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

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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 - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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

Homemade Sauerkraut - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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 - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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 - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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 - www.MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

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 - www.minnesotafromscratch.wordpress.com

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.

 

 

Homemade Kimchee/Kimchi with Scrambled Eggs – Why Eat Fermented Foods?

Homemade Kimchi with eggs -  MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Homemade Kimchee is one of the most satisfying things I have made. It is something that I have loved since I was a toddler thanks to the expanded tastes of my elders.  It is and always has been one of my favorite things to eat and last fall my friend and I finally made it.  Our first batch turned out so hot that no one could eat it.  Talk about a huge disappointment! We both love spicy food but it unfortunately turned out to be inedible to us and everyone we tried to pawn it off on.  But after a couple of alterations to the recipe, our second batch turned out great!

I have purchased many brands of Kimchee sold at local grocery stores and one brand in particular is out of this world delicious. Unfortunately, I recently learned that does not have the “good belly bacteria” in it that I thought it did and that’s why it’s even more of a reason to make it homemade. Fermented foods provide all sorts of benefits to our health: they are packed with good-belly-bacteria (lactobacilli) that promote healthy functioning of the intestinal tract , they have tons of minerals and essential vitamins ( including A and C – antioxidants) and are said to boost your immune system.

Kimchee is also very low-calorie and VERY flavorful so I can eat a ton and feel satisfied and not guilty! I love to mix it with brown rice for a quick snack,  have it over eggs, or eat it as is. My grandpa likes to put it on his sandwiches and I have heard of it put on pizza as well. It’s frickin amazing no matter how you eat it.

Take care, Stephanie

Have you ever made or eaten Kimchee? Did you like your experience?

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