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Heirloom Saurkraut Ingredients: cabbage, apples, jalapenos, onion, garlic and ginger.

Heirloom Homemade Sauerkraut

Homemade sauerkraut is a gut friendly food full of beneficial probiotics. Enjoy this homemade sauerkraut recipe, handed down from generation to generation, with a delicious twist that will add healthy, immune boosting benefits to your diet.

We met in a little house tucked up in the woods, each of us bringing ingredients to make the best sauerkraut I’ve ever tasted. Seriously the best! My friends, their dad and all our kiddos were there to learn. I was greeted with warm smiles and a calm welcome, then we got to work.

As we chopped and worked together, I listened. I listened as the recipe giver calculated the recipe. I listened as he gave instruction to his daughters. I listened to his voice. I listened to the years of experience. I listened to the tone of his voice. I listened to the words. And as I listened, I learned to make ‘kraut.

I learned that keeping it pressed down using the potato masher technique is very important. I learned that chopping evenly and measuring accurately is imperative. I witnessed the bond between Father and daughters in the kitchen, how willing the girls were to do just what Dad asked and how willing he was to let them try a new way. It was a beautiful morning, learning the skill of fermentation, spending time with friends, watching and listening. I witnessed a family heirloom recipe lived out in a little kitchen inside a wood sided home.

Squeezing and pressing the sauerkraut to release the juices.

Heirloom Sauerkraut With a Delicious Twist

  • Author: Tammy Kralik (Handed down by Donald)
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 'kraut
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Fermenting


A deliciously sweet and spicy surprise to the traditional sauerkraut recipe. This heirloom recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, we hope it becomes part of your family traditions as well.


  • 5lbs organic cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2+ cloves organic garlic, minced
  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 medium organic apple, chopped
  • 1/2-1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 organic jalapeno pepper, minced (seeded for less spicy)
  • 1 Tbs fresh organic ginger root, minced (or 1 tsp ginger juice)
  • 3 Tbs sea salt


  1. Finely chop cabbage and weigh out five pounds. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop or mince garlic, onion, apple, red bell pepper, jalapeno and fresh ginger, mix together in a bowl. (If using ginger juice, wait to add that until step 4.) Try to keep all sizes uniform, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, layer cabbage with fruit and veggie mixture, pressing firmly and mixing together after each layer.
  4. Once cabbage and fruit/veggie mixture are combined, add ginger juice (if using), mix well, then sprinkle salt over the top.
  5. Using your hands, continue to mix and press HARD until the cabbage begins to release its juices. This pressing and mixing hard is crucial!
  6. Transfer your cabbage mixture to the fermentation container.  NOTE: You may use canning jars or traditional crock containers, but be sure your crock isn’t coated with lead paint! Alternatively, you can use a stainless steel pot.
  7. The final press.  Press the kraut down, we used a potato masher. The key step is to insist the sides above the mixture are clear of debris.  Mold can grow and ruin a ferment. Press down with all your strength. You want enough liquid that it covers the sauerkraut.
  8. Now to weight the sauerkraut and let it ferment. Using a ceramic plate that is slightly smaller than the pot you chose, place it on the top of your kraut, then use a quart jar filled with water to weigh down the plate. Cover with a light dish towel. Set on your counter or place of choosing (best results when temperatures are between 68℉ and 76℉).
  9. Check ferment daily and repeat steps 7 and 8,, if needed. Do this for 7 to 10 days. Give the ‘kraut a little “taste test” as you stir each day, once your desired taste is reached you can transfer it into glass mason jars and store in the refrigerator or cold storage.


  • The beauty of sauerkraut is the flavor tends to get better with age. So whip up a few batches and figure out your favorite!


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 16
  • Sugar: 2.2g
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
Heirloom Sauerkraut Pinterest Pin

Homemade Sauerkraut tips:

  • The “traditional” way this recipe was taught is without measurements, but by taste, look and feel. Because each cabbage will yield different amounts, it’s important to weigh out five pounds and start there.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or multiplied to your desired size.
  • Additional ingredients may vary,  some may prefer to stay with the basics of just cabbage and salt. Or maybe a simple garlic, onion and jalapenos recipe. To be honest, the apples and red bell peppers are a delicious twist that pleasantly surprised me.
  • Play with the recipe, make a couple of different batches with different ingredients to see which you prefer.
  • As you mix and press, make sure the sides of your container remain clean throughout the process.

Enjoy the ease and simplicity of this heirloom recipe.

The morning spent with this dear family is a treasure.  I asked the daughters, what do you love about working in the kitchen with your dad.  The shared that they love the life lessons he brings into the process, the memories he shares as he chops, how at times he’s taken back to when he was taught the process. They love gathering together and spending time in Dad’s kitchen.

Time spent, in a humble wood-sided house, in a kitchen where memories are alive, families are bonded, and fermentation is taught. It was a full day, family heirlooms handed down, recipes learned, and memories made.

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Showing 12 comments
  • Joan Smith

    I made this last night,,It was a very easy recipe to it is still beautiful..cant wait for 6 days,,

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      That’s great Joan! We hope you love it as much as we do! And if you can wait 6 days to “taste test” you have more self control than I! 😉

  • Billy

    Did you use red and yellow cabbage for that sauerkraut? That beautiful pink color is something to be admired! Thank you for this informative recipe on how to make my own kraut at home. I’m more than excited to try this so I don’t have to buy sauerkraut at the grocery store anymore! I want to do big batches that can last my family and I for as long as we need. Thanks again!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      That’s great Billy! Homemade sauerkraut is definitely a much more economical route than buying it at the grocery store! Yes, this recipe had one head of purple cabbage thrown in for color. The ratio of purple to green is purely preferential, so you can add as much or as little, depending on the batch size. The purple really does make a pretty color!

  • Elaina

    I really need to start making my own because I love to eat it daily and it would save me a lot of money, haha. Your recipe looks awesome and the pink color is lovely!

    • Tammy Kralik
      Tammy Kralik

      It saves so much money. It seems organic cabbage is on sale regularly, watch for sales and give the recipe a try!

  • Lindsey Dietz

    I bet the spicy-sweetness of the peppers and apple is a delicious flavor! YUM!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      It’s such a pleasant surprise to the taste buds! Honestly, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did…ours went WAY too quickly as my kids and I just ate it off a fork!

    • Tammy Kralik
      Tammy Kralik

      I love the flavor the apple adds, and the ginger… yum!

  • linda spiker

    Wow that is one pretty color for kraut!

    • Tammy Kralik
      Tammy Kralik

      We had one head of purple cabbage that we mixed in. It turned out lovely!

      • Kelsey Steffen
        Kelsey Steffen

        I love the color the purple cabbage adds!

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