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Super Easy Mason Jar Sauerkraut

Prep Time 15 mins

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Mason jar with lid
  • Fermentation weight (see notes)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small/medium head green cabbage
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Wash cabbage well and peel off any soft or limp leaves from the outer layers as well as any damaged spots. Halve or quarter the head and remove the tough inner core. Thinly slice section by section and place in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and start to massage and squeeze it with your hands (I like wearing surgical gloves for this kind of thing). In 5-10 minutes, the cabbage turns from crispy-crunchy-coleslaw to juicy-translucent-kraut.
  • Add your caraway seeds or other seasonings/extras now, and continue to mix it up completely, continuing to massage it a bit more.
  • Scoop it into your jar (or jars) with a measuring cup or large spoon, pressing it down as you go. Leave about 1/2 inch or more head-room at the top of the jar.
  • Add your weight(s) and press down firmly, making sure the cabbage is all below the surface of the liquid. The cabbage wants to float (!) but it’s important that it stay covered to avoid mold and ensure proper fermentation.
  • Cover the jar (not too tightly, as gases will release during the fermentation process).
  • Place your jar in a cool, dark location, on a plate or tray with a paper towel on it, to catch any possible liquid that seeps out when it bubbles and ferments.
  • Your kraut may be ready to your taste in as little as 3 days,depending on the temperature and the size of your jar(s).  Just keep an eye on it, and taste it from time to time. When it gets to the look/taste you prefer, you can tighten the lid and store it in your refrigerator, or keep it in the same cool spot to continue to ferment.

Notes

This can be done in one large jar or a few smaller ones, depending on what you have on hand.
Always start with super clean containers and supplies. It's a good idea to sterilize your jars and weights like you do when canning.
You can weigh down the cabbage in your jar with glass fermentation weights, a clean nonporous food-safe paperweight, or a smaller jar filled with marbles or clean pebbles. If you use a smaller jar, you can cover your big jar with a cheesecloth or clean tea towel secured with a rubber band. You may need to change out the cloth covering during fermentation if it gets damp, to avoid mold.
Check your jar(s) every couple days for leakage or any mold on the surface (this doesn’t happen often, but if it does, don’t be alarmed: just wipe it off and let it keep doing its thing). Don’t be scared of bubbles or fizzing, this is the beneficial bacteria doing what they do! Wipe off the outside of the jar and change out the paper towel if it does get wet, to avoid odd smells or mold.
Keyword canning and preserving