Make Your Own Sauerkraut


Sauerkraut is one of the oldest and most popular fermented foods. It can be found here in Jackson at grocery stores such as Lucky’s Market and the Jackson Whole Grocer, as well as at weekly farmer’s markets around town (like tonight’s People’s Market). However, there does seem to be some mystery surrounding this superfood. Maybe it has something to do with the process of making sauerkraut, which most people assume is a labor of love, or possibly the fact that its appearance doesn’t necessarily scream “eat me!”. Regardless, I am here to tell you two things: 1. You should be eating sauerkraut. 2. It is incredibly easy to make!


Sauerkraut has numerous benefits for your microbiome, and impacts every system in your body: from your immunity to your metabolism.

Gut health

Sauerkraut is rich in live probiotics that support your whole-body health, such as Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Lactobacillus brevis. The more diverse the bacteria in your gut, the healthier your body, which is why consuming fermented foods is an excellent addition to supporting the health of your microbiome.

Immune health

The probiotics, vitamin C, iron and hundreds of phytonutrients in sauerkraut enhance your immune system. 80 percent of your immunity resides in your gut, so the bacteria that live there can either dampen or enhance your immune system. This is because they maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Leaky gut is a perfect example of a condition where the microbes are not doing their job and the tight junctions in the gut have become loose, letting food molecules and other bacteria in – this when the immune system gets compromised.

Cancer prevention

Cabbage is considered a cancer prevention superfood because it contains phytonutrients that enhance detoxification of certain carcinogenic enzymes and are toxic to many types of cancer cells. In fact, the consumption of cruciferous veggies has been linked with inhibiting the development of breast cancer.

Pick up a head of cabbage at tonight’s People’s Market, and make your own at home with the following recipe:

Easy Sauerkraut


  • 1 large head organic cabbage
  • 1-2 tablespoons high-quality salt (such as Himalayan or Celtic)


  • Peel off the top 2 layers of cabbage leaves and set aside (*You're going to use these to top the sauerkraut with)
  • Shred or chop the rest of the cabbage and sprinkle on 1-2 tablespoons of sea salt (use more salt for a crunchier kraut).
  • Using your hands, massage the cabbage until you start to see the water being drawn out of the cabbage and it's softening. (This will take a few minutes. This water becomes your brine and it's essential for sauerkraut to work.)
  • Using a clean, wide-mouthed mason jar, begin to stuff the cabbage bit by bit into the jar and press down with your hands or a utensil. You want to pack down the cabbage, limiting the amount of air in the jar.
  • As you work your way to the top of the jar, the brine should eventually be higher than the cabbage.
  • Leave about 1-1 1/2 inches of space from the top of the cabbage and the lid.
  • Using the cabbage leaf you set aside, fold it up and press it over the top of the shredded cabbage inside the jar, press it down. (You don't eat this cabbage, it is to keep the kraut beneath the brine.)
  • Place lid on mason jar, it doesn't have to be tight.
  • Place the jar out of direct sunlight on a plate in case the juices start to seep out of the jar.
  • Depending how warm your home is, the kraut will take anywhere from 3-7 days.
  • Give it a taste test after 3 days: if it's tangy to your liking, seal the top and place in the fridge. The fermentation will stop and it will keep for months in your fridge.

About Author

Tory is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, working at the Meno Clinic in Wilson, WY. As a former Bostonian, she moved to Wyoming simply to ski some of the world's best terrain. Although the mountains brought her here, it was the people and aura of Jackson itself that has convinced her to stay. Tory takes full advantage of the outdoor access here in Jackson, spending most of her time trail running, mountain biking and skiing. Follow along for yummy recipes and healthy living ideas!

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