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Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

|Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut (aka pickled, fermented cabbage) is high in vitamin C and very low in carbs. All you need is cabbage, salt and a jar. Optionally, you can add spices like caraway, juniper berries or mustard seeds. I made mine using caraways seeds and juniper berries.

I used to make it in a mason jar weighted with a small bowl to keep the cabbage submerged and covered with a cheesecloth. After trying several different methods, I realised that the easiest way is to make it in a Fido jar. There are several other ways to make Sauerkraut which have been well documented by Lea from Nourishing Treasures.

Eating Sauerkraut will help you beat the symptoms of "keto-flu", which are very common for those who just started a keto diet, by providing additional sodium. Apart from electrolytes, Sauerkraut is beneficial for our digestive system due to high levels of probiotics and natural digestive enzymes.

Why make your own?

  • it's easy
  • it's cheaper
  • you are in control of the ingredients used to make it
  • you can use all sorts of cabbage, even red

How many carbs does Sauerkraut have? Sauerkraut is made by lacto-fermetnation. The bacteria present in the cabbage convert sugars into lactic acid, thus decreasing the overall net carbs content. This process is also present in full-fat yogurt, another keto-friendly food. That's why the net carbs content in "real" yogurt is often lower than labeled (the actual net carbs go down by 30-70%)! The problem is that most commercially available yogurts don't ferment long enough and the carbs content only decreases by about 30%.

What's your favourite method of making Sauerkraut? Let me know by leaving a comment :-)

Preparation time

Hands-on
Overall

Nutritional values (per ½ cup/ 70 g/ 2.5 oz):

1 grams 2 grams 0.65 grams 0.1 grams 0 grams 13.5 calories
Total Carbs3grams
Fiber2grams
Net Carbs1grams
Protein0.65grams
Fat0.1grams
of which Saturated0grams
Energy13.5kcal
Magnesium9.2mg (2%)
Potassium120mg (6%)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (53%), protein (34.9%), fat (12.1%)

Ingredients (makes 1 large jar):

Note: When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).

Instructions

  1. Cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the hard cores. Discard any dry outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into slices. If you prefer a fine texture, use a food processor. Transfer the cabbage into a large bowl.
    |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut
  2. Sprinkle with salt and optionally with caraway, juniper berries and mustard seeds. I like my sauerkraut with caraway seeds and juniper berries. Mix well and let it sit for about 2 hours. |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut
  3. After 1-2 hours, the sauerkraut will start releasing its juices and reduce in volume.
    |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut
  4. Press and squeeze the cabbage to release as much of the juices as you can. |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut A) Mason jar method: Add the cabbage to the jar. Press down until the cabbage is submerged in its juices or add a small amount of water if needed. |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut Leave a small gap on top and weigh down using a small bowl (not shown on the photo). Top with the cheesecloth and tighten with a string or the outer part of the lid. Place on a plate - some of the juice may run over. |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut B) Fido jar method (preferred): After discovering the super-easy Fido jar method, I'm no longer using a mason jar. Simply place the sweated cabbage in a Fido jar, leave a small gap and close it. You won't need to weigh the cabbage down with a Fido jar. Don't worry about the jar exploding, the fermentation gasses will escape through the rubber lid while no oxygen will get in, thus there will be no risk of failure. Oxygen is what causes mold, so do not open the jar during fermentation. |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut No matter which method you use, keep the jar from direct sunlight and ferment at room temperature (60-75 F / 15-24 C) for 3-5 weeks. The warmer it gets, the less it will take to ferment. Just make sure it's not too hot or the sauerkraut will become unappetising. Refrigerate and store up to 6 months or preserve for longer. Enjoy! :-) |Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (29)

What do you mean by "leave a small gap on top" when using a mason jar?

Reply

You should leave at least an inch gap on the top (the cabbage should not go all the way to the top).

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Martina, if this is 53% carb, why is it in the Zero Carb/VLC and Low Carb lists?

Reply

Hi Ava, 53% is relative (it's 53% calories from carbs) - the carb count of fermented foods is low, especially in sauerkraut.

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I wonder if you can use the old fashion canning jars that have glass tops and rubber rings?
Looking forward to Trying this. Have made sauerkraut in a large crock, but a lot more work.  Thanks for this recipe.

Reply

Yes you can! You can preserve it the traditional way just like jams or pickles.

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What size Fido jar do you use for the amount of cabbage in the recipe listed? Cheers! -Ally.

Reply

Hi Ally, I think this was a two-quart jar but even slightly smaller should work. A two-quart jar is good for up to 1.2-1.3 kg of cabbage.

Reply

Hi, What would be a good replacement for the sauerkraut, I am not a lover of it. Thank you.

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From nutritional perspective, you can try other fermented products such as kimchi, homemade pickles, etc or home-made kefir or full-fat yogurt.

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You can do just about any like cauliflower, carrots, thickly sliced tomatoes, peppers, parsnips, lemon, radish, asparagus, beets, cucumbers, apples, etc. with herbs, etc.  There are youtube videos or lots of websites on the web, https://youtu.be/1ZEtmmEZmWE  or    nonrecipe.blogspot.com/.../...-pickle-recipes.html

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Hi Martina just want to ask, what excatly you mean by fido jar not sure if i get it, should i close the jar or not, just dont understand deal with gap.Thanks

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Hi Michaela, I think you might have confused the "Fido" vs "Mason jar" method. The gap only refers to the mason jar method.
If you close the fido jar, the air will escape through the rubber lid and no air will get in which is what you want to achieve. Hope this helps! Smile

Reply

You can do just about any like cauliflower, carrots, thickly sliced tomatoes, peppers, parsnips, lemon, radish, asparagus, beets, cucumbers, apples, etc. with herbs, etc.  There are youtube videos or lots of websites on the web, https://youtu.be/1ZEtmmEZmWE  or    nonrecipe.blogspot.com/.../...-pickle-recipes.html

Reply

I have a somewhat similar issue to Philippa. It is very hot here at the moment so I cannot leave the jar out for too long. Will it ferment at 14 degrees in the wine fridge? That is only just below the fermentation range of 15-24 degrees you gave - does it make much of a difference? Thank you, Lukas

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I think that is too low for fermentation. I'd just lave it at the coolest place in the room you can find and let it ferment for 3-7 days, then keep in the fridge.

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Thank you!

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You mention this, and other recipes, can be preserved for longer. How do you do that please?

Reply

Hi Liz, check out this page: www.freshpreserving.com/.../homemade-sauerkraut You can preserve anything from fruit jams, pate or sauerkraut using this method.

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Im very new to the idea of a keto diet and this website is exactly what i was looking for to get as much help and information as possible! I cant wait for the app to be released for android!
I have one quick question about the saurkraut. I live in a very hot tropical environment and temps rarely go below 30 degrees celsius. Would this have a negative effect on the fermentation it i left it out? Would i just let it ferment for a shorter period or could i possibly let it ferment in the fridge?

Reply

Thank you Philippa! Yes, you can ferment it at a higher temperature too. However, if the temperature is above 75 F / 24 C, the sauerkraut may become too soft. You may need to ferment it for a shorter period, possibly half and see what happens? On the other hand, it's better than fridge - it will not ferment there. Once it's fermented, store it in the fridge.

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Hi Martino! Thanks a lot for this! Sauerkraut is such a huge part of my culture and I do struggle to find a good jar in UK shops having lived in England for 9 years. Already have been making my own mustard, Mayonnaise, plum compote, elderberry syrup and plum gin - so this is a great addition! Smile

Reply

Me too Irena! I love making my own ingredients. Mustard, pesto, BBQ sauce, mayo, Hollandaise, vanilla extract, jam preserves and more. There are still a few more on my todo list Smile

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When using a Fido jar, do I still press and squeeze the cabbage to release as much of the juices as I can?

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Hi Julie, no it's not necessary, you can press it directly into the jar and the cabbage will reduce in volume. You may need to do this in stages to fit all the cabbage. Make sure you leave a couple of inches of air gap at the top.

Reply

Love making my own kraut with caraway and black peppercorns but I only ferment it for about 2 weeks and then in fridge. Are there any benefits of leaving if longer?

Reply

Yes, 2 weeks is not enough. It takes about 3 weeks for all the stages of fermentation, 3 weeks should be the minimum Smile

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I make mine with red & green cabbage and sometimes ad a bit of garlic or mustard seeds. Love it!

Reply

Sounds delicious! On my list for the next batch!

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