An easy way to make homemade sauerkraut that’s not only delicious but a powerful and “magic medicine” for improved gut health due to the healing benefits of “real food” probiotics and fermentation!
One of my biggest life goals, realized! Homemade sauerkraut! This is pretty legendary and I can’t believe I finally nailed it! I love my sauerkraut and have always wanted to make my own. I eat so much of it, it only seemed “fair”. Ever since I started eating sauerkraut and fermented foods. 1.5 to 2 years ago, I have seen major improvements with my temperamental gut health. Not only do I have Celiac Disease and other food allergies, but severe reflux, IBS, and many other “unspecified” digestive disorders that rule my life. Any little thing I can do to keep my tummy as happy as possible, I “try” to do. I’ve always taken a probiotic supplement for as long as I can remember, but getting probiotics from food is even better and more reliable.
If something as easy and delicious as eating sauerkraut, every day, can help, I’m ALL in! Fermentation not only preserves foods but increases nutritional content, balances stomach acid, adds probiotics (good bacteria for you microbiome), and makes them easier to digest. The probiotics (active cultures) that develop during fermentation from the lactic acid improve the immune system and entire digestive tract. Essentially helping to heal the gut from common ailments or disorders. That’s why I call sauerkraut my “magic medicine”. It reduces inflammation and pain in the gut from all those disorders too. “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”? Well, sauerkraut will help with that “irritation”. The destroyed villa in the small intestines of Celiac patients? Fermented foods can start to soothe and heal that. Those are just a few examples, but the benefits of fermented foods and the probiotics they provide to the gut can’t be ignored.
Sauerkraut isn’t the only “magic medicine” though. The very many delicious options include:
Any Pickled Vegetable
Yogurt (use dairy-free like coconut or almond)
Kefir (use dairy-free like coconut or even water kefir)
Miso (use brown rice or chickpea for soy-free)
Natto (sadly no soy-free option)
Tempeh (use hemp tempeh for soy-free)
Lassi (Indian yogurt drink, use dairy-free version)
Other fermented condiments like salsa, chutney, etc.)
(Bubbies is my go-to favorite brand for fermented store-bought products!)
You all know I DO NOT cook with salt. You will never see a recipe with “salt” listed in the ingredients. So you may have imagined that when I started eating these salty fermented foods, my taste buds took a bit of adjusting, but they adjusted pretty fast! Another thing you must keep in mind is that if you’re new to eating fermented foods like sauerkraut specifically, you’ll want to start slowly. A few tablespoons a day and work from there. I make sure I eat about 2 servings of fermented foods a day.
Now, the secret to easy at-home fermentation, pickling, even kombucha brewing? The Mortier Pilon fermentation crocks! The crock is specialized designed for perfect anaerobic fermenting; just the right airflow! Fermentation is all about experimenting, so my first batch (my first time ever!) was a sad fail. Not enough cabbage, not enough salt, and it was the week we had no AC in the house during a heatwave. I was so determined to get this right, though! I bought a ton of cabbage this time (you need so much more than you think), used way more salt, filtered water, made sure everything was completely sanitized and crossed my fingers! Making sauerkraut is a workout, by the way! You have to really get down and dirty with your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage to release the natural liquids. (It’s worth it, don’t worry!) Now let’s get those crocks ready and make some homemade sauerkraut!
- Make sure you have a sanitized work area, bowls, the crock, and hands!
- Rinse the cabbage and remove outer leaves. Chop the cabbage as thinly as you can (mine was not very thin, I sliced it very roughly. It's all up to you)
- In a very large bowl (or in batches), begin to massage the cabbage and salt. This may take awhile, but you want the waters to start to release from the cabbage and for the cabbage to get soft and losses its "volume".
- As you get this going, place the massaged cabbage into the fermentation crock and pack it down as best you can.
- Once you pack in all the cabbage, place the weight on top of the cabbage, cover with the lids, and let it sit for 24 hours. You can continue to push it down and massage it during the time every so often.
- After 24 hours, if needed, add some filtered water mixed with more salt if the cabbage is not fully submerged by liquid. From there, let it sit for at least 7-10 days.*
- Once the sauerkraut has reached the desired degree of fermentation, you can place the sauerkraut in sanitized mason jars and store in the fridge for months!
1. If during the 7 days the crock begins to "overflow", don't worry! That's what should be happening as the gasses build up and fermentation takes place. This will go down by itself. The Mortier Pilon crock has a ridge that catches most of this liquid at the top.
2. If you see mold start to grow, STOP! You did something wrong and was most likely due to contamination or not enough water/salt to keep the cabbage covered.
This is where things get really exciting for YOU! Mortier Pilon is kind enough to offer my readers a chance to win their own fermentation crock! If you’ve always wanted to get into home-fermentation and have been a bit timid (like I was), the crock basically “holds your hand” through the process so you’re more likely to have success! The giveaway will run for 2 weeks (until 9/21) and I’ll contact the winner directly! (Open worldwide!)
So tell me:
+ What would you make in the fermentation crock first?
+ Have you ever made your own sauerkraut?
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