Sauerkraut, made of shredded cabbage covered in salt and left to ferment, naturally preserves itself since fermenting is a form of preservation, according to the University of Wisconsin. Cabbage is not only inexpensive, but it is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables that contains powerful cancer-fighting nutrients. Sauerkraut also contains vitamin C. Although a low-calorie food, sauerkraut's high salt content means people watching their sodium levels should limit their consumption. The food keeps in the refrigerator for several months, but can or freeze it to maximize shelf life.
Things You'll Need
- Freezer bags
- Canning jars (optional)
- Waterbath canner (optional)
- Jar lifter (optional)
Storing in the Refrigerator
Scoop sauerkraut into jars or freezer bags. Close the jar or bag tightly so no air can enter.
Label the jar or bag with the date. Sauerkraut can stay good for up to three months in the refrigerator. Dating the bag will help you remember its age.
Place the jar or freezer bag filled with sauerkraut on a shelf in your refrigerator.
Storing in the Freezer
Scoop sauerkraut into freezer bags or any other container that will hold up in your freezer. Leave about 1.5 inches of space between the sauerkraut and the top of the container to avoid spillage.
Close the container or freezer bag tightly. Make sure no air can exit or enter.
Set the container on your freezer shelf. The sauerkraut should keep indefinitely.
Pour sauerkraut into a pot on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Stop short of boiling the liquid.
Examine canning jars to make sure they have no cracks.
Run canning jars through the dishwasher to clean and pre-heat them.
Pour hot sauerkraut into the heated jars, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space between the sauerkraut and the top of the jar. Pour plenty of juice into the jar so the sauerkraut doesn't dry out. Close the jars.
Heat a waterbath canner to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and boil the sauerkraut jars for 20 minutes per quart. Make sure water covers 2 or 3 inches over the jars.
Let the jars cool for five minutes.
Lift the jars out of the canner with a jar lifter.
Place the jars on the stove or a wire cookie rack until they cool. Canned sauerkraut will keep for years.