Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making Sauerkraut is So Easy . . .

Sauerkraut - either you love it or hate it, but either way, it is jam packed with probiotics, as are all fermented foods, and the news is full of reports on how good they are for us. Sauerkraut is also packed with Vitamin C. Here is an easy method to make it . . . No cooking is required . . . 

Here's what you need:
           Salt - Kosher or Canning salt ONLY - do NOT use       
           table salt to can anything!

That's it . . . and some canning jars of course with new canning lids.

Wash jars thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Start with fresh cabbage and shred it as you would for Cole slaw. 

Next, fill the jars with cabbage and pack it down tightly.

Add 1 level teaspoon of coarse Kosher or canning salt per quart or 1/2 level teaspoon for pint jars.

Fill the jar, leaving a little headspace, with hot tap water.

Using a dinner knife, release any air bubbles from the liquid in the jars by inserting them in various places around the jar. Add a little more water if needed to just cover the cabbage.

Wipe the top of the jars and top with a new lid and put on the ring. Put the ring on a little tight and then turn it back at least a half a turn. Place the jars OUTDOORS in a safe place on layers of newspapers. As the kraut begins to 'work', it will seep juice out of the jars. It does not smell very good during this fermenting stage so you do not want it to be inside your home. Leave it for two full weeks. Mark it on the calendar so that you don't forget it or try to seal it too soon.

When the two weeks are up, bring the jars inside, remove the rings and lids, wiping the top of the jar and rinsing the lids to make sure they have nothing on them that will prevent a good seal. Replace the lids and rings and tighten as tight as you can by hand. Date the top of the lids, store in a cool, dry place and enjoy for the next couple of years.

If any of you are fortunate enough to have old glass mayonnaise type jars, you can use them for this and save your good canning jars for processing in a canner.

My family has made sauerkraut using this method for many generations . . .


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