Why You Should Stock Sauerkraut
Whether you realize it or not, sauerkraut is a superfood that is really good for you! As preppers, we stockpile a lot of canned and processed foods. However, eating processed foods long-term isn’t a good source of vitamins and nutrients that our body needs. That’s why I think it’s a great idea to stock sauerkraut, as well as other superfoods. Printable recipe below, enjoy.
Things You May Need
- Cutting Board
- Quart Mason Jars
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage. We believe it originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Fermentation was a popular way of keeping foods from spoiling quickly. It’s a popular side dish and condiment in many cultures. And, due to its fermentation process, sauerkraut offers a variety of nutrition and health benefits that a regular head of cabbage just can’t give.
Stock Sauerkraut for the Health Benefits
Sauerkraut was stored by our grandparents because it is easily stored for up to 2-years without refrigeration and has a variety of health benefits. I DO NOT recommend storing it without refrigeration, for safety reasons. I store mine in the refrigerator. When you eat only canned and processed foods, you need something that restores your gut health. Sauerkraut is loaded with nutrients, including probiotics and enzymes, that help you get more nutrients out of every meal. Here are some of the health benefits of sauerkraut:
It Contains a Variety of Nutrients
During the fermentation process, microorganisms digest the cabbage’s natural sugars and convert them into carbon dioxide and organic acids. Thus, making sauerkraut super nutritious. One cup of it contains the following:
- Calories: 27
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Sodium: 41% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 23% of the DV
- Vitamin K1: 15% of the DV
- Iron: 12% of the DV
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 15% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
Sauerkraut is a Good Probiotic
Your gut contains over 100 trillion microorganisms. They are called “gut flora.” Unpasteurized sauerkraut contains probiotics, or good bacteria, that act as a first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria. In fact, you get more probiotics in 1 gram of sauerkraut than you do in a probiotic supplement.
It Could Aid in Weight Regulation
Sauerkraut is high in fiber and low in calories. High fiber diets keep you feeling more full for a longer period of time. Thus, eating this superfood may help prevent unwanted weight gain from processed foods high in calories and sugar.
May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Sauerkraut is packed full of antioxidants. These antioxidants, like others, may help reduce DNA damage, prevent cell mutations, and block excessive cell growth that could possibly lead to tumors. You can read about it, here.
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Having high cholesterol can negatively affect your heart. Because sauerkraut is packed with probiotics and fiber, it helps to lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, it contains vitamin K2 which is believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Promotes Bone Health
In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, vitamin K2 activates 2 proteins that bind to calcium. Calcium is the main mineral found in bones. Thus, sauerkraut also helps to build stronger, healthier bones.
Is Store Bought Just as Good as Homemade?
The simple answer is NO! Most canned sauerkraut has been pasteurized. High heat is used in this process which kills both good and bad bacteria to ensure the sauerkraut is shelf-stable. This means that it kills off the good bacteria that gives you many of the above health benefits. If you do purchase store-bought sauerkraut, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Avoid pasteurized sauerkraut. If it is off the shelf, it is typically pasteurized which kills the beneficial probiotics.
- Stay away from preservatives. Store bought varieties typically contain preservatives that lower the probiotic count.
- Make sure there’s no added sugars. To reap the benefits, sauerkraut should only contain 2 ingredients: cabbage and salt.
How to Make Sauerkraut
If you want to really reap the benefits of sauerkraut, you can make it yourself right at home! It is one of the simplest things to make! Here’s how:
Ingredients for Option One
You only need 3-ingredients to make sauerkraut:
- Hallowed out a head of cabbage
- Iodized Salt
- A container of Brine (saltwater) that can be sealed with a lid
Directions for Option One
Follow these simple directions to make your own sauerkraut that you can store for up to 4-6 months in your refrigerator:
- Hollow out a head of cabbage. Cut the stem and core out, and then carefully cut on angles and spoon to hollow out the cabbage.
- Pour salt into the cabbage. You will fill the hollowed out section with salt.
- Fill a container with brine. This container must be big enough to hold your cabbage and the brine must fully cover the head of cabbage.
- Cover and seal. Place your cabbage into the brine and seal it with a lid.
You can also watch the video on how to do this, here.
Ingredients for Option Two
You only need 4-ingredients to make my sauerkraut:
- Shredded cabbage
- Shredded carrots
- Sea Salt
You can also watch the video on how to do this, here.
Directions for Option Two (this is how I make it)
Follow these simple directions to make your own sauerkraut that you can store for up to 4-6 months in your refrigerator.
- Shred the cabbage thinly.
- Shred the carrots thinly.
- Add the cabbage and carrots to an airtight jar.
- Sprinkle sea salt on top of the cabbage and carrots in the jar. Redmond Sea Salt is my favorite.
- Cover the mixture with brine water.
- Keep pushing the contents down so it does not dry out, add more brine if needed.
Linda’s Sauerkraut Recipe
- Shredded Cabbage
- Shredded Carrots
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Sea Salt (per quart of cabbage)
- Add brine as needed to cover the cabbage and carrots. For me, the basic ratio of salt to water for a BRINE is 4 tablespoons of salt per quart (4 cups)
Shred the cabbage thinly. Shred the carrots thinly. Add the cabbage and carrots to an airtight jar. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the cabbage and carrots in the jar. Redmond Sea Salt is my favorite. Cover the mixture with brine water. Keep pushing the contents down so it does not dry out, add more brine if needed. Place in the refrigerator for up 4-6 months.
How to Stock Sauerkraut
You do want to properly store your sauerkraut so it doesn’t go bad. Due to its acidic nature, it can survive at room temperature for quite some time. While it can survive at room temperature, it is best to keep it in colder temperatures to slow down the fermentation process. During storage, you want to avoid temperature fluctuations and keep it under a constant temperature. I highly recommend storing it in the refrigerator. Better safe than sorry is my motto.
How to Tell if It Has Gone Bad
Unfortunately, sauerkraut can go bad! You don’t want to eat it if it has gone bad. Here are a few signs that it has gone bad and you shouldn’t eat it:
- Off-smelling aroma.
- Weird texture or color.
- Greenish blue specs are on it.
Why You Should Stock Sauerkraut
Storing foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients is crucial to our survival. Not getting adequate nutrition, over time, makes us malnourished even if we are eating daily. When we stock sauerkraut, we can use this superfood to balance our nutritional needs. There are other superfoods you can store if you don’t like sauerkraut, such as pomegranate, berries, and garlic. Stock what you typically eat, but also make sure you stock things to keep you healthy and well-nourished. May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Sauerkraut Deposit photos_300775952_s-2019, Sauerkraut Deposit photos_300775754_s-2019, Sauerkraut Deposit photos_308479066_s-2019, Sauerkraut Deposit photos_308478900_s-2019, Sauerkraut Deposit photos_142166930_s-2019
38 thoughts on “Why You Should Stock Sauerkraut”
really not sure how this is considered saurkraut…it has no vinegar, etc…i am german/russian and this is nothing like any saurkraut i have ever had…i think i will continue making it my way, same with making my kimchi…both of which use lots of vinegar and not so much salt.
Hi Annamarie, oh my gosh, no one can make sauerkraut like Germans or Russians!! I bet your recipe is the best! I had to Google the word, Kimchi!! Oh my gosh, now I need to make some of that!!! Thank you! Linda
Would you consider sending me your recipe ? I remember my Dad (German decent) made the best Kraut. Unfortunately, I did not get the recipe. Thank you
Hi Annmarie. I love kraut and kimchi. I had the best kraut in Germany and Checz. In Checz I went to a small cafe. I could have just ate the kraut, cucumber salad and a pickle soup I loved. I would love it if you’d shared your recipes with me. Constanceta55@gmail.com 24 N 900 W Cedar City UT 84720. Thanks for sharing
I love to can and am already getting anxious. I would love to have your recipe for making saurkraut, and kimchi.Thank you so much in advance Pat.Aitchison @yahoo.com .
I’ve never been a fan till recently of it. I remember the Germans making it all at the same time in the little town we lived in and the smell lol.
I might have to try making some.
Hi Matt, I hear you on the smell. I love putting cabbage in soups but the whole house smells but I love the flavor! Linda
To not have the smell try cooking soups in your solar oven outside.
Thanks for the recipe. I like sauerkraut but my wife hates it. Since yours doesn’t have vinegar maybe she’d like it. Also, I’ve read that once vitamin C deficiency was discovered to be the cause of scurvy, sailing masters began taking on barrels of sauerkraut as part of their “stores.”
I have been wanting a simple and delicious way to make my own. Thank you!
Hi Tiffany, I hope your family likes this recipe as much as my family does! Linda
I’ve never had sauerkraut with carrots in it. Just cabbage. And I’ve never eaten homemade. This sounds so easy to make. My grandmother used to make it in a big crock. She also made pickles in it. I have a crock with the dasher today make butter, but never have. I’ve had it for about 25 years or so. I do love me some sauerkraut.
Hi Deborah, I love carrots so I just add them for the color! Oh, my gosh, you have a crock with a dasher??? I love stuff like that! Linda
We went to Marshall Pottery and got it. That is in Marshall, Texas. They have all kind of pottery. I’d love to go back and get some more pottery from there. Granted, some of it is pretty heavy. I do think I’ll wait u til the Covid stuff is over. If it ever gets over.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the salt to water ratio for your brine?
Hi Sue, thank you. for bringing that to my attention. I just added this: Add brine as needed to cover the cabbage and carrots. For me, the basic ratio of salt to water for a BRINE is 4 tablespoons of salt per quart (4 cups). Thank you so much, Linda
My son and I made Sauerkraut this year ..around 5 gallons…we shredded up Empire Apples with the cabbage…I have read everything there is to read on Sauerkraut and have not see one recipe yet that includes Vinegar …we used just Morton Canning Salt…there is no way to explain how good this came out…we even found a recipe for Sauerkraut Soup using Pork…this will be a yearly process now it is the best we have ever had….
Hi Tom, WHAT??? You made it with apples??? Oh my gosh, I have got to try this, thank you!! OH, I will try the Morton Canning Salt as well! Now, I need to find Empire apples and make a sauerkraut soup! You are amazing!! Linda
Tom, I would love to know how you made the sauerkraut soup with pork. Could I make this in my 6 quart crock pot?
firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Thank you Tom for telling us about adding apples to your sauerkraut. I did make a quart of this with the shredded carrots and one apple. Oh my, it is so delicious!!! I haven’t had a whole lot of success with making it before but decided to use a machine to shred the cabbage and carrots and then the apple. I know that I will need to make this again . . . soon! Thank you Linda for the great post and adding the carrots to it. Delicious for sure. And so good for you too!
Hi Carol, it’s so yummy!! I’m glad to hear you love it!! Thank you! Linda
You always suggest great ideas of what I need to stock up on. Thank you!
Hi Alli, thank you for your kind words! This is good, you will love it! Linda
Ohhh……I love sauerkraut! I have always eaten store bought. Your recipe looks amazing! I can’t wait to make my own! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I agree with you on all of the health benefits……❤️
Hi Camille, oh, I hope you like it! I love making my own sauerkraut! Thanks so much, Linda
I love sauerkraut.I have tried 2 times to make sauerkraut. Failed both times.It always turns brown. How long do you ferment it ? Or do you put it straight into the fridge ?. I copied your recipe to try the next time I have cabbage. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes. Love and God Bless.
Hi Judy, oh my gosh, that’s awful! I put mine in the frig. I’m too scared to leave it on the counter. I know you have to keep pushing the cabbage down, it cannot become dry. I wonder if the cabbage was too old or maybe had a bad little tiny piece on it??? I really don’t know what to think. Darn!! Linda P.S. Did you use Sea Salt?
yes I used sea salt. and used the cabbage as soon as I got it. I used a fermentation kit which consisted of a glass weight and an air lock on a mason jar at room temp like the recipe I had said to do. I will try your recipe as soon as I get more cabbage. How long does it take to ferment in the fridge ?
My parents always made big batches of sauerkraut in large crocks ( I have one that is over 100 years old). They would put it in the crock and put a wood lid on it. Occasionally they would check on it, and if there was mold on it, they would peel it off, then replace the lid. No carrots, just cabbage from the garden.
Hi Joni, oh my gosh, the crock that is over 100 years old!! A treasure! I have a crock from my mom that is old (not 100 years old) but is about 13 inches high or so and 10 inches in diameter. No lid. I love hearing your parents made big batches of it!! Good times! Linda
Because of the high salt content, if you have a heart condition I would either avoid sauerkraut or wash it thoroughly in fresh water.
Hi Ralph, great comment! Yes, salt is not good for those with heart conditions! Linda
For those that want to make Sauerkraut it is so easy…you shred cabbage the recipe called for 3 tablespoons of salt per 5 lbs of cabbage…we added 1 1/2 tablespoons per 5 lbs…and 1 apple per five pounds…we used Empire Apple because they were nice and hard…so you can use any apple…the sweeter the better…so there you are with five pounds of cabbage..you add the salt..mix it around and keep working it for five minutes or so…the more you pound it with your hand or a potato masher the better..your trying to break the fibers and let the sale draw the liquid…now we used a special crock we purchased from the Buffalo Sausage Making Company called a TSM HARVEST FERMENTING CROCK..we got about 10 heads of shredded cabbage in there…once it is at the top or close you have to check and see if there is liquid just covering the top..if not add 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt to a quart of water and add until the cabbage and apples are covered..now the crock comes with two stones..you put them on top…fill the little moat with water…put the top on..and put someplace that is cool…not freezing or cold..65–68 degrees..leave it alone for 40 days..just make sure there is water in the moat…DO NOT OPEN..JUST LOOK TO SEE IF THERE IS WATER..IN 40 DAYS…you will have the best Sauerkraut you have ever had…so good ..from email@example.com
Hi Tom, you are awesome!! People will love it! I have got to try this! Thank you so much! Linda
Thanks so much for your Sauerkraut recipe. I’ve been wanting to start a new batch and will use your recipe this time. It sounds delicious! Also just read your recipe for the soup and will make a batch according to your recipe for my next family get together.
PS. Do you by chance, have any other good recipes hidden away in your head? Would love to see what they are.
Suzanne nice to hear someone like my recipe…I am retired from law enforcement and decided to take up a hobby that was a little easier…I have some great recipes if you are interested my email is
firstname.lastname@example.org…I have a great recipe Chicken Rinaldi with a Mornay Sauce..sounds really fancy but only takes a few minutes to make and is over the top when put on the table….
For those that asked about the Sauerkraut Soup…best soup I have ever made…I cut up a boneless pork loin…and used 3 pounds of the meat…sauteed the pork with 2 large sweet onions and 1 lb of mushrooms and a little garlic…then added 20 ounces of Sauerkraut….once everything blended together
I added a container of beef broth…(the original recipe called for water but beef broth seemed a better alternative)…seasoned with salt and pepper…let it simmer all day…then took some Cornstarch dissolved
it in cold water and added until the soup was right where I wanted it…served it at a wild game feed…it was gone fast…so good…hope everyone gives it a try…especially for someone that says they don’t like Sauerkraut…just don’t tell them what is in it…
Hi Tom, you rock!! Thank you for sharing your Sauerkraut Soup! This sounds yummy! Oh my gosh, this is awesome! Linda
I’m a little late getting back to you for a recipe. The Chicken Rinaldi with a Moray Sauce sounds delightful. When you have the time, if you would please send it my way, I would appreciate it.
Thanks so much