How to Make Sauerkraut

Ingredients

• 1 large crockpot or jar as a fermentation container
• 2-3 red cabbages (if small, get 3 to be safe)
• Carrots (amount is based on preference; I shred ~5 carrots)
• 1 red onion
• Garlic bulbs – crush 5 or more cloves
• Ground Himalayan pink salt (it’s healthier and has no additives)
• Kale (optional, but increases nutritional value and you can’t taste it)
• 1 Jalapeno, chipotle, cayenne or chili powder to spice it up (optional)

Step 1: Shred or dice up vegetables in small pieces to put in the largest bowl you have. Then add 3 tbsp salt and massage/squeeze the veggies firmly. This helps draw juice out of the vegetables and prevent growth of bad bacteria or mold. Add your probiotic starter to the mix.
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Step 2: After awhile, you should find juice in the bottom of the bowl. Add all contents to your storage container and pack them down firmly as seen below

Sauerkraut pic 1

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Step 3: Add a weight (like a jar filled with water) to keep vegetables submerged (see picture below). I often use a sterilized (boiled) stone to weigh down my vegetables. This creates an anaerobic environment (no oxygen) within the vegetable solution. Make sure weight is clean.

Sauerkraut pic 2Sauerkraut pic 2b

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Step 4: If using a glass as a weight and it sticks out, cover the top with a clean hand towel and hold down with a rubber band, as seen in picture. However, I typically use a stone as a weight, and simply stick it inside my container and then put the lid on. DO NOT tighten lid too tight because as it ferments, gases will release. Note: you typically want the jar fuller than the picture below.

Sauerkraut pic 3

Step 5: Store away at room temp and check every 5 days to be sure veggies are submerged. You may press the weight back down occasionally to make sure the veggies stay submerged. Also, when starting, if the juice is anywhere near the top, set the jar on top of a plate or bowl in case some spills over, as the juice levels tend to rise over time. Taste-test it at 2 weeks. If you feel it could go longer, try again at the 3rd or 4th week.

Main Take Aways
1. Salt it
2. Keep vegetables submerged
3. Start with clean jar – just use soap and water
4. Have fun with it. There are no strict ingredients or time on when to stop the fermentation. Its all preference based