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Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, contain probiotics which help improve immune function and the health of your intestinal tract. If you are interested in making small batches, try this easy way just using Mason jars.


1 2-quart Mason jar, sterilized
1 8oz jelly Mason jar, sterilized
1 medium head green cabbage, wilted or limp outer leaves discarded
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds


  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
  2. Transfer the sliced cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands for about 5 to 10 minutes. Mix in the caraway seeds.
  3. Transfer all of the slated cabbage by the handful into your large Mason jar and press the down with your fist each handful. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.
  4. Fill your small Mason jar with clean marbles or stones and slip it into the mouth of the large jar to weigh down the cabbage.
  5. Cover the mouth of the large Mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar.
  6. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the small jar.
  7. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  8. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days. Store is a cool dark place out of direct sunlight— ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid. Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  9. Store in your refrigerator for up to two months or longer. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be.

Note: While the kraut is fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.

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