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HOW TO MAKE SAUERKRAUT < a no-recipe, recipe >

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Follow us in our process of making sauerkraut..

First chop the cabbage and veggies

When Brian makes our sauerkraut the result is a luxurious pickled masterpiece with thinly shaven, long strands of cabbage. When I do it, it's chunky and a bit frantic.. lol who cares, unless you care. Chop the veggies thin enough to extract flavour but we can't all be

I like to separate my cabbage into bowls so then I can make some jars flavoured. So in this case I made batches of:

  • Regular sauerkraut with just cabbage, cracked pepper

  • Cabbage, parsnip, onion, caraway, cracked pepper

  • Cabbage, jalapeno, apple, coriander and cracked pepper

No particular reason for those flavour combinations, I was just using the foods going bad in our fridge and then matched them up accordingly, and added some corresponding spice.

Mix it up

Once all the veggies are chopped in their bowls, give them A GENEROUS salting. Don't know how much? Salt it, mix it and then taste it, and remember that the saltiness gets enhanced with acidity, but also remember that salt is the major reason why this product is going to be preserved and not go moldy, so it's very important to have enough.

I use sea salt and pink himalayan salt. Salt here is used to extract the juices and PRESERVE the freshness of the food, it is a traditional technique and works very well to even preserve vitamin C content.

Next, add a drizzle of pickling vinegar. You can adjust this at the end if you need more, but with enough salt and hand power you should be able to extract most of the water out of the veggies. Option to add apple cider vinegar, just be aware of its flavour profile.


Choose your salt wisely. A mineral dense salt, versus just table salt, will balance sodium with other minerals. To omit salt from this recipe and instead use more vinegar, it is not optimal because the final product will not yield the best enzymatic and bacteria outcome. There are many other foods (like processed foods & take-out foods) to eliminate or reduce in the diet, versus homemade pickled veggies to reduce sodium consumption.

Make a mess and pound it out.

This is my favourite part. I purposely make a giant mess because it's just fun to sometimes! Remember when I made sauerkraut in your kitchen Mum? (I almost became homeless that weekend...) Mess aside, it is relieving to literally beat the juice out of something that just took up like 15 minutes of your life chopping -OM- very stress relieving!

Push, squeeze, mash and stir the ingredients. Once you start to feel the juice extract and the fibres softening, wash your hands and take a break for 15 minutes. Here I usually get my jars ready and clean up to allow the salt to absorb into the veggies.


Once the mix has had time to rest, give it another good pounding to gather a bunch of juice at the bottom of the pot. This is the liquid you will use to fully submerge the product as it ferments.


Load up the jars, pressing the veggies down to the bottom, and you will see liquid come to the top. Fill the jars and make sure there is enough liquid to submerge the tops of the veggies- always! ..or risk mold.

Leave a little bit of space at the top of the jar, like 1 inch or so for air expansion, and then seal them tight.

I recommend only using jars that have a double latch, so mason jars or jars made for fermenting, since this allows for air expansion via fermentation gas bubbles.

Label & date, and then place them in a cool, dark place. I put mine in the bottom cupboard of my kitchen with some long lost appliances and stale chips.

Visit them

Check on the jars after one week to ensure they are not going to explode (this can happen with a temperature fluctuation or if you pack them too tightly), if so burp them, a.k.a allow some air to escape the jar. This is a good time to check on how they are doing too: maybe use a clean fork to try a bit, see if you mastered your intended flavour and how much longer they need to reach the crunch you want? You can also adjust things here too. I have literally dumped a whole jar back into a bowl to adjust spices, realizing I totally messed up.. but I am sure you did great! It's really not that hard!! :)

Store and eat

Eventually you will see bubbles. It is at this point I put the jars into long-term cold storage- such as the fridge or cellar, to halt the fermentation process.

The best part about fermented veggies is they basically last forever! Even once opened in the fridge they last for many months as long as you always use a clean utensil when serving them from the jar.

I hope you enjoy!



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