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How to Make Sauerkraut

cultural & ethnic dairy free detox friendly detoxification home remedies kid-friendly recipes traditional Jul 08, 2016

Got cabbage? Ferment it! Learning how to make sauerkraut is a wonderful method to preserve an abundant harvest of cabbage. Homemade sauerkraut is a fun fermented food that's easy to prepare and good for you.

Sauerkraut is a live-cultured “probiotic” food. It contains lactobacilli, beneficial bacteria that improve the functioning of the digestive tract. Dr. Mercola sent his sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the findings of probiotics saying, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.” That means 2 ounces of home fermented sauerkraut had more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. Translated this means one 16 ounce of sauerkraut is equal to 8 bottles of probiotics.

Sauerkraut along with other probiotic foods and beverages (milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, real yogurt, miso, buttermilk, etc) you can make are often recommended for people taking antibiotics, which kill both the beneficial and harmful bacteria in the body. Here is a great fermentation starter kit we love. Live-culture foods can help restore the beneficial bacteria.


Garlic Dill Sauerkraut Recipe



¼ cup (or more) of active culture from last batch (if you have any)

1 culture starter pack* (optional)

Approx. 1 cup room temp. spring or filtered water (we love the Big Berkey to filter)

2 medium heads of organic cabbage

6 tsps of unrefined salt (like this one)

Large handful of fresh dill or 2-3 tbps dried dill

6 gloves of garlic

1 tsp. caraway (optional)


*Salt versus starter cultures

Salt can promote the fermenting process by inhibiting the growth of undesirable microorganisms, favoring the growth of desired Lactobacilli.

Starter cultures such as whey (brine from a previous ferment) or freeze-dried starter cultures (like this one) can add bacteria to the culturing process to get things going more quickly.

The combination used is a personal choice. You can indeed make sauerkraut without using the starter culture. The recipe is the same (just omit the culture). 



With culture starter, dissolve 1 pouch (for two cabbages) into 1 cup room temperature water and let sit for 10 mins. (For following batches, use ¼ cup (or more) of active culture from last batch.)

Cut cabbage, reserve one leaf and core. Put in glass bowl and add all other ingredients to shopped cabbage. Pour in the starter culture. Massage for ten minutes.

Put in a wide mouth mason jar and pack to bottom. Put cabbage leaf and core to weigh it down. Ensure all cabbage is covered by liquid. Seal jar with cover and ferment for 7-10 days (or 3-5 days if only using salt and no culture starter).

“Burp” every day (or more often) to let air out to prevent pressure cracks in jar. Keep in a dim area at room temperature. After desired fermenting time, store in the fridge and enjoy. The longer you let it cure in the fridge, the better the flavor gets. Enjoy!

Here at Beyond Vitality, we love to eat real food, and good food! Our recipes are created using the purest of whole foods and natural ingredients that will leave you feeling great! Check out more of our popular Whole Food Recipes here.

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