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How to Make Sauerkraut video
Watch the How to Make Sauerkraut video

In today’s video, I show you how to make homemade sauerkraut. This delicious probiotic-rich side dish is the perfect recipe for beginning ferments.

Why Ferment Cabbage to Make Sauerkraut?

Homemade sauerkraut is a wonderful nutrient-rich food that is slightly tangy and a touch effervescent.

Sauerkraut makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal because sauerkraut is high in good bacteria called probiotics, as well as enzymes.  Both aid the digestive tract by improving gut health and assisting with digestion, allowing for our bodies to better absorb nutrients from the food we eat.

More Fermented Foods Recipes

Once you make homemade Sauerkraut, here are more fermented food recipes that you’ll enjoy.

Fermented Condiment Recipes

In the following videos, I show you how to make fermented ketchup, mustard, and salsa. These fermented condiments are tasty and probiotic-rich accompaniments to any picnic or dining table.

Fermented Drink Recipes

In addition to food, you can also make fermented drinks. First, start out with a ginger bug and then make fermented ginger ale. This probiotic-rich homemade soda is excellent for good gut health.

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If you’ve made and enjoyed your first batch of sauerkraut, congratulations! You’re on your journey from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen.

Take the next step by stocking your Four Corners Pantry with traditional food. Download my free 36-page pantry list to learn about the best traditional foods to make and obtain for your pantry.

Your Four Corners Pantry consists of your:

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  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
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You can even stock your Prepper Pantry with real food for only five dollars a week. I show you how in the following videos.

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In the following members-only video, I give you an overview of how to Master the Art of Fermentation.

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How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Fermentation Time: 7 days
Total: 7 days 15 minutes
Yield: 4
Homemade sauerkraut is a wonderful nutrient-rich food that is slightly tangy and a touch effervescent.  It makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal because sauerkraut is high in good bacteria called probiotics, as well as enzymes.  Both aid the digestive tract by improving gut health and assisting with digestion, allowing our bodies to better absorb nutrients from the food we eat.



  • 1 head Cabbage
  • 2 tablespoon Coarse ground Celtic sea salt
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Filtered water


  • Remove a few outer leaves of the head of cabbage and reserve.
  • Cut the head of cabbage in half and cut out the core. Reserve the core.
  • Slice each half of the head of cabbage into thin strips.
  • Place the shredded cabbage and the salt in a bowl and pound with a kraut pounder or similar utensil, such as a potato masher, for approximately 5 minutes until the cabbage begins to release some of its juices.
  • Place the shredded cabbage and salt mixture in a half gallon jar that has a lid.
  • Quarter the apple and remove the core and seeds. Coarsely chop and add to a blender.
  • Coarsely chop the core of the cabbage and also add to the blender.
  • Add water to the blender sufficient to cover the chopped apple and cabbage core. Whirl in the blender to make a slurry.
  • Add the apple/cabbage core slurry to the shredded cabbage and salt mixture in the half gallon jar.
  • Stir the mixture together in the jar and then press it down to compact it. (If you prefer, you can do this in a bowl and then transfer it to the jar. However, I find it is better to do this in the jar so that you are assured of having the correct amount of cabbage with the correct amount of salt. If you do this in a bowl, you may not be able to precisely know how much cabbage will fit into the jar.)
  • Take the reserved cabbage leaves, fold them, and put them into the half gallon jar on top of the shredded cabbage mixture.
  • Take a small 4-ounce glass jelly jar and put it into the half gallon jar on top of the folded cabbage leaves. The jelly jar will work as a weight to hold the entire mixture underwater.
  • Add additional water, if needed, to reach the neck of the half gallon jar allowing for approximately 1 inch of headspace. Place the lid on the jar.
  • Place the filled half gallon jar in an undisturbed place such as the corner of a kitchen counter, on top of a refrigerator, or in a cabinet or pantry that has a room temperature range somewhere between 68°F and 72°F (20°C and 22°C). (See Recipe Notes below.) The jar should also be out of direct sunlight as ferments do not like temperature fluctuations.
  • After a few days, the cabbage should begin to ferment, and you should see bubbles in the jar. Release the cap of the jar to allow some of the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation process to be released. Re-tighten the jar lid.
  • Recheck the jar every day and release some of the carbon dioxide by loosening the lid. Then re-tighten the lid.
  • After 7 days, taste the sauerkraut. Keep in mind that it will continue to ferment once placed in the refrigerator. If you like the taste, refrigerate it. It's now ready to enjoy. If you are not satisfied with the level of fermentation, allow it to continue to ferment for up to 14 days at room temperature before refrigerating. I do not recommend fermenting the cabbage longer than 14 days as it may become quite soft and less palatable.
  • As to storage, vegetable ferments need to be stored at 40°F (4°C). This can be on the top shelf of your refrigerator or in the door of your refrigerator. They cannot be stored at room temperature.



The best temperature for making sauerkraut is between 68°F and 72°F (20°C and 22°C).  However, they can tolerate slightly warmer temperatures up to about 75°F (24°C).  
If your kitchen is warmer, limit the days you allow your vegetable to ferment to approximately three days and then finish it under refrigeration.  Fermentation will take at least two weeks longer when using refrigeration but you will be more successful since it decreases the chance of mold or bad bacteria developing.
For an added gut health benefit you can drink some of the “Kraut Juice,” the liquid that accumulates in the jar where you made the sauerkraut. The juice is filled with good bacteria! If you can’t fathom drinking kraut juice, use some of it in place of the vinegar in your favorite homemade salad dressing or save it to use with your next ferment.
Vegetable ferments can taste a bit salty at the beginning. However, over time, the ferment will become less salty as the vegetable—in this case, cabbage—absorbs the brine creating a more flavorful vegetable, and the brine clinging to the ferment will taste less salty.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 3530mg | Potassium: 435mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Calories: 80
Keyword: Sauerkraut
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Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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  1. Joni Weaver says:

    5 stars
    I love this krout recipe 😋. It’s the best I’ve come across. Thank you Mary so much for all you do. ❤️

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Joni,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I’m glad that you enjoy this recipe!

      Love and God bless,

  2. Llavir says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful recipe and very well explained. Thank you.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Llavir,

      Thanks so much for your kind comment.

      I’m so glad we’re on this traditional foods journey together! 🙂

      Love and God bless,

  3. Oly Fernández says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe!
    Very well explained, I followed the steps and can’t wait to try it in seven days 🥰

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Wonderful! I am so happy to hear this!! Love, Mary

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