Updated: Apr 23, 2018
1-2 tbsp. salt (start with one, then salt to taste)
1 (~3 lb) cabbage
clean glass jar(s) (with no soap residue-even good bacteria doesn't like soap)
cloth or paper towel and rubber-band (to cover)
weight - you can use a boiled/sterilized rock or a smaller jar that fits inside with rocks in it.
Cut cabbage into thin slices saving one or two leaves to cover kraut with. Add to bowl with 1 tbps salt. Massage and taste, add salt until you like the taste. It will have the same saltiness when finished. Keep massaging until a pool of liquid has formed in bottom of bowl and cabbage feels much softer. Add to jar and tamp with tamper or fist as you go to squeeze out air pockets. Leave 1 inch space below the curve of the jar (The more headroom your leave in your jar, the easier it is to manage!) Put a cabbage leaf over the packed sauerkraut, then your weight. The goal is to make sure none of the little pieces of kraut come up to the surface. They must stay under the brine. That is really the only rule.
You can leave them ferment 1-4 weeks. The longer, the more vinegar like they will taste.
You must refrigerate your kraut once it is ready. It is usually good for 6 months if made properly.
Purple cabbage makes it look beautiful!
Add your Sauerkraut to soups, salads, eggs, meats, or just eat a bowl of it. It is incredibly addicting.
Always use a clean utensil to get your finished kraut out of the jar, bacteria can throw off the balance of the ferments.
Fermented Sauerkraut is PACKED with beneficial bacteria (probiotics). It is something I try to get my family to eat on a daily basis (and more often if we're sick). But it isn't hard! My 2 year old can't get enough of it and requests it on her eggs, her soup, and right out of the jar.
This is NOT the same thing as vinegar based kraut...you will not find much nutrition there.