Here are some pickling products to make your life much easier (I own all of the Canadian version products so I can vouch for em!):
1 L jar set (32 oz)- grab it at any home hardware or Canadian tire or pretty much any hardware store. Or amazon. I’m using wide mouth jars
extra pickling lids
glass weights and squisher set – if you buy wide mouth jars make sure you get the lids for wide jars.
food processor. You can buy a bigger one if you have the money/ space too!
Now technically all you need are the jars, and I’ll explain how to use just them, but then they have to be burped (opened) every day to let gas out… and if you don’t use the glass weights on top of the kraut, the chance of mold growth is higher. I say buy the stuff! I had a couple of moldy jars without all the fancy pickling things.
1. Buy a couple of red cabbages. (I react very badly to green cabbage – no idea why – they also showed up on both my parents IgG tests and my husbands but red cabbage did not.)
2. Peel off the first layer of leaves so the cabbage looks clean.
3. Cut in quarters (put the stem on the bottom and cut in half that way)
4. Cut out the core
5. If you do not have a food processor:
- Cut just over a cm slices
- Cut the slices in the other direction
5. If you do have a food processor (I highly recommend buying one):
- Cut wedge shapes out of the quarter pieces. Cut the wedge towards where the stem was.
- Stick a wedge into your food processor and chop it up!
6. Put the cabbage into a bowl (it’s actually easier to put it into something with a flat bottom so you don’t spill it everywhere…)
7. Add a tablespoon of salt per cabbage and sprinkle it around
8. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so to let the salt soak in.
9. Crush it until it starts letting some juices out. Or get someone else to crush it for you 🙂
10. Stuff it into 1L jars. Press down with something. If you have the pickling squisher, that works really well. It should be pressed down hard enough to release some juice. Fill it to the line where it starts to curve. If the juice doesn’t go above the sauerkraut don’t worry about it for now.
11. Put your glass weights on top of the cabbage
12. Put pickling lids on and put ’em somewhere dark. The colder it is the longer the fermentation will take.
12. Wait 4 weeks and enjoy!
You can eat it sooner than 4 weeks, it’ll just be less sauerkraut-y. This is delicious. I would at a whole jar if I could. See this blog post on probiotics (not everyone can handle them right away!)
Problems that can arise:
- my first jar was excellent, the next two got moldy, the next two were excellent. It takes practice. Mold won’t grow where there’s no air, so the cabbage juice should be covering the cabbage. Putting the glass weights on the cabbage helps it stay below the water/juice. I ran out of glass weights so I’m using olive jar lids for a couple of my jars… we’ll see how that goes.
- If the juice hasn’t risen above the cabbage 24 hours later, add a tiny bit of filtered water and a pinch of salt.
Comment with any questions! And be sure to read the probiotics post!