Friday, June 29, 2012

Easy Sauerkraut In A Jar

It's canning time at our farm. . .




Some of the local grocery stores have been running cabbage on sale lately--for as little as 29 cents per pound! So, I've been taking advantage of it, and adding to our supply of homemade sauerkraut.


If you've never tasted homemade "kraut", then you're in for a treat. It's nothing like the bought canned variety. For years, John's told me over and over, "Don't feed me kraut. I may have German blood but I don't like kraut!"

Well, as some of you know, I rarely take "no" for an answer. So, I coaxed him one day into trying a kraut salad I'd made from one of Mom's old recipes.
"That's not kraut!"
"Yes, it is. Have some more."
"Nope. Nope. That can't be kraut! It doesn't taste like any I've ever had!"
He's been eating it ever since.

What's the difference?
Our kraut is milder--and sweeter--and can be adjusted to suit your taste. 
 It's quick and easy--and you can make one jar or 100 jars. The technique is the same.

All that said, here's my really, really simple way to make kraut. . .


Cabbage. . . .Clean Pint Jars. . . .



 
Shred Cabbage. . . .Pack TIGHT in pint jars. . . .

Add 1/2 tsp canning salt, 1/2 tsp sugar*, and 1 T white vinegar* to each jar. . . .Pour boiling water into jar within 1/2" of the top. . . . . Run a stainless steel knife down the sides to let as many air bubbles escape as possible. . . .
Wipe off rim of jar with a clean, damp cloth. . . .
*Note: sugar & vinegar can be adjusted to taste but maintain the same ratio
Double the recipe if using Quart Jars. 

 
Place heated lids on top of jar. . . .Add ring. . . .And, tighten down. . . .
(I use my old rusted rings--the vinegar may cause more rust.)

 Set jars in a pan and in a dark place for 7-14 days. . . . You'll see the cabbage turn from green to a whitish, yellow. . . .

Once the kraut looks ready, process it in a water bath for 20 minutes. . . . Leave rings on for 24 hours. . . Remove rings only. . . .Your kraut will be ready to eat in 2 weeks!

Wasn't that easy? 
John encourages you to try it. . . .Even thought he's still not convinced it's kraut!

I'll share Mom's recipe for Kraut Salad in the coming week. . .

Post Script: There seems to be some question as to whether this is pickled cabbage or fermented sauerkraut. According to the dictionary,  "Fermentation is the conversion of a carbohydrate such as sugar into acid." With this definition, this recipe IS the fermentation that occurs when you set the jars aside for the 7-14 days. The combination of the cabbage, sugar, vinegar, salt, and hot water causes the reaction--the same reaction you get in a crock, just on a smaller scale. I hope this clears up any questions. . . .and thanks for asking. . . .I always appreciate any comments or questions. . . .

RECIPE IS FOR PINT JARS. . .
DOUBLE THE RECIPE IF USING QUART JARS

I'm Sharing this Recipe with: *Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #34

 

15 comments:

The Farmers Daughter said...

I see where this recipe is being Pinned on Pinterest! Good deal!!!!!

emjs181 said...

Helloo.. I'm sure you realize this, but what you're actually doing is just pickling the cabbage. Not fermenting it - which is what sauerkraut is. But it still looks good!

Unknown said...

I love how you clarified the pickling and fermenting have 2 heads of cabbage in fridge. Off to make kraut and I love your blog. Oh and I have some traditional kraut in the crock now. Going to see which is better the old way or this way.

Unknown said...

These are Quart jars you used correct?

Missylovesbooks said...

Hi, I am confused, what do you mean by ....remove rings only ? Also is that a warm water bath or cool water bath ?, and why is the pan necessary when you store the kraut for the 7 to 14 days? Thank You

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GinaMarie said...

Darle Blais: You remove the rings because once the seal has set the rings are no longer needed they only serve the purpose to keep the seal tight until it actually seals. yes a HOT water bath heat water to a low simmer (right before it starts to boil) You add a pan under the jars to catch any miss-haps lids can buckle when you pickle kraut or pop and this is just a preventive measure. hope that helped some.

Unknown said...

Hello, I poured boiling water over kraut and put lid on and tightened. The lids sealed. after 2 weeks do I process in water for 20 minutes with that lid that already is sealed or do I replace the lid and then process.

Unknown said...

Hello, I poured boiling water over kraut. Placed lid and ring and tightened. The lids sealed. Do I process in 2 weeks with that sealed lid or do I replace and then process?

Unknown said...

Can’t wait to try! Have everything ready to go! Getting prepared for good food for grad party in June! Thank you

Penny Ledbetter author said...

Hello, I followed the recipe. Great one! When I placed the jars in a dark place, the lids sealed except for one. It has been enough time to put these in a hot water bath. I am not sure about the one that did not seal and whether this one is bad now or do I unseal the others and put on new seals and put into a hot water bath to reseal... Sorry if this sounds silly, but there was nothing in the recipe about the lids sealing in the "dark" room step. Thank you for your help. It is appreciated.

Penny Ledbetter author said...

Hello, I followed your recipe, but the sauerkraut taste just like cooked cabbage. I don't taste the vinegar, etc. I am not sure what I did wrong. I packed the jars tightly, put in the ingredients and hot water, covered with lids and rings. Put away for 14 days in a dark place, then hot watered bathed it for 20 minutes as directed. Please advise. Penny

AndrewM said...

Have you checked the pH after processing? I'm trying to guess the vinegar plus the lactic fermentation and going nowhere. OTOH have you had any go bad?

The Farmers Daughter said...

HELLO EVERYONE! MANY OF YOUR COMMENTS I FOUND IN A SPAM FOLDER! TO ANSWER A FEW OF YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS:
-I AM TOLD THAT THIS IS A FERMENTATION AND NOT PICKLING. IN PICKLING, THE JARS ARE SEALED AND PROCESSED. THE FERMENTATION OF THE KRAUT OCCURS IN THE JAR DURING THOSE WEEKS THEY ARE SET ASIDE AND NOT PROCESSED, JUST AS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PUT IN A CROCK. MY FAMILY DID KRAUT BOTH WAYS AND THEY TASTED THE SAME. YOU SHOULD SEE THE FERMENTATION BUBBLING IN THE JARS AFTER A FEW DAYS. AND YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SMELL IT.
-YOU SHOULD TASTE THE VINEGAR, JUST AS IN KRAUT AND NOT COOKED CABBAGE. TRY ADDING A LITTLE MORE VINEGAR.
-THE JAR TOPS OFTEN POP UP AS THE FERMENTATION OCCURS, WHICH IS WHY THERE IS A NEED TO RESEAL. I'VE ALWAYS USED NEW LIDS BUT MOM NEVER DID. FOR MANY YEARS, MOM DID NOT PROCESS THE JARS IN A WATER BATH AT ALL. SHE LEFT THE RINGS ON, SET THEM ASIDE IN A DARK PLACE UNTIL SHE NEEDED IT, AND THE KRAUT WAS JUST AS GOOD. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE WILL BE SOME LEAKAGE AS THE FERMENTING CONTINUES, CAUSING THE RINGS TO RUST. THEY THEN HAD TO BE CUT OFF TO OPEN. PROCESSING DOES STOP THE FERMENTATION SO CONTINUE LETTING IT FERMENT UNTIL IT IS AS STRONG AS YOU WISH.

I DO HOPE THIS CLEARS UP A FEW THINGS. THIS IS AN OLDER POST AND I WAS SURPRISED TO FIND SO MANY PEOPLE STILL USING IT! THANKS SO MUCH FOR VISITING MY BLOG!

Hoohla said...

Great instruction. Have you tried doing sauerkraut in an oak barrel or bucket? I found old German books about this tradition. Some information and recipe of Sauerkraut in Oak bucket

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