How To Make Sauerkraut and Save Money Doing It

How to make sauerkraut? Making homemade sauerkraut is easy! The hardest part is the wait. Watch the video below to learn how to make gluten-free kraut from either just cabbage or my "cole slaw" version with cabbage and carrots.

Then, read the information on this other page to see how you can be getting more live cultures and/or probiotics, and saving money by making it yourself instead of buying jars at the store!

If you want to know how good this fermented food is for you, read the expIanation on this page.

The Ingredients Used in the Video to Make Homemade Sauerkraut

In the video I used:

  • Clean hands and a clean workplace. You don't want to introduce any competing bacteria or molds! (If you’re worried about food allergies or intolerances or need to be gluten free, you also don’t want any cross-contamination from gluten).
  • Purple or green cabbage, (I used organic) about 1-1/4 pounds per quart or 5 pounds for a gallon jar of plain cabbage sauerkraut.
  • If making the cole-slaw version, you need 4 pounds of cabbage per 1 pound of organic baby carrots.
  • Rinsed vegetables prior to chopping or shredding/grating them. (Be sure to cut out the core of the cabbage heads).
  • A food processor to shred the vegetables. the Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus™ 11-Cup Food Processor (model DLC-2011CHB) is very similar to the one I have. Read more about why I recommend it here.
  • A clean glass jar, washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed well and drained. I used a big jar that you can order, or you can re-purpose a quart jar (s) from pickles, artichokes, etc. I find it easier to use wide-mouthed jars such as these.
  • A smaller jar that fits in the mouth of the bigger jar, filled with water and some salt, to use as a weight.
  • If you want to buy the small bowl to help weigh down and submerge the cabbage like I used, you can buy it here.
  • Pure filtered water. Chlorine can kill the microbes. If you don’t have filtered water, fill up a pitcher of water and let it sit for a few hours, stirring occasionally, to get the chlorine to evaporate.
  • Salt. I recommend either Real Salt or a Real Salt or a Himalyan salt.
  • A clean, dry towel to drape over the jar to keep out dust and bugs. You can also use a clean bandana and secure it with a rubber band over the neck of the jar.
  • A clean non-metal spoon (I used non-metal so as not to introduce any metal ions into the culture).
  • A plate, bowl or rimmed cookie sheet to catch any liquid that may overflow from the jar as the vegetables give up some of their water.
  • Clean jars such as these canning jars with lids to put the finished product in, unless you have room to keep a one-gallon jar with a lid in your refrigerator.

After the jar was packed and the towel draped over the top, I put the jar in a corner of my kitchen where it wouldn’t be disturbed. I gave the sauerkraut about 8 days to ferment before I started tasting it. (When tasting, do not dip your fork back in the jar after you put it in your mouth!)

I must warn you: the first week of sauerkraut-ing can be smelly as some of the bacteria give off gases. You can even watch it bubble! After that, the odor is really not noticeable.

I had to add approximately one cup of filtered water to the jar after 2 weeks due to evaporation. If you live in a humid climate, you probably won’t have to do this.

After 2-1/2 weeks or so, I liked the texture and taste of my cole-slaw sauerkraut that I made in the video. I then scooped it out of the gallon jar into various re-purposed, clean jars from pickles, peanut butter and almond butter, being careful to keep the fermenting vegetables submerged under the salty water.

I labeled all of the jars with the date and ingredients, and refrigerated them.

Note: Once you are happy with the taste of your fermented vegetables, you must refrigerate them! Refrigerating them will slow down, but not completely stop, the fermenting process.

To read about the benefits of raw, homemade kraut, see this page.

To learn more about how you will be saving money and get more health benefits with homemade sauerkraut versus store-bought, go to this page

If you are just not interested in making your own, but would still like to have the benefits of raw kraut, or if you want to try other varieties, here are some recommended sources.

Learn about other sources of probiotics here.

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