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I enjoy eating homemade sauerkraut. For years I thought making sauerkraut was a complicated process using special equipment but that’s not true. It’s easy and likely everything needed to make it is on-hand.

Sauerkraut supplies

  • cabbage
  • sea salt

Equipment

  • wide-mouth jar
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • measuring spoon
  • scale
  • large stainless-steel bowl
  • mortar for pounding
  • sealed bag to cover jar

1 t salt = 1 pound cabbage

Remove defective or dirty leaves from cabbage.

Cut core from cabbage with a sharp knife.

Weigh cabbage.

1. Weigh cabbage

1. Weigh cabbage.

Using equation of 1 t salt for each pound of cabbage, measure needed salt; set aside.

2. Measure 1 t salt per pound cabbage.

2. Measure 1 t salt per pound cabbage.

Cut cabbage into fine shreds, trying to cut it very thin.

3. Cut cabbage into fine shreds.

3. Cut cabbage into fine shreds.

Place shredded cabbage in large mixing bowl; sprinkle with salt.

Let rest 10 minutes; it will begin to release juice.

Place several cups cabbage in jar.

I use a potato masher or mortar to pound mine; they both work well.

4. Use potato masher or mortar to pound cabbage.

4. Use potato masher or mortar to pound cabbage.

Pound cabbage down until packed in jar bottom and brine covers cabbage.

5. Juice from cabbage should cover cabbage.

5. Juice from cabbage should cover cabbage.

Add more cabbage; continue to pack jar.

6. Continue to add cabbage to jar.

6. Continue to add cabbage to jar.

Leave about 1.5 inches of head space at top of jar.

Juice from cabbage should cover cabbage.

If not enough brine because cabbage was dry, add a few t water.

Fill bag with water; add 1 T salt.

Seal and place in jar to provide airtight seal.

7. Use bag of water and salt to seal jar.

7. Use bag of water and salt to seal jar.

Set jar on plate to catch spills.

Keep jar at room temperature, 68 to 72 degrees.

Check jar regularly.

If film yeasts or molds form on surface, skim off.

In three to four weeks the sauerkraut will be ready.

Taste sauerkraut periodically.

When ready, cabbage will have softened, salty taste will have diminished and it will taste like … sauerkraut!

8. Sauerkraut is ready to eat.

8. Sauerkraut is ready to eat.

Note: canning or pickling salt can be used instead of sea salt. Do not use iodized salt; it will prevent bacterial fermentation.

Cherlyn Beachy lives near St. Ansgar in northeast Iowa with her husband, Mervin, and their son and daughter. They have a large garden and raise their own chickens, beef, pork and eggs. She’s a stay-at-home mom who loves to cook and enjoys photography. “I cook like many of you – no special equipment, no exotic ingredients and no one else to wash the dishes,” she says. “I’m always on the lookout for tasty easy-to-prepare seasonal food.”

This article originally ran on agupdate.com.

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