Making your own fermented foods at home is much easier than it might sound, and sauerkraut is one of the easiest to start with if you're new to fermenting. You only need two ingredients, a clean jar, plus a little hard work and patience, and soon you'll have your own fermented sauerkraut, complete with beneficial microbes for your gut!
Half a cabbage (red or green)
1 tablespoon salt
Large glass jar with lid
Optional:1 tablespoon carraway seeds
Before you start:
Make sure all equipment and jars you're using for fermented foods are completely clean (and free from soap) - you don't want to grow the wrong kinds of bacteria! If mould forms while you're fermenting, throw the food out and start again, as it is not safe to consume. Fermenting times are approximate and depend on climate and room temperature. If you live in a cool climate, fermenting may take a little longer.
Slice cabbage thinly with a sharp knife or mandolin, saving a few outer leaves to use as a cover for the sauerkraut.
Place cabbage in a large bowl together with salt (and carraway seeds, if using). If you're using red cabbage you may want to put on gloves to avoid staining your hands.
Massage cabbage for around 10 minutes, until it reduces in size and liquid has collected in the
bottom of the bowl.
When there's enough liquid to almost cover the cabbage, transfer cabbage and liquid to a clean glass jar. Cover with the saved outer leaves and press down until liquid is completely covering the cabbage (this helps stop mould growing!).
Cover the jar with a lid, and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
Open the jar each day to release any gas.
Check your sauerkraut after about 4 days (fermenting usually takes between 3-7 days). Once you're happy with the taste, place it in the fridge where it will keep for 2-3 months.