Fermenting food can be very intimidating for some people due to the fear of bacteria. However, the bacteria in fermented foods is excellent for building beneficial gut flora to help with digestion. Once you make a few simple batches of sauerkraut the fear of something going wrong with it is forgotten. The key though is to make sure you are using the freshest ingredients, clean water and a clean jar or fermentation pot.
You can ferment your veggies in any container. We recommend using a ceramic fermentation pot since it allows for larger quantities and it is actually designed for making sauerkraut and other fermented foods. These fermentation pots are what the pro’s use. The stoneware is baked at over 1200 deg C and is finished with a lead free glaze. It has a moat on the top that you fill with water that creates a air tight seal but still allows for the gas produced while fermenting to escape. It also comes with 2 stones that apply the correct weight to the sauerkraut to keep it under the salt water. The recipe below is for a 10 liter fermentation pot.
11-17 lbs of Cabbage for the 10 liter pot
3 tablespoons of sea salt for every 5 lbs of cabbage.
- Remove the outer wilted leaves of the cabbage and shred the cabbage into a bowl using a knife or food processor. You can make it thick or thin depending on how you like it.
- Weigh the salt and keep it separate from the shredded cabbage. Generally it’s about 3 tablespoons for every 5 lbs of cabbage.
- Add a layer of cabbage to the pot and sprinkle some salt on it. Mash the cabbage with a potatoe masher or fist until cellular fluid is released from the cabbage.
- Repeat until the pot is almost filled – 4/5ths of the way.
- Put one whole cabbage leaf on top and place the stones on it. If the stones are covered by less than 1 to 2 inches of liquid, add boiled and cooled salt water (1.5 g salt per liter)
- Cover the pot with the lid and add water into the water groove/moat. You do want to check every couple days to make sure there is water in the groove to prevent dust and mold spores from letting into the pot.
- Leave at room temperature (20-22 degrees C) for 2 to 3 days. Bubbling indicates the beginning of fermentation and is normal.
- After 3 days move it to a cooler location about 15 – 18 deg C.
- The sauerkraut can be eaten after 4-6 weeks. You can store it jars in the fridge or even the basement if it is cool *about 5-10 deg c.).
There you go, easy to make sauerkraut. We love adding this as a side to our favourite dishes or just eating it straight out of the jar. Let us know your favourite fermented recipe.