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Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

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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 Sauerkraut?

  • 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-fermentation. The bacteria present in the cabbage convert sugars into lactic acid, thus decreasing the overall carb content. This process is also present in full-fat yogurt, another keto-friendly food. That's why the carb 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 :-)

Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1/4 cup/ 36 g/ 2.5 oz

Allergy information for Easy Homemade Sauerkraut

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, 1/4 cup/ 36 g/ 2.5 oz)

Net carbs1.1 grams
Protein0.5 grams
Fat0.1 grams
Calories9 kcal
Calories from carbs 64%, protein 27%, fat 9%
Total carbs2 gramsFiber0.9 gramsSugars1 gramsSaturated fat0 gramsSodium252 mg(11% RDA)Magnesium6 mg(1% RDA)Potassium81 mg(4% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 1 large jar)

  • 1 large or 2 small head cabbage (1 kg/ 2.2 lb)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • Optional: 10 juniper berries, 1 tbsp caraway seeds and 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • water if needed to top up


  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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. No matter which method you use, keep the jar from direct sunlight and ferment at room temperature (15-24 °C/ 60-75 °F) 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

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1/4 cup/ 36 g/ 2.5 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Cabbage, white, raw
1.1 g0.4 g0 g8 kcal
Caraway seeds, spices
0 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per serving, 1/4 cup/ 36 g/ 2.5 oz
1.1 g0.5 g0.1 g9 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

Let us know what you think, rate this recipe!

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Comments (42)

I need help and no one is able to do soive been on the ketodiet very strickly for about6 weeks at first I only lost inches but finally started to lose weight about 8 lbs. Ive been having very loose bowls/diahrrea that I cant seem to control. any ideas please send me an email thanks

Hi Randi, I'm afraid I can't give personalised advice and this may be completely unrelated to your diet so I suggest you consult this with your doctor asap. There are some foods that may cause loose stools (too much fat, too much magnesium citrate, food intolerance, certain types of fibre, etc) but it doesn't have to be the cause.

I am attempting to make sauerkraut in the fido jar.  The instructions said to place the sweated cabbage into the jar, but did not mention that the cabbage needed to be submerged in liquid, as in the mason jar method.  My question is, since there is only liquid in the bottom third of the fido jar, will my batch properly ferment, or should I dump it and start over?

Hi Ed, you won't need to have it submerged because the jar will be sealed. Having said that, in my experience as you squeeze it in the liquid will rise on top but it may also leak out of the sealed jar as it ferments so it's good to put the jar on a plate.

Thank you Martina.  I will master this recipe for sure.  My dear grandmother brought her culinary skills from the old country.  She often prepared roast pork with potato dumplings and sour cream gravy.  Her sauerkraut was "doctored up" and was the texture of creamed spinach....  to die for!

Oh that's the typical Czech way, I grew up eating like that. Funny I never enjoyed the dumplings even as a kid though 😊 My mum would either make the meal with cooked sauerkraut (so soft yet still full of flavour) or with cooked fresh white or red cabbage. She always added caramelised onion, vinegar (only for the fresh cabbage) and a bit of flour to thicken.

Hi Martina, I was very happy to find this recipe, so I tried to make Sauerkraut for the first time. I used the mason jar method, and after fermentation the liquid was half evaporated and that part of the Sauerkraut was brown. The temperature in the room was abt 73°F. Honestly, I never checked on it during fermentation, but if I would have done so, should I've filled up the missing juice/liquid with water? Or whatelse I was doing wrong! Thank you so much!

Hi Martina, than's interesting! Did you see any liquid leaking out of the jar? It happened to me once when I overfilled it but that was with the fido jar. Are you sure none of the air got inside? If it simply didn't have enough liquid to start with, I think you may need to keep it in the bowl with the salt for a little longer - to help release more juices. Alternatively, you could add some water but I never needed to do that so I think it just needs more "resting" before putting in the jar.

I've made kraut since my grandmother showed me how i the fifties. I love garlic...any thoughts as to putting a handfull of garlic in the jar?

I think it's a great addition!

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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,  or

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

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! 😊

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,  or

When you say to close the Fido jar, do you mean to simply put the lid on top so it can breathe? Or latch it tight?

Yes, you can close/lock it completely. The air will go out but it won't get inside.

trust me, I have done this!! If you don't leave the lid loose enough for the gas to escape, you are going to understand the term stinky bomb!Back in the 70's I had the lids too tight and had 16 quarts under my house. When I checked them at 4 weeks the dome jar lids REALLY were domes. I gingerly brought them up into the bathtub and relieved the pressure. The stink was so bad that we spent the night in a motel.

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

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.

Thank you!

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

Hi Liz, check out this page: You can preserve anything from fruit jams, pate or sauerkraut using this method.

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?

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.

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! 😊

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 😊

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

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.

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?

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

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

Sounds delicious! On my list for the next batch!