- 1 organic head of green cabbage (2 to 3 pounds)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 large organic carrot, shredded
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
- Thoroughly clean a wide-mouth mason jar, chopping knife, cutting board, large bowl, and your hands.
- Rinse the cabbage and carefully peel off the two outer layers. Lay these two cabbage leaves on top of your jar like a “lid.” Use a knife or clean scissors to cut the cabbage leaves about an inch wider than the jar all around. You’ll use these cabbage leaf rounds to hold the sauerkraut below the brining liquid in a later step.
- Quarter the head of cabbage and chop out the thick core from each quarter. Slice each cabbage quarter lengthwise into thin ribbons.
- Put each handful of cabbage you cut into a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt. Add salt as you go to help keep the cabbage crisp. In the end, you want to have added between 1 and 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Use your hands to massage the cabbage with the salt for 5 to 10 minutes, until it becomes watery and limp.
- Add the shredded carrot and caraway seeds to the cabbage and mix with your hands to combine.
- Take handfuls of the cabbage mixture and press them into the bottom of the mason jar, packing them tight with each handful so the liquid (created by salting and massaging in step 5) rises to the top over the cabbage.
- Take the cabbage rounds you cut in step 2 and press them into the jar so they hold the cabbage under the liquid.
- Wipe the jar mouth clean and cover it with a cloth, cheesecloth, or paper towel and secure in place with a rubber band or twine. This allows air into the jar but prevents insects from getting in.
- Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage leaves to keep the cabbage packed under the liquid as it ferments and rises. If needed, you can add more brining liquid by mixing filtered water with a bit of salt (1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup filtered water).
- Allow the sauerkraut to ferment at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3 to 10 days, checking daily to make sure the cabbage is not floating above the liquid. Taste every few days until the desired taste is achieved.
- The sauerkraut will keep in the sealed jar in the refrigerator for at least 2 months.
“Gut health” is a wellness buzzword lately—hitting the headlines of not only all the popular health blogs, but also the mainstream media and medical journals.
That’s because the trillions of microscopic “bugs” that live in your gut are manning the control panel for most of your bodily functions. In fact, 9 out of 10 cells in and on your body right now are made of these little buggers.
This is great news!
Why? Because you can change the bacterial composition of your gut microbiome – and your overall health – with a few simple changes.
By amping up your good gut bacteria, you can get leaner, boost your immune system, feel more energized, sleep better, and regain your vitality.
Not only that, but research shows that healing your gut microbiome can help heal chronic disease like type 2 diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorders, eczema, allergies, depression, alzheimer’s, and chronic fatigue.
So, how do you heal your gut and flip the balance to healthy bacteria? It’s actually pretty simple:
- Cut food toxins out of your diet (including gluten, processed grains, sugar, artificial food additives)
- Reduce antibiotic usage as much as possible
- Take steps to reduce stress
- Eat healthy fibrous foods
- Eat more probiotic foods like kefir and yogurt, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, and/or supplement with a high-quality probiotic
The Standard American Diet is chock full of breads, pasta, processed food products, and plenty of sugar. This overconsumption of pseudo-food works to break down the gut lining (causing leaky gut), which leads to inflammation and many permutations of autoimmune disorders.
Antibiotics are designed to wipe out everything—killing your infection, but also killing the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Even short-term antibiotic usage can wipe out whole strains of healthy bacteria which can take years to recolonize. If you need to use an antibiotic, it’s doubly important to pay attention to your gut health.
(Remember: Factory farmers give antibiotics to their animals to fatten them on purpose!)
Once you’ve jammed through the four steps above, focus on getting healthy prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet (think raw veggies, fermented veggies, and whole fruits). That way, the good gut bacteria will grow and flourish.Fermented foods are excellent for restoring gut health, and this sauerkraut makes it easy. Click To Tweet
The coolest thing about making your own sauerkraut is that you can alter the flavor by adding herbs and spices—so you could go Italian with some basil and garlic, or spice it up with jalapenos and cumin. Eat it alone or pair it with a nice piece of roast beef or fresh organic sausage.
So good, and your microbiome will thank you for it!
Seriously, it’s that simple. What other food makes itself on the counter while you just go about your business? (Okay, maybe bone broth in the crock pot, but other than that.)
After you’ve made your own sauerkraut a few times, you’ll be able to do it blindfolded—and you’ll never eat it out of a can again.Toss a bit of homemade sauerkraut on the plate with each meal and see how great you start to feel. Click To Tweet
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Believe it or not, about 7 pounds of your total body weight is composed of bacteria that live in your intestines.
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Have you tried making your homemade sauerkraut yet? Comment below to let us know what you think!
Jacki Rockafellow says
I bought the book and I am trying to follow the plan. But I am having a hard time trying to buy a lot of the organic/grass-fed/wild caught, etc. because of the so much higher price. I am retired with an income of under $800 a month! I have food stamps but they don’t go far. Your plan makes so much sense to me and it has really opened my eyes. Thanks.
Waay too much salt. I NEVER use salt. How can this be good for you I dont get it
Chris Johnson says
It makes a quart or so of saquerkraut. It’s probably gonna take you weeks to eat it all and probably half or better of the salt is in the juice you’re probably not going to drink😂
salt is good for you.neccessary.just buy the good stuff with lots of minerals.I eat loads.
Gabrielle Livingstone says
I I eat raw sauerkraut every other day. I love it and had it since I was a child. But in my 40, 50 and 60 I lived in Australia and forgot all about my German upbringing had a gastric band and had diverticulitis which resulted in having my sigmoid colon partly removed. which resulted in 5 years of diarrhea, which I could not stop. My body started to crave sauerkraut, so I eat sauerkraut (1 Pound) nearly everyday during the whole day, and my problems have been reduced to every two to three days .. Keeping it up!!!
This is absolutely one of the most bewitching things I have ever eaten. I start grazing on it moments after the salt starts to break it down, and I’ve eaten half the batch before it’s actually sauerkraut. Much love.
Great post. Sauerkraut is a traditional dish in my home country and i miss it badly where i am now. It is high in vitamin C + K and just tastes delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Can the old brine be used for the next batch?
Julie Saldana says
One of the better ways for you to be healthy is to depend on the absorption of nutrients from the intestines. It’s great when you can improve bowel function through simple and safe way from Sauerkraut dish. Very useful blog posts, thanks for sharing.
I cook sauerkraut the old polish way. Burn the onions to make the kraut brownish and add spices but simmer on the stove for a long time to cook it soft. Is it still good f
or the gut flora?
You will be killing the microbes on the cabbage by cooking. You want to let it ferment for gut benefit