One of the first foods I learned how to ferment was sauerkraut. I read that fermented sauerkraut is one of the best fermented foods you can eat because it is very easy to digest and contains probiotics which are very beneficial and essential to feed your gut flora.
When I first started making fermented sauerkraut, I got a quart size mason jar, watched some videos on YouTube and bam! Four days later I had sauerkraut! I thought, wow, how easy is this! I was buying sauerkraut at Whole Foods for about $8 a bag and now I could make it myself for about $1! You can’t beat that! My second batch went well, my third batch went well. My fourth batch didn’t go so well. My fourth batch got moldy, and the sauerkraut got mushy. I had to throw the whole batch out. After that I was totally discouraged from making sauerkraut.
About six months later I read about fermenting in Fido jars. You see, fermenting sauerkraut is an anaerobic process, meaning it ferments without air. The problem I was having using the mason jar was that I couldn’t get the cabbage to stay below the level of the liquid and so it was coming in contact with the air and spoiling. The beauty of the Fido jar is the rubber seal and wire lid. It allows gas to escape without letting air in. So now i’m back to fermenting sauerkraut on a regular basis and my gut bacteria could be happier!
Some important things to remember are to use fresh, organic cabbage. Preferably from your local farmers market. The cabbage you get from a market might be organic but you have no idea when it was picked, how long it’s been sitting in a warehouse somewhere and how long it had to travel before it got to your market. The cabbage from your local farmers market has usually been picked within a couple days.
Here’s a video I made showing how to make the sauerkraut. Lower on this page are written steps.
Make sure your hands and all your utensils are very clean. You don’t want to introduce any bad bacteria into your ferment.
Here is a list of links to the tools and ingredients I use in the video. These are my affiliate links, which means when you purchase through these links I get a small percentage which helps support what I do! 🙂
1 3/4 L Fido jar
1 large bowl
1 medium to large organic cabbage
1 Tbsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1 tsp Frontier organic caraway seeds (optional)
1-2 small organic carrots (optional)
Shun Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife (you can also use a cabbage grater)
Wide Mouth Glass Fermentation Weights and Vegetable Tamper
Steps for making wild fermented sauerkraut:
1. Take your cabbage head and cut it in half. remove the core from each half.
2. Finely chop the one half of the cabbage and remove any large thick pieces of cabbage.
3. Put the sliced half of the cabbage into your large bowl.
4. If you’re adding carrots, finely chop one carrot and put in the bowl.
5. Sprinkle in about 1/2 the Tablespoon of pink salt and save the other 1/2 Tbsp for later.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the other half of the cabbage.
7. Sprinkle in 1 tsp of caraway seeds.
8. With your vegetable tamper, pound down the cabbage until it starts looking wet. Then you can use your hands to squeeze the cabbage and mix everything together. Do this to release the moisture from the cabbage until you start seeing liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
9. Using a wooden spoon, scoop the cabbage mixture in the Fido jar compressing it as much as possible. Use the vegetable tamper to press it down and remove any air trapped in the mixture. You will start to see more liquid in the jar. The goal is to have all the cabbage sitting below the level of the liquid.
10. After you have all the cabbage in the jar (keep it below the shoulder of the jar), place your Pickle Pebble glass weight on top to keep it below the liquid surface. Close the lid and place the jar somewhere that won’t get direct sunlight. I put mine in a cupboard.
Check the jar everyday and use the vegetable tamper to pack the cabbage back down and to release any built up CO2 within the cabbage. Also, I usually put my jar in a small bowl just in case the liquid start to overflow. As the cabbage ferments it will release more liquid.
I let mine ferment for at least two weeks but no longer than four. Then I put it in the fridge and enjoy! Then it’s time to start the next batch so I have some always ready.