Using a mortar and pestle (or, in this case, mortar and short end of a kraut pounder), lightly crush the juniper berries.
Place half of one chopped cabbage in a large, flat bottomed vessel. Sprinkle 1-1/2 teaspoons each of juniper berries, caraway, ginger, and dill and a scant tablespoon of salt over the cabbage. You could also mix the seeds, ginger, dill and salt together and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the mixture over each layer.
Using a kraut pounder, the end of a rolling dowel, your fist, a meat tenderizer, a mug, or some other flat object, press and pound on the cabbage for a minute.
Repeat with each cabbage half. By the time you are finished, there should be an accumulation of brine in the kraut-to-be.
You can walk away for an hour or so while more brine accumulates, or you can start packing the cabbage into your fermenting vessel now. Press down hard as you pack layers of cabbage into a jar or crock. To keep the cabbage covered with brine, weigh it with something that just fits inside your vessel. Short, narrow-mouth half-pint jam jars fit well inside wide-mouth canning jars or find a plate or bowl to nestle inside your crock. Fill the jar or bowl with water as needed to keep it from floating. Below, I have put a shallow bowl inside the crock and let the brine partially fill the bowl, though I may pour that back into the crock as the cabbage re-absorbed the brine.
Cover the crock with a plate (if you’re lucky enough to have a crock that still has its lid, use that of course) or loosely tighten a lid on the jar if that’s what you’re using.
This time of year, I let sauerkraut ferment on my counter for four days, checking it daily to see that the cabbage is still covered with brine. I then place the fermented cabbage in canning jars, again pressing it well as I pack it, and store the jars in the fridge. Kraut continues to ferment in the fridge and develops more complex flavors over time. I like to let mine sit for a couple weeks in the fridge. Some folks swear kraut isn’t worth eating ’til it’s at least six months old. It will keep for months and I’ve even experimentally left jars in my fridge for over a year to find still crunchy, delicious kraut.
As you finish a jar, be sure to get a new one started. Once you’ve gotten used to having homemade kraut around, you won’t want to be without it!
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|Serving Size: 1 gallon (2319g)|
|Recipe Makes: 3 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 29 (5%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 3.2g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.8g||4 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.6g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 16107.1mg||555 %|
|Potassium 3962.4mg||104 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 135.3g||40 %|
|Dietary Fiber 59.2g||237 %|
|Sugars, other 76.2g|
|Protein 30.4g||43 %|
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Calories per serving: 591
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