 of them

new with lids, or find one at a thrift store and buy new lids and rings at the

grocery store. You might even have some at home already. Wash it well with

soap and hot water.

2. Core and chop your cabbage. Commercial kraut is often made with really

finely shredded cabbage. I prefer a little bigger shreds.. more or less as

small as I can get them with a knife.

3. As you chop your cabbage stuff it into the jar.. with no salt.. this is

just for measuring. Don't pound it in, just stuff it as stuffed as you can get

it. When the jar is full pull the cabbage out into the biggest mixing bowl (or

a big cooking pot) you have. Add another handful of shredded cabbage.

 

Phase three: Salting and packing

1. Remember how much your head of cabbage weighed at the grocery store? Do a

little mental math estimating how much of the cabbage you used, and multiply

that by 2 tsp per pound. For example, your cabbage weighed 2 pounds and you

used 3/4 of the head. You used 1 1/2 pounds of cabbage so you need 3 tsp of

salt. Figure out how much salt you need and sprinkle that over the cabbage. No

need for a calculator here, just guestimate.

2. Toss the cabbage and the salt with your hands, squeezing and crunching the

cabbage. You should start to see some liquid coming out of the cabbage. Keep

kneading and squeezing, thinking about how yummy and healthy this kraut is

going to be and how much you love your family for a couple minutes.

3. Taste the cabbage.. it should be distinctly salty. If it is pleasantly

salty, add some more salt. If it makes you want to gag add some more shredded

cabbage :)

3. Rinse your hands off and start packing the jar. Use a wooden spoon or

wooden meat pounder or small ladle to help you really pack the cabbage into

the jar. You want to push any air bubbles out. Pack it in a small amount at a

time until the cabbage is within 1/2 an inch of the bottom of the threads of

the jar.

4. Push on the kraut one last time. If liquid isn't rising above the level of

the cabbage then make a brine of about 1 tsp of salt per cup of water. Slowly

pour a little of this over the cabbage, giving it time to sink in, until it is

at or above the level of the cabbage.

5. Screw the lid on tight and put in a warmish place in your kitchen. On top

of the fridge, the cupboard above the microwave, etc. Do the dishes and leave

the cabbage for the day :)

 

Phase Four: Fermenting and Ageing

1. The next day, open the lid of the jar. I recommend doing this over the

sink. Did the jar "pop" or fizz when you opened it? If not, that's OK. Taste

the kraut. Put the lid back on and put it back in the warm spot.

2. Repeat the last step every day until it truly is popping of fizzing. Taste

it again, and then put the lid back on and put that jar in the fridge.

3. Let it sit for at least one more week and then test again. Sour yet? No,

let it go anothe week. In the fridge this stuff will last for weeks and months

and just get sourer and sourer. Most likely after 2 weeks in the fridge it

will be quite sour, but since you've been tasting it the whole time you know

what it's like and when you are going to enjoy eating it.

 

Phase Five: Making the next batch...

Repeat from the beginning, adding some of your sauerkraut juice to the cabbage

as your are packing it or instead of the brine.

 

Good luck!

 

Native Nutrition Group: Please forgive the repost.. I added the recipe to it and thought you would enjoy it :)

 

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Taken on January 21, 2008