Saurerkraut ready for brine
NOTE: Sauerkraut is an ancient method of keeping cabbage edible over the long cold winters. It's more like making wine or cheese than any other method we use to store vegetables. To make it we have to let the cabbage ferment (or rot a little). Don't be put off, the end product is worth the effort. I think it's also great fun to try out these old methods.

Sauerkraut is an incredibly healthy thing to eat as the fermentation process makes the nutrients in the cabbage more digestible and therefore even more nutritious than the raw cabbage. If Sauerkraut is eaten raw it provides you with plenty of 'good bacteria' as they say on the yogurt adverts.  James Cook wouldn't set sail without a supply of it as he knew it would stop his crew getting scurvy (which we now know is because of its high levels of vitamin C).


    You'll need glass jars, stoneware pots or if you're doing it on a fairly large scale you can use plastic barrels.



    1. Pull up your cabbages and remove the outer leaves to leave the white centre.
    2. Chop into fine slithers.

    3. Put your chopped cabbage into the container a layer at a time adding salt at a ratio of 1/2 an oz (14g) salt to 1lb (500g) of cabbage.
    4. Press down the layers using whatever you have laying about, I used an old beer bottle. Continue until the container is full.
    5. Put a couple of big cabbage leaves on the top, then a non metallic saucer or weight.
    6. Cover with brine, which is made using half an oz (14g) of salt per pint (500ml) of water.
    Now we have to be patient. Cover your container with a cloth to stop any flies getting in and tuck it away in a warm place for 3 weeks. After this you can enjoy your Sauerkraut. Put any excess into airtight containers and store in a cold place, it will keep for months. If you want to keep Sauerkraut for a really long time you can also bottle it.
Thanks to Antony Barrett for this recipe. Antony and his girlfriend Steff are living a self-sufficient lifestyle on their smallholding in Bulgaria. He is also writing our monthly growing series. You can follow their antics by searching Frog Shadow Ltd on Facebook.