It has been years since I had homemade sauerkraut and I was really missing and craving it! I had been searching thrift stores, garage sales and antique malls for years for a large stone crock so that I could start making my own here at the cabin. I did find a few but they were too pricy at $50-$60 dollars per crock (in antique stores). Finally, just a few months ago, I found these two crocks at a thrift store in Edmonton. I paid $7.99 for the large one and $6.99 for the smaller one. Hooray! I was on my way to some homemade sauerkraut!
I did not grow cabbage this year so I had to buy the cabbage. For this batch I used green cabbage. Try to buy organic if you can as they are more flavorful. I thought three cabbages would fill the large crock but once they were pressed down they only filled the crock up to a third! Next time, I will use six cabbages per batch of sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut combines the health benefits offered by all cruciferous vegetables (a category which includes cauliflowers and brussel sprouts as well as cabbage) with the probiotic advantages derived from the fermentation process.
Cabbage offers a host of health benefits. It is high in vitamins A and C. Studies have shown the cruciferous vegetables can help lower cholesterol levels. Cabbage also provides a rich source of phytonutrient antioxidants. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies indicate it may help combat some cancers. However, this already helpful vegetable becomes a superfood when it is pickled.~Natural News
green cabbage (or the cabbage of your choice)
salt (I used sea salt but some recommend pickling salt)
Quarter the cabbages. Remove the tough outer leaves and inner core, then slice the cabbage very thinly with a sharp knife or with a mandolin.
Place the sliced cabbage into your stone crock and add one tablespoon of salt per head of cabbage. Mix thoroughly. If you like, you can leave the cabbage and salt to sit overnight before crushing, or you can crush right away. Crush the cabbage well with a wooden utensil or anything heavy and clean. You should notice a lot of juice being released by the cabbage.
Place a plate over the cabbage making sure that the plate is fully submerged under the juice. Weigh the plate down with something clean and heavy. Cover the crock with a clean, dry cloth to keep insects and dust out. The juice and cabbage will rise a bit as fermentation begins so be sure and leave ‘room to grow’.
Check the sauerkraut at least once a week and remove any mold that starts to form. (The mold is completely normal so do not be put off by it.) The sauerkraut will be ready by the fourth to sixth week, depending on how strong you prefer it. I harvested mine after four weeks.
Measure the sauerkraut into four-cup measures and freeze.
Three heads of cabbage yielded six four-cup measures.
There are many different recipes for sauerkraut and I look forward to experimenting with this healthy, tasty food!