Lacto Fermented Sauerkraut

This recipe belongs to my wonderful mother!  She is the genius behind the best sauerkraut I have ever had.  My favorite part about this recipe is that it uses lacto fermentation as opposed to a vinegar pickling.  Lacto fermentation is a little trickier, but much healthier as it is loaded with good probiotics (like yogurt) and good bacteria that help promote gut health.

A few key things to know before we get into the recipe: 1. don’t use any metal when making lacto fermented anything, it can react with the acid and end up tasting bad. No metal bowls or spoons, I used a glass bowl and a wooden spoon. 2. Don’t use salt with iodine or anti-caking agents in them, it can prevent/kill the fermentation process altogether, I used sea salt. 3. Make sure to use filtered water (if you end up needing it) for the same reason as the salt, chlorine and other water additives can slow down or stop the natural fermentation. 4. You always want your sauerkraut submerged in liquid, it keeps it crisp and fresh. If you notice your sauerkraut looking dry on the top as it ferments add a few tablespoons of lightly salted water to the top until it covers all the cabbage.

Sauerkraut is one of my favorite foods!! I eat it with breakfast all the time and I basically can’t eat hotdogs without it anymore! What things would you put sour sauerkraut on?

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Sauerkraut

  • 1 medium head of cabbage

  • 1 medium onion

  • 4-5 cloves Garlic

  • 1 ½ tablespoon Sea Salt

Using a round cutter cut out 2 circles from larger outer leaves of cabbage, set aside. Thinly slice the rest of the cabbage and place in a non metallic bowl. Add salt and stir using a wooden spoon till salt is all mixed in, set aside to rest for about 10 min. to allow salt to draw out moisture. Chop garlic and onion finely, add to cabbage and stir together. Using a clean and dry quart mason jar, fill with cabbage mixture about 1/3 of the way full and pack down using a blender tamper, make sure not to overly smash and just gently compact the cabbage (you want to begin to pull more juice out of the cabbage).  Fill jar another 1/3 and pack down again, repeat till jar is full, leaving 1 ½ inch head clearance at the top. Place your circle cut leaf on top and depending on juiciness add a little salt water to the top just till cabbage is covered. Screw on lid. Repeat with second jar.  Place jars on a towel (for possible leakage) on counter top, let sit at room temp (about 70 degrees) for 10 days. In the winter and colder temperatures it will take up to 2 weeks and in the summer when it’s warmer the time will be shorter. If you are not sure if it’s done just taste it, when it sours to your liking its done. Once it’s done it will continue to sour at a very slow rate in the refrigerator and as long as it is submerged in its liquid it can last up to 10 years!!! 

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