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How I Make My Sauerkraut by Michele K La Chante
How I Make My Sauerkraut by Michele K La Chante
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I receive frequent request for guidelines as to how I make both my sauerkraut and double fermented sauerkraut juice.

I have come up with a method that works well for me with my busy days whilst giving me maximum return for my time and effort.

I enjoy this food for the high enzyme and probiotic or beneficial bacteria content that it adds to my diet.

A healthy adult’s digestive system can absorb up to 20% of the nutrients available in any given meal – with a fermented food like sauerkraut eaten at the same time this can increase nutrient absorption up to 80%.

I also regard it as one of the most effective Vitamin C supplements that I can take in the form of the food – as discovered by Captain Cook and the Germans.

Because of its high vitamin C content, it was very useful in preventing scurvy and keeping people healthy throughout the winter months when no fresh food was available.

The following recipe is a stand alone sauerkraut recipe, once completed. But I also use it as the first step to making my double fermented sauerkraut juice which is just delicious and thriving with a beneficial bacteria population that is more concentrated than straight sauerkraut.  I drink a full cup of that liquid and booster it even more by adding a few extras to it to make it into an incredibly nourishing and healing food.

I have also included a recipe for double fermented sauerkraut juice on the site which requires this sauerkraut recipe as the basis for the juice.

Ingredients for Sauerkraut

I have listed here the vegetables that I use and roughly the quantity of them.  However many you choose to use in your batch will depend upon how large your container is plus your preferences.

  • - Organic medium to large cabbages,  2 – 2 ½ (mix of green and red)
  • - Daikon radish
  • - Celery sticks – 3 -5 of them or more if you like.
  • - 3 - 5 medium Carrots, 1 large beetroot and 1 green apple
  • - 1 Red onion
  • - Natural, magnesium rich salt eg, Hawaiian salt , Celtic salt or Portuguese (not Himalayan or rock salts as the mineral count (in particular magnesium) is too low).
  • - Dried or fresh herbs occasionally like basil, oregano, parsley and spices like cayenne.
  • - 1 cup of air dried karengo seaweed (dulse) or soaked arame seaweed
  • - 5 centimetre (2 inch) piece of ginger and a clove or two of garlic depending on taste
  • - Optional spices like dill, caraway, juniper berries, pickling spice also speed up the fermentation process and that can be helpful in winter when temperatures are cooler.  You can also process the spice berries in a coffee grinder to get them to a powder or use whole as they are.
  • - 1 - 2 scoops of Ecobloom by Body Ecology or yacon powder as a prebiotic and superfood for the beneficial bacteria. .
  • - 1 satchet of Body Ecology Culture Starter
Kitchen Equipment Required.
  • - Blender
  • - Food Processor
  • - Very, very large bowl for mixing it all up in.
  • - Chopping board and knife.
  • - Large Sauerkraut crock (pottery, glass or enamel coated container and I prefer one with straight sides. Prepare crock by cleaning thoroughly and rinsing out with scalding hot water)
  • - Large Preserving jars  (also well cleaned)
  • - Wooden spoon for mixing it all up or use your hands. (no aluminum or copper utensils of  any kind to be used)


Preparing the liquid.

Using the blender,  drop into it the following ingredients -  cored apple with skin on chopped up into smaller pieces, ginger, garlic, turmeric, 1 whole lemon that has been washed and chopped, 2 tspns of salt, cayenne pepper or jalapeno, herbs of choice, ½ - 1 onion, 2 scoops of Ecobloom and enough water to cover them with a bit to spare.  Blend well until completely liquefied.  Then add to that one satchet of Body Ecology Culture Starter and just pulse enough to blend through the liquid.  Put aside until the vegetables have been processed.


Preparing the cabbage.

Remove and put to one side enough outer cabbage leaves to cover the top surface area of the crock with 2 to 3 layers. Wash, drain and dry then cut the rest of the cabbages into small chunky pieces and also including the core which is a good source of natural sugars needed for fermentation.

Step 1 Knife chop all of the vegetables into appropriate sizes for shredding down in the food processor with a shredding/chopping blade.  I have also used yacon slices or goji berries at this point and dropped them into the processor to break them down smaller.

Step 2 Once the veges have all been hand chopped start adding them to the processor in batches and then tipping each finely processed batch into the large bowl until you have shredded the lot of them up as finely or coarsely as you would like them to be.  Because I am making the double fermented sauerkraut juice once the sauerkraut has fermented, I process the veges very finely at this stage as you will see by looking at the jars of finished sauerkraut.  This also encourages a lot of juice to be released from the cabbage which aids the fermentation process.

Step 3 Then pour the blender mix into the bowl of chopped/shredded veges and mix all of it together thoroughly.   I find that my hands coupled with positive, uplifting thoughts do the best job.  You want the mix to be very damp but not soggy.  There needs to be a small amount of moisture in the bottem of the bowl.

Step 4 Start to pack the cabbage mix firmly and evenly into the clean crock making sure to put in about ¼ of the mix then push down firmly around the bottem to force any air out.  Even at this point there should be liquid coming out as you push it down. Fill the crock right up to no more than 2/3rds of the container and so as the mix is damp enough looking to have a very thin layer of liquid sitting across the smoothed out surface.

Step 5 We are now ready to cover the surface of the veges with the prepared cabbage leaves in order that they keep out the air and to keep down surface scum.  To prepare the cabbage leaves, I take the centre spine out of the leaves to help them mold more to the surface edges of the crock.  I also wash and clean the leaves well and remove any spots that may have spoilt or bruised. Layer the leaves so that they come a little of the way up the side of the crock, say about 2 centimeters or just under an inch. Make sure the whole top is well covered with leaves with around 2 – 3 layers.

Step 6 Because the fermentation is a mix of wild ferment and Culture Starter, I weight the top of the sauerkraut mix with a plate with rocks on it and a well sealed bag of water that spreads itself evenly over the rocks.  This helps to keep releasing the cabbage juices and to keep the air pockets down

Step 7 Now plastic wrap (glad wrap) across the top of the crock or put the lid on if you are using one of the crocks from our online store and stand the crock in a warm, draught free area for the next 3 – 5 days, depending on the time of year.  If you want more of the wild ferment element in the fermenting process then just cover the crock with a tea towel.  Just remember that the smell will become stronger and more noticeable with the towel and so at that point you can cover with the plastic wrap and let it keep fermenting.

Step 8 Put in an area where the temperature will not be above 24 degrees Celsius. Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature.   If temperature is above 24 degrees Celsius, the sauerkraut may not ferment and could spoil!  I always stand the crock in a high sided bowl in case of overflow.

At this point, you can sit back and let the cabbage ferment. The shredded cabbage releases water, which combines with the salt to form vegetable brine. Bacteria on the cabbage create lactic acid, which acts as a preservative. As the cabbage ferments, scum floats to the top of the container. Don’t worry, scum is normal. Just remove it when you check the readiness of the ferment so that it doesn’t inhibit fermentation.

You can check the progress of your sauerkraut after about 3 days by lifting the corner of the cabbages leaves and and dipping a teaspoon in to get a sample to taste.  You can decide for yourself how sour you would like it to be.  Scoop off any scum you notice each time you check.

Step 9 Once it has fermented to the point where it is ready to be bottled and to go into the fridge, I remove the weights and cabbage leaves and scoop off any scum that has gathered, if any.  Most times there is none.

If I am making this into the double fermented sauerkraut juice later on then I just mix the excess liquid back into the fermented vege mix and start spooning this blend into the jars making sure to push the mix firmly down with every few spoonfuls to remove air pockets.  Fill jars right to the top, as far as they will go and cover with lid.

If the mix is to be used for eating as sauerkraut with a meal then I remove the excess fluid when taking off the weights and the leaves that are covering the surface.  I always keep the liquid that I remove to have as a drink - even at this point.  The heavy weight pushes the liquid out of the vegetable mix so that it is quite dry under the leaves once you starting spooning down past the surface.

Step 10 Store the jars in the fridge where they will easily last for a couple of months or more.  Each time you need some sauerkraut juice made you can then just reach into the fridge and take out one of the jars to then be able to make up the double fermented sauerkraut juice (see recipe on site)

Sauerkraut can be eaten immediately if you desire!

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