spoon full of sauerkraut
Gut Health

Make Your Own Probiotics: Super Simple Sauerkraut

Did you know 99% of probiotics sold in stores are actually useless to your gut? Unless they are coming from real food or are spore-based, the probiotics you take never make it to your intestines. In this post you will learn how to make your own probiotics with my super simple sauerkraut recipe!

wooden spoon with sauerkraut in it

***This page might contain affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you).***

What Do I Need to Make My Own Sauerkraut?

If you have not read my post 5 Benefits of Sauerkraut then you should start there because the health benefits will blow you away! But why pay $30-$50 dollars a month on probiotics to improve your gut health when you can make it for less then $5! All you will need is

  1. A head of cabbage (about 2 lb)
  2. Salt
  3. a Jar

5 jars of sauerkraut sitting on a counter

What Kind of Cabbage Should I Buy To Make My Own Sauerkraut?

  • green cabbage
  • red cabbage
  • napa cabbage

Really anything you can get your hands on will work! I like using red the best because of the high amounts of vitamin c present.

How Long Does It Take To Make Sauerkraut?

I typically let my sauerkraut ferment about 4 days.

The process of making it takes about 10 initial minutes of chopping, kneading and covering.

Then after your brine forms and the juices seep out, it take another couple of minutes to push into the jar.

squeezing cabbage leaves

How Long Does Sauerkraut Last in a Fridge

Your sauerkraut can last up to a year if you take care of it! Common mistakes while keeping your sauerkraut include

  • using unclean utensils to scoop out your sauerkraut
  • leaving it out of the fridge
  • using a jar that hasn’t been cleaned properly

As I mentioned before, you want bacteria in your sauerkraut, but you don’t want too much or the wrong kind. So be careful when handling your kraut so you don’t throw off the balance of bacteria to salt.

How Do I Know If My Sauerkraut Has Gone Bad?

The fun thing about sauerkraut is that it is sort of supposed to “go bad” but lactic acid and salinity of the brine keeps the bad bacteria off and the good bacteria stable! But there are some signs to look out for when you are first starting.

Signs Your Sauerkraut Has Gone Bad

  • You see black, pink or grey mold growing on the top
    • this is typically because the leaves were not submerged under the brine
  • If the smell is putrid
    • The smell should be sour and cabbagey- but its shouldn’t smell horrible or rotten
  • If the color has changed dramatically
    • the color will change slightly, but if your green cabbage has turned grey, that’s a bad sign.

moldy jar of sauerkraut

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, about 2 lbs
  • 4 teaspoons of salt

Instructions

  1. Peel and wash your cabbage head removing the old leaves
  2. Cut cabbage in half, cut the core out & thinly chop until it looks shredded
  1. Sprinkle salt over cabbage and mix it in with your hands, kneading and roughly squeezing the cabbage for a few minutes
  2. Cover bowl of cabbage with a clean dish towl or cling wrap for at least 15 minutes
  3. Tightly pack the cabbage into a large mason jar, squeezing the juice/brine out as you pack so your shredded cabbage leaves are completely submerged under the brine.
  4. Weigh down your leaves so none float to the surface (read receipe notes for details)
  5. Cover with clean cloth and rubber band, coffee filter or loose fitting lid and ferment for 3-7 days
  6. After your sauerkraut’s fermentation is done, unwieght your cabbage and store it in the fridge for up to a year!
spoon full of sauerkraut

Simple Sauerkraut

Yield: 8, about 1 quart
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, about 2 lbs
  • 4 teaspoons of salt

Instructions

  1. Peel and wash your cabbage head removing the old leaves
  2. Cut cabbage in half, cut the core out & thinly chop until it looks shredded
  1. Sprinkle salt over cabbage and mix it in with your hands, kneading and roughly squeezing the cabbage for a few minutes
  2. Cover bowl of cabbage with a clean dish towl or cling wrap for at least 15 minutes
  3. Tightly pack the cabbage into a large mason jar, squeezing the juice/brine out as you pack so your shredded cabbage leaves are completely submerged under the brine.
  4. Weigh down your leaves so none float to the surface (read receipe notes for details)
  5. Cover with clean cloth and rubber band, coffee filter or loose fitting lid and ferment for 3-7 days
  6. After your sauerkraut's fermentation is done, unwieght your cabbage and store it in the fridge for up to a year! hand in a jar of sauerkraut

Notes

There are many ways to weigh down your cabbage. I use metal french press filters and a little jar, or marbles. Another really simple hack is using a clean zip locked bag of water and placing that over the leaves and brine.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40

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Natural Unrefined Mineral Salt

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jars of sauerkraut and fermented vegetables

Well I hope this starts you on your own fermentation journey! If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment down below!

Hello, I’m Meg Thompson, a wife, mother, and nutrition counselor who is passionate about equipping families in their health journey through practical and simple ways. Healthy living is so important! So let's not making it harder then it has to be. Join me as I share helpful and convenient ways to improve yours and your children's diets!

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