If you are looking for a fun and new activity to do with your kids I recommend making a jar of sauerkraut this summer! It took me 2 years and five failed batches before I finally figured out all of the nuances of this process, but it was well worth the wait. 

Today I’m sharing 6 mistakes to avoid and what to do instead so that your first batch can be successful and a fun check on your summer bucket list.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Sauerkraut

  1. Not shredding finely enough: Use a cheese grater or food processor with grating attachment
  2. Using not enough or too much salt: Add 2T for every 3 cabbages (2/3 T for one cabbage)
  3. Filling the jars too much: Leave 2-3 inches at the top so there is room for the weight and brine
  4. Not using the outside cabbage leaf to contain everything: Use the outside 2 cabbage leaves to cover the shredded cabbage and make sure all of the pieces are submerged over the brine
  5. Not having adequate weight/pressure to hold things down: Rocks work but the whole process was cleaner, didn’t smell or attract fruit flies when I got this weight and self burping lids/
  6. Not waiting long enough: It takes a full two weeks even here in the south where it is hot for the sauerkraut to finish. It will switch from a light green to a light yellow/brown color throughout the entire jar.

Tips for Making Sauerkraut with Kids

  1. Decide whether this is a good time to work with just one child or do everyone together.
  2. Let everyone know what the whole process is ahead of time.
  3. Prep everyone to take turns and let them know what their turn is going to be.
  4. Know it doesn’t have to be perfect and it can be messy.
  5. Do it at a time when you aren’t stressed or starving because it’s not fun to cook with other people then.
  6. Turn it into a science experiment and have them track the color until it is done and see how long it takes.

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