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Homemade Sauerkraut

I fell in love with fermenting cabbage by accident a few years back when I belonged to a CSA. I was overwhelmed by the amount of cabbage I had amassed and had run out of ways to cook it. A lightbulb went off in my brain and I realized that I could make sauerkraut and it was last forever, or at least nearly forever. The first time I tasted my own sauerkraut, I realized that I could never buy store-bought again. It’s so much fresher, crispier and brinier. Best of all, it’s insanely easy to make! You only need two ingredients, a wide mouth jar and a little time.

Ingredients:

One medium head of green cabbage
2-3 tsp sea salt

Rinse cabbage in cold water and remove outer leaves. Reserve one to use later.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the core. Then slice into even, thin ribbons (this will ensure that the pieces ferment evenly).

Place the cabbage in a large bowl and pour in 2 teaspoons of salt. Massage the cabbage with your hands until the The cabbage appears a bit translucent and shiny. Taste to test the level of saltiness. If you would like your sauerkraut a little saltier, add a bit more. Continue to massage until there is brine pooled in the bottom of the bowl. Once you are able to squeeze the cabbage and brine runs out freely, you are ready for the next step.

Transfer handfuls of the cabbage into the widemouth jar and press it down. Continue to repeat until there is about 2 inches of space left at the top. Press down again until the brine rises above the cabbage. Place one of the reserved cabbage leaves over the top of your sauerkraut, but below the brine line. Cover the jar with a cheese cloth or paper towel and wrap a rubber band around it. Set it on a plate or cookie sheet, as liquid may leak out of the top.Move to a dark place and ferment for 5-14 days.

Taste the sauerkraut beginning at five days so that it is fermented to your desired taste. Once your sauerkraut is ready, put a lid on it and refrigerate. Sauerkraut will last for about six months in the refrigerator.

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