Homemade Sauerkraut for Dummies

If you have found yourself here, consider yourself a Dummy. Now, don't take umbrage. In fact, if you don't know you're a Dummy, stop reading this right now. It's not for you!

We've posted a Sauerkraut recipe before, but it occurs to us that for the uninitiated that version — as wonderfully simple as Cooky Cat can make it — may still be too complicated.

We understand the intimidation of the unknown. Fondly remembering our first attempt at the Omelet. Kimchi. Sex. (That last one: Baby, really, I had no idea.)

Also, if you are venturing into this fermented food territory for the first time, you don't want to make — what we say in the feline world — "a litter box full".

So now that you are sufficiently amused, here's something to amuse your bouche.

1 Quart Sauerkraut Recipe

— 5 Cups tightly packed thinly shredded Cabbage. (The salted shredded Cabbage shrinks, so 5 Cups slims down to 4 Cups.) 

2-3 small cabbage leaves/pieces 

— 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (No Iodized!)

— 2 Cups clean water (No Tap Water!)

Toss the shredded cabbage with the Tablespoon Kosher Salt. Tamp down. Let stand for a few hours. Then, add 2 Cups pure water and mix. Tightly pack shredded Cabbage into a clean Quart jar. Place cabbage leaf pieces on top to hold down shredded mass under brine. Fill to top with brine. Place lid on jar loosely. Wait a few days. Taste. Refrigerate when sourness is to your taste. The Sauerkraut will continue to slowly ferment in the refrigerator; but slowly. Keeps a long time.

Check in every day. As gas forms in the jar, the cabbage mass will expand. Tamp down. Fermentation is anaerobic; so it happens under water, away from air. Be sure to place a plate under jar during fermentation to catch any brine spill over. Top with a little salt and water as needed.

Here are the other fermented foods recipes for when you want to go to the next level. 

A link to another take on the subject.


Fermented Vegetables

Here are the most basic elements for fermenting vegetables. 

Your Kitty does not hold hands, or pussyfoot around. There are lots of resources on the Internet for the step by steps. Even some links here to some Cooky Cat recipes.

Basic Points

1. We ferment vegetables to preserve them. And, more importantly now, because they taste good. And, they're good for you. 

2. Fermentation is ... during fermentation beneficial bacteria in the vegetables convert sugars to lactic acid. This is a natural preservation that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.

3. Fermentation is ... an anaerobic process. In other words, the veggies have to be submerged under brine

3. Salt initiates fermentation. Most important to use non-Iodized salt. Kosher salt works great. Pickling salt also. Never Iodized table salt; you will not get fermentation.

4. Water. Some vegetables after being salted give up liquid. This is a natural brine. In order to be sure the vegetables are submerged under the brining liquid, add more brine to cover. 

Brine Recipe: 2 Tablespoons salt* : 1 Quart of water**. 

*    Kosher or Pickling salt. No Iodine!
**  Pure water. No tap water, unless boiled to remove chlorine. Spring water has no chlorine. Chlorine inhibits/prevents fermentation.

Here are links to Cooky Cat entries for things fermented...