January 26, 2016

Make Your Own Sauerkraut [VIDEO]

Confession – even though I teach and preach all about the amazing health benefits of my favorite condiment – raw, fermented sauerkraut, I hadn’t actually started making my own until last year.

Why? Because why go through the “hassle” of making something when it’s so easy to purchase and delicious from other people making it?! And then I learned, I knew nada! The secret probiotic sauce is really in your lovely hands making it.

I know that fermentation can be a little {okay, maybe more than a little} intimidating, which is why I’m excited to share a video that shows you exactly how to make your own sauerkraut. I’m joined by one of my own teachers and dear friends, Laura Hames Franklin, founder of the School of Universal Health Principles and creator of The Superhuman Breakfast.

The Superhuman Breakfast was THE game changer for me. It stimulated so many other amazing changes in my body and it’s the cornerstone of the Go with Your Gut plan so I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen to teach Laura (and YOU!) how to make this simple staple all on your own.

Laura did an amazing write up for her blog that I wanted to share with all of you. Here’s all the fab deets from us and our video below.

Make Your Own Sauerkraut – How To Video with Laura and Robyn

A few years back, I made my own sauerkraut, but the process was too tedious that I never made it again. That is, until Robyn came over to show me how it can be done: simple, easy, and fun. Making your own kraut is super healthy AND very economical. Aka if you eat a lot of sauerkraut like me, making it yourself can save you a lot of money!

In today’s video, we walk you through:

  • exactly what you need to make your own sauerkraut (equipment + ingredients)
  • how to make your own sauerkraut from scratch
  • how long to let you kraut ferment for
  • why eating fermented foods is essential to having superhuman health
  • how you can apply this recipe to other veggies
  • how you can learn more about gut health from Robyn!

Eating raw, fermented sauerkraut is a staple in the superhuman diet. If you’re unfamiliar with the taste, it’s tangy and delicious and can be used in so many different ways. Add it to salads, mix it in stir-fries or eat it straight from the jar! I always include a forkful or two mixed in or on the side of whatever I’m having for lunch or dinner and of course, with the Superhuman Breakfast!

Have you tried the Superhuman Breakfast? If not, click here + take the #SuperhumanBreakfast Challenge today.

Why Natural Fermentation?

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain enzymes + bacteria that allows them to ripen. As they do so, the fruits + vegetables go through an enzymatic process where they digest themselves. When foods go rot, they have been exposed to oxygen. In a natural or wild ferment, the vegetables digest themselves in an oxygen free environment (so they break down without rotting!).

Why Eat Healthy Bacteria?

It’s estimated that roughly 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut, so it’s really important to feed your gut with good bacteria via fermented foods so your gut can take care of invaders and inflammation (helps fight disease, keep you health). Lactic acids can kill many strains of parasite and other pathogens. Fermentation also greatly increases the vegetables Vitamin C content. The high fiber content in cultured vegetables help to clean the digestive system, removing undigested food and unwanted toxins. Fermented foods also facilitate the breakdown and assimilation of proteins. Aka fermented veggies help ease and improve digestion and make it easier for your body to extract and absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat.

What Do I Need to Make Sauerkraut?

At the most basic, all you need is cabbage, salt, and some sort of container to store it while it’s fermenting. It’s important that the cabbage remain submerged in its liquid during fermentation. When making sauerkraut in a crock, you usually place a weighted plate over the cabbage to pack it down and keep it submerged. When fermenting in a mason jar, inserting a smaller jelly jar filled with rocks or marbles in the mouth of the larger jar serves the same purpose.

The cabbage near the surface tends to float, so when fermenting in a mason jar, you need to either tamp down the cabbage a few times a day or place a large outer leaf of cabbage over the surface of the shredded cabbage to hold it down. Also be sure to keep the jar covered at all times with a clean cloth, piece of cheesecloth or jar cover. Open covers will allow airflow, but prevent dust or insects from getting into the sauerkraut. If you use a proper lid like I did, you just need to open the lid once a day to let some air out.


How Long Does It Take to Make Sauerkraut?

For a small quart-sized batch like we’re making today, the minimum time is about three days, but the longer you let it ferment, the more healthy bacteria will be hanging around which will lead to a happier belly! The sauerkraut is safe to eat at every stage of the process, so there is no real minimum or maximum fermentation time. I am planning to let mine ferment for about 1 month.


Sauerkraut from Go with Your Gut

Makes Roughly 4 Cups


1 large head of cabbage, any variety1 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, more if neededFiltered water, as needed

Additional minor ingredients you can add (make sure your mixture is mostly cabbage):Thinly sliced apple or pearShredded beetsOnions, thinly slicedGarlic, finely chopped

Optional add-ins:Caraway seedsDried juniper berriesGinger root, peeled and grated


1. Pull off and set aside 2 outer leaves from the cabbage. Finely shred the remainder.

2. In a large mixing bowl mix the cabbage with the sea salt by hand. You’ll want to spend quite a bit of time on this, until the cabbage starts to get all juicy and you have liquid pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Taste it throughout; it should taste very, very salty. Add any additional ingredients now.

3. Pack the veggies into a fermenting vessel (a 24 ounce Mason jar and lid works great). You’ll want to stuff the jar with an inch or two of cabbage and pack the veggies tightly down, then add another inch or two and repeat. Liquid should come up and cover the veggies at each stage of the packing and layering. Pack the veggies until you reach the top of the jar with about an inch or two of space. You want to make sure your veggies are below their liquid. If you need to, add a splash of filtered water or you may need a smaller jar (depending on size of cabbage used).

4. Layer the top of the veggies with the reserved folded outer cabbage leaves and seal the jar. Leave it at room temperature in a cool, dark place.

5. You’ll want to “burp” your veggies every day or two. Simply unscrew the lid and allow the air to escape. You may want/need to pack your veggies down with your fist again.

6. After about 1 week, you can taste your kraut. It should taste sour and slightly salty with a tangy flavor and have a nice but strong aroma. If it tastes good, it’s good. If it tastes bad, you may need to scrape off the top layer and discard it, then see if the kraut tastes yummy beneath the liquid. Allow it to ferment until your heart desires! I find that anywhere between 10 days and 1 month tastes great (but you can let some ferments go a year or more!). Once the taste is to your liking, seal and store it in the fridge for months.

Note: You’ll want to use a fresh, clean fork every time you serve your kraut or whole brined vegetables. This keeps the unique bacteria in your mouth from mixing and multiplying in your jar.

Watch the video here: Make Your Own Sauerkraut – How To Video with Laura and Robyn

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