- 1 head of Green Cabbage
- 2 Carrots
- see measurement in step 2 Sea Salt
- 1 Bay Leaf
3-ingredient, vibrant and naturally fermented homemade sauerkraut.
As someone who grew up in Germany, sauerkraut was always in our pantry.
The word sauerkraut means sour cabbage!
Even though this is a 3-ingredient recipe, you only need two ingredients to make sauerkraut – cabbage and salt.
I love adding color and flavor to my sauerkraut, which is why I am adding carrot. Other great additions are apple, ginger, caraway seeds, peppercorns, dill, or bay leaf.
Sauerkraut is a fermented food that produces a sour outcome, hence the name “sauer”.
Through the salt, the vegetable’s liquids, good bacteria in the air and time, sauerkraut is rich in beneficial bacteria.
As the sauerkraut created good bacteria and gases, the jar needs to be “burped” every so often.
This simply means opening up the lid and allowing some of those gases to escape. Otherwise, you might have a small cabbage bomb on your hands!
Sauerkraut is particularly rich in lactobacillus bacteria which can also be found in foods like kefir, sour pickles, and yogurt.
These beneficial bacteria help support gut health and immune system function.
They also help to enhance your body’s ability to manufacture and absorb key nutrients.
Further, they can also help to support your immune system in cases of food borne illness or digestive distress.
Now if that’s not reason enough to start making your own, homemade sauerkraut and adding it to anything you eat, I don’t know what!
Want to learn more or make other fermented foods? Kimchi is also a great alternative with added flavor and spice!
Prep & Shred The Cabbage and Carrots
Wash the head of cabbage, then remove any limp outer layers. Save some of the outer layers as you will need them later on.
Cut the head of cabbage in half, then slice each half into 4-6 wedges.
If you are using a food processor to shred the cabbage, cut the wedges so they will fit into the food processor's feeding tube.
Wash, peel and cut the carrots in half. Discard the ends.
You can either thinly slice the cabbage with a large knife, or use the thin slicer attachment of the food processor.
Use the fine shredder attachment of the food processor for the carrot.
Measure & Salt
Get the biggest bowl you own.
It's best to use a kitchen scale to measure the weight of your shredded vegetables in order to know how much salt to add.
For every 800 grams of shredded vegetables, use 20 grams of salt, that's about 1 heaping Tablespoon of sea salt.
You'll want to use 2-3% salt by weight of the shredded vegetables. Coarse, unrefined sea salt is best for fermentation.
If you do not own a kitchen scale and are using a large head of cabbage and 2 large carrots, use 1 flat Tablespoon (or 2 teaspoons) of sea salt. It's best to use a little less so it does not turn out salty.
Toss & Squeeze
Add To A Glass Jar
Be sure to use a clean glass jar.
It's best to sterilize the jar first by adding it to a large pot of gentle simmering water for 5 minutes then allow to dry completely.
Add the sauerkraut to your jar and use your fist or a wooden spoon on push it down so all of the liquid rises to the top.
Fill the jar but leave a few inches of room at the top.
Be sure to add all of the vegetable liquid as well.
You can now add the optional bay leaf as well.
Add Cabbage Leaves
Allow To Ferment & Store
Seal the jar and allow it to ferment at room temperature for 7-10 days or even up to 1 month.
If you live in a warm climate, fermentation will occur much faster.
Keep the sauerkraut in a cool and dry place in your kitchen and away from direct sunlight.
Be sure to "burp" the sauerkraut by opening the jar lid once a day (or every other day if it's below 60°F).
After 4-7 days, try the sauerkraut and see if you like the taste.
Once it has fermented properly and it has reached your desired sour taste, discard the cabbage leaves and move the sauerkraut to the refrigerator.
Sauerkraut can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 6 months!
To keep the sauerkraut fresh, be sure to always use clean utensil.