This recipe was taken from my book A Closer Look At Nutrition & Wellness – Handbook of Digestive Health for Well-being
Sterilized glass bowl (a crock pot will do) and a plate that fits inside of it to weigh down the cabbage, and a weight such as a gallon water jug to sit on the plate that will press it down.
1 medium head of cabbage (purple, green, or ½ head of each), thinly sliced or shredded (a food processor works fine)
2 Tbs. unrefined sea salt (sea salt, Celtic salt, Real salt, or Himalayan salt)
- Layer and salt the cabbage slices in the glass bowl.
- Press the cabbage down with your fingers as much as possible in order to get the culturing process started. You will see liquid being drawn out of the leaves. Do this for a couple minutes. Then arrange the whole leaves of cabbage over the top and make sure it is totally covered.
- Next put the plate and some kind of weight on top of the cabbage in order to draw the water out and allow the fermenting process to happen.
Over the first 24 hours, check to make sure that the water level rises to just above the cabbage. If after 24 hours there isn’t enough water to completely cover the cabbage, mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt with 1 cup of water and use this brine to fill in the water line to just above the level of the cabbage.
Sauerkraut will take anywhere from 3 days to a week (or more) depending on the temperature of your kitchen for the ferment to reach the desired tangy flavor. Check it once daily to see how it’s doing. When it reaches the desired flavor at least after 3 days, you can let it ferment further by checking once a day, or finish the process.
Remove the grayish mold that forms over the very top (this is normal but try to remove most of it before eating). Then put your finished product in a glass jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for months. Enjoy as a side dish, on sandwiches, in salads, or on its own as a snack.
Next time, you can use a little of your homemade sauerkraut, stirred in with the fresh cabbage in Step 1 after sprinkling with the salt. This will act as a starter for the fermentation process to get things moving along more quickly.