All you need are 2 ingredients; salt and cabbage, to make some delicious, gut-healthy sauerkraut! Here’s how.
My first experience with sauerkraut was after reading the book on Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD. I made it as a way to boost my gut health, and just loved how simple the process was.
If you’ve ever had sauerkraut from a tin, it definitely doesn’t do it justice. There’s nothing like the fresh, crisp, homemade version… you can’t beat it. Plus, it’s loaded with so much more probiotic goodness than the tinned varieties, as they often lose a lot of their cultures due to handling along the way.
Sauerkraut is simply fermented white and/or red cabbage that’s full of digestive enzymes, probiotic bacteria, vitamins and minerals. Eating it with meats may help improve digestion as it has a strong ability to stimulate stomach acid production.
It’s recommended by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to have a few tablespoons of sauerkraut 10-15 minutes before meals for those with low stomach acidity. For children, she recommends to initially start them on 1-3 tablespoons of the juice from the sauerkraut in their meals.
The simplest way you can make sauerkraut is just to combine cabbage and salt, which is how we begin this recipe.
Before we get started in learning how to make this probiotic sauerkraut – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
If you make this sauerkraut, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!
Salt is essential as it draws out the juice from the cabbage during kneading, plus it keeps unwanted bacteria at bay until the fermenting bacteria produce enough lactic acid to kill the pathogens.
- 1 medium-size red or green cabbage, finely grated or chopped
- 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp sea salt
- Sterilise equipment needed for fermenting the sauerkraut (i.e. jars, lids, spoons, etc.). To sterilise, pour boiling hot water over equipment, and dry completely. Let equipment come back to room temperature before adding ingredients.
- Add finely grated cabbage to a large mixing bowl and top with sea salt. Make sure to wash hands thoroughly beforehand, then massage the cabbage until you extract as much juice as possible; 10 minutes or more.
- Using a clean spoon, scoop the sauerkraut mixture into your sterilised jars and press down firmly to pack it in – there should be no air pockets in the mixture. If there isn’t enough liquid leftover from massaging the cabbage to completely cover, pour some filtered water over the cabbage until completely submerged.
- Leave about 2-3 cm (1 1/2 inches) of space at the top as the cabbage will expand during fermentation. Seal with a lid and set on the counter, out of direct sunlight. It will take around 1-2 weeks to ferment.
- Open your jars minimum once per day to release air. Press down on the kraut again with a sterilised spoon to ensure the veggies are completely covered in the liquid.
- The longer your sauerkraut ferments, the tangier it will become, so sample your kraut occasionally with a clean spoon to test and see if it’s reached the right flavour for you. Once finished, cover securely and store in the fridge. It should keep for at least 3-6 months.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Have you made sauerkraut, or other fermented veggie recipe before? How was it? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Campbell-McBride, Dr. Natasha, MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition). GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome. September 2004. Cambridge, United Kingdom. Medinform Publishing. pg. 196.
Minimalist Baker. How to Make Sauerkraut. Retrieved from https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-sauerkraut/
Hornby, Jane. (January 2016). How to make sauerkraut. BBC Good Food Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/simple-sauerkraut
Recipe: Homemade Sauerkraut. Cultures for Health. Retrieved from https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/natural-fermentation/sauerkraut/
Petre, Alina, MS, RD (NL). (March 12, 2020). 8 Surprising Benefits of Sauerkraut (Plus How to Make It). Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-sauerkraut