Aside from the time (and patience) that sauerkraut requires, it is actually one of the easiest things to make. Although I have a few canned brands of sauerkraut that I love (always local and organic), it is super easy to make your own and unless you need sauerkraut right now, there isn’t a single reason you shouldn’t make your own.
While I like plain sauerkraut (just cabbage), I like to add a few things to spice my recipe up. You can easily adapt this recipe to just use cabbage by omitting the other ingredients and increasing the raw cabbage to 5 cups. Once you master simple sauerkraut though, I think you should try my variety here – it is super tasty and everyone, even the doubters, enjoy it!
Makes 4 cups
4 cups shredded cabbage (I like thicker cabbage strips, but pay special attention to the strips if you prefer thinner strips)
1 T sea salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sliced yellow onion
1 carrot, cut into thin slivers
1 t Cayenne pepper (omit if nervous about the spice)
1. Dissolve the salt in the 1 c filtered water. Add the cabbage and stir until cabbage is coated in a large glass bowl.
2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and cayenne pepper and mix well to combine (omit these ingredients and add an additional cup of cabbage if you want plain sauerkraut).
3. Cover the cabbage mixture with a stack of round plates (should fit well in the glass bowl). Cover with plastic wrap (no foil or metal, please) and set aside for two days at room temperature.
4. Check the sauerkraut. If you see a “skin” (thin layer, you’ll know it if it’s there), skim it off and repack the cabbage mixture (tamp it down until liquid starts to show above the mixture). Replace the plates and recover.
5. Check every 3 days. After 2 weeks, taste to see if it tastes ready. If it is ready, transfer to the fridge. If not, continue checking every 1-3 days, tasting until you like the flavor and consistency.