How to Make Simple Healthy Sauerkraut with 2 Ingredients

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How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.comIn celebration of Cincinnati’s German heritage and with a view to those upcoming New Year’s resolutions about healthy eating, today we feature simple, healthy sauerkraut.

Easy? You bet. There are only 2 ingredients you need to make one of the healthiest sides you can ever make. And there is more to sauerkraut than being just a side for hot dogs. Winter is the perfect time to enjoy your sauerkraut and to reap the health benefits of an old fashioned fixing that has stood the real test of time.

We also delve into Cincinnati, Ohio’s German heritage and the impact that has had on the local food scene including where is the best place to shop for German foodstuffs in Cincinnati.

 

Cincinnati’s Early History

Cincinnati, named for the Roman emperor Cincinnatus, was first settled in 1788. Rome, the city of seven hills, is sister city to Cincinnati.

Early on, Cincinnati contained a strong English, Scottish and protestant influence. At the time, Cincinnati found itself in a strategic position for growth as it had been founded on the Ohio River, where a strong river boat trade soon developed.

How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.comCoupled with this, the development of steam navigation along the Ohio River, enabled Cincinnati to became a “boom town” during a period of strong westerly, migration from within the US. River trade became big business as new companies developed to take advantage of the budding opportunities to the west.


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For a time, Cincinnati was also home to a booming hog processing plant. This led to the town being unfairly labelled with the rather unflattering name of “porkoplis”.

German Heritage in Cincinnati

How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.comMigration was not just from within the US but from Europe as well. Waves of immigrants arrived into Cincinnati over a 130-year period from the early 1800’s all the way through until the 1950’s.

One of the largest ethnic groups to migrate to the Cincinnati region was from Germany. The new arrivals brought many trades and skills with them as well as new foods to the Cincinnati area.

There has been German influence around Cincinnati since the 1830’s. More German immigrants settled in Cincinnati than any other city in the US.

As you would expect, it took some time for the newly arrived immigrants to fully meld into the local, American culture. A strong sub-culture developed around German-American traditions. Social clubs formed and Sunday getogethers were common.

At one time Cincinnati contained 4 German-language newspapers and beer halls were common.

Suburbs such as Over-the-Rhine became strong enclaves of German festivities and foods. Eventually these all became part of the mainstream of modern, Cincinnati society. It is here you will find Findlay Market, the best place to buy food within Cincinnati. You can now ride the new streetcar, the Cincinnati Connector, to enjoy the shopping and dining experience in this rather hip neighborhood.

You can also visit Germania Park for Oktoberfest, enjoy Christmas markets in the style of European Night Markets where you will find nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks and no end of tasteful decorations. By this time you are starting to smell all of that delicious, German food.

How about some sausage and mustard or maybe some pretzels. Wash it all down with some good beer and festive cheer. Or maybe gluhwein is more to your taste. Then there are the cheeses and breads. And make sure you leave room for the strudel, the best I have enjoyed.

Another of those classic, German dishes that started to appear with German migration was sauerkraut. Read on for how to make the easiest sauerkraut you will ever make.

Simple Healthy Sauerkraut With 2 Ingredients

How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.comDo yourself, your family and your friends a favor and make this simple sauerkraut. When made in the traditional way, sauerkraut is incredibly good for you. It is also inexpensive to make and is a side that goes with a variety of foods such as any pork or sausage dish.

How about corn beef, pastrami, reuben, your favorite hot dog, not to mention bratwursts and mettwursts?

With this recipe, there are no additives and no fancy ingredients, just cabbage and salt (I used celtic salt, which has substantial health benefits). Mix together and allow nature to do its job to produce fresh, healthy sauerkraut as a finished product.

The best way to allow the sauerkraut to ferment is to use a crock. I used a fabulous crock made by Mad Millie. It comes with weights to help press the cabbage down into the crock. Large mason jars also work.

How to Make Simple Healthy Sauerkraut with 2 Ingredients
How to Make Simple Healthy Sauerkraut with 2 Ingredients
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Just celtic salt and cabbage. You can easily substitute green cabbage for red cabbage or use a mixture if you want some vivid color. I used Salt of the Earth Brand celtic salt. You will need a large mixing bowl, crock or mason's jars and tongs.
Servings Prep Time Passive Time
2.5quarts 1hour 14days
Servings Prep Time
2.5quarts 1hour
Passive Time
14days
Ingredients
Servings: quarts
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: quarts
Units:
Instructions
  1. Sterilize all equipment and crock or mason jars. Allow to dry. Assemble the ingredients.How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.com
  2. Trim the cabbages of any dirty outside leaves and cut the cabbages in half. Remove the hard, white core. Finely chop the cabbage. You want about 5 pounds (2.3 kg).How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.com
  3. Add the chopped cabbage to a very large mixing bowl or pot. Sprinkle the Celtic salt evenly over the cabbage. Mix the salt and cabbage together with clean hands for a good five minutes until the salt is well distributed and liquid is being produced by the cabbage.
  4. Use the tongs to fill the crock or mason jars, pushing as much cabbage as possible into the container. The cabbage should be covered by the salty liquid. Allow to ferment for at least 2 to 3 weeks at room temperature (around 68 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 Celsius).How to make simple healthy sauerkraut with 2 ingredients www.compassandfork.com

18 Responses

  1. Erin
    | Reply

    I’ve never tried making my own, this looks fairly easy. Great history lesson too!

    • Editor
      |

      There is nothing simpler than this is there? I just love making my own things from scratch as I know exactly what I am eating!

  2. Sara
    | Reply

    I’ve never actually attempted to make sauerkraut at home! I love that you present it as such an easy recipe – definitely makes me more willing to give it a shot!

    • Editor
      |

      Thanks very much Sara. You will never look back after you have made your first batch.

  3. Amanda
    | Reply

    I had no idea it was so easy. This is a must try. I love the Dutch sauerkraut mashup up (stamppot, I think). Thanks for the recipe!

    • Editor
      |

      It is a simple recipe isn’t it? I think that is the secret to it.

  4. Christine
    | Reply

    Love homemade sauerkraut – there’s nothing like it! I’ll make sure to save this recipe for next summer when cabbage is in season.

    • Editor
      |

      It is a great way to get some cabbage in your diet.

  5. Lisa
    | Reply

    I love sauerkraut, but I confess — I’ve never made it. Funny, because we enjoy a lot of choucroute which is basically sauerkraut slow cooked with sausages and pork chops, apples and caraway — and wine. 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      Yes I think we all take sauerkraut for granted. But when fermented it is all full of goodness.

  6. Kristine
    | Reply

    I love making things myself, but never thought to try sauerkraut – genius! Thank you for the simple recipe!

    • Editor
      |

      It is simple isn’t it? So simple that I wasn’t sure about publishing it. However, fermented foods are so good for you that we thought it important.\ to receive all of those health benefits.

  7. Platter Talk
    | Reply

    We used to make this all the time, growing up. We used a big stoneware crock. I love homemade sauerkraut. A very simple thing to make!

    • Editor
      |

      Yes simple but good. And you know exactly what ingredients are in that sauerkraut as well as knowing that it is made via natural fermentation, not some big, industrial process!

  8. Sarah
    | Reply

    Is it bad that I’ve always been too intimidated to make sauerkraut? I just didn’t realize how EASY the recipe was! Thanks for sharing and calming my fears haha!

    • Editor
      |

      Yes simple and cheap really. All you need is a little time for the sauerkraut to naturally ferment. And so good for you.

  9. Tara
    | Reply

    I love that you included background info on Cincinnati and its German influences. Such an interesting history. The sauerkraut looks delicious! I definitely need to try making it myself.

    • Editor
      |

      Tara, sometimes I think Cincinnati does not get enough credit for its food and its sights. It is underrated. I hope you enjoy the sauerkraut.

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