How to Make Sauerkraut From Scratch: Step by Step Guide to Fermenting Cabbage

Homemade Sauerkraut -

Here is a quick and easy guide to making your own sauerkraut. Why ferment foods? I briefly explain why here. For ingredients, all you will need is organic cabbage and sea salt.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

I use about 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt per every 3 pounds or so of cabbage.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

Clean up your cabbage and shred it or grate it. Place the shredded cabbage in bowls and toss in some sea salt.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

Then begin to layer your cabbage into your crock, alternating between layering the cabbage and sprinkling it with sea salt.  Firmly pack the cabbage into the crock using some elbow grease. You can add additional veggies to your cabbage at this point as well, such as carrots, jalapenos, onions or garlic.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

I was able to fit both of my cabbages in this gallon sized crock. The salt should pull water out from the cabbage which will create the brine that your cabbage needs to be submerged in.  The older your cabbage is, the less water that will be pulled from the shreds.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

Cover your cabbage with a lid or weight to keep the cabbage under the brine level. I’ve used jars full of water, clean rocks and other creative items to weigh down my lids. Just make sure whatever you use is sanitized.

Homemade Sauerkraut -

If your brine does not rise above the cabbage, dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt in one cup of filtered water and add it to the crock.  Cover the crock with cheesecloth, a pillowcase or any other breathable wrap. Store in a cool, dry place and check on your sauerkraut on a daily basis to make sure no mold has grown or bugs have found there way in. You also want to make sure the brine has not evaporated.

Taste test every week or so until you have reached your desired taste.  I have had sauerkraut ready in two weeks and have left some fermenting as long as five weeks. Once it is complete, transfer the kraut into glass jars and keep it in the fridge!

How to make homemade sauerkraut -

Wondering about my beautiful crock? Most people ask me where they can find one for themselves. I bought mine from Jeremy Ogusky, a potter out in Boston. It is a handmade gallon size crock, which initially people think is too small, but I have found it to be just the right size. I refer to it as “the gem of my kitchen”. It’s not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing. See more of his crocks, recipes and portfolio here.



How to Make Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt  -

As most people know, yogurt contains healthy bacteria called probiotics aka “Good Belly Bacteria”. Store bought yogurt has the bacteria, but also contains many other additives and preservatives that can have a counter-effect on the probiotics. Making yogurt at home is not only cost effective, but also much healthier for you. Yogurt in general is a great source of valuable proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Since my husband suffers from ulcerative colitis, we decided to start making homemade yogurt about four years ago. There is a theory that the additional good-belly bacteria from yogurt can help balance out the bad bacteria in his digestive tract, therefore making his symptoms less severe.

This is the yogurt maker we use. We purchased it off of Amazon for around $90 so $49.95 seems like a great price. It has worked great for us over the years and we would recommend it to anyone looking to make yogurt at home.

Yogurt starter: We chose a yogurt starter that contains the following bacteria: lactobacillus bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus acidophilus. These are the best bacteria for digestive issues (Crohn’s, IBS, UC).

To make the yogurt, we simply follow the instructions on the Yogourmet starter packet and we have never been disappointed with the end result. We make two quarts at a time, so we use two yogurt starter packets. The following directions are for one quart and one packet.

1. Heat one quart of milk to 108 degrees F. Or bring to boiling point and cool down to 108 degrees F. We always use organic whole milk. The whole milk gives the yogurt a little richer consistency.
Homemade Yogurt - Heating Milk -
2. Dissolve 5g of starter with a small quantity of lukewarm milk in a cup, then pour back into the quart of milk. Mix well.

Mixing the starter with a bit of lukewarm milk

Mixing the starter with a bit of lukewarm milk

3. Incubate 4 to 4 ½ hours, or until the desired firmness.
We incubate for 24hrs since at that point almost all of the lactose is eaten by the bacteria, which makes it easier to digest. However, incubating for 24hrs makes the yogurt a bit more tart.

4. Refrigerate to stop incubation.

We like to enjoy our yogurt with a little honey to sweeten it up or vanilla for some added flavor. We also put in fresh fruit and granola!

Bon Appétit!

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