Hello and welcome! I’m Holly Howe, a Fermentation Educator, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal here is to have sauerkraut fermenting in 100,000 homes, one of those homes being yours!
Through my passion for fermentation, your eagerness to learn the world’s oldest method of preservation, and the help of millions of mighty microbes, we’ll get there… one jar at a time, especially if you share your newfound skill with friends and family.
Here’s my idea—inspired by Jamie Oliver’s “Pass It On”—on how we can make that happen:
Don’t think for a moment your single contribution won’t count, because it will. Let me share a bit of my romantic dream with you… Let’s say, for instance, that you teach four people how to make sauerkraut, then each of them teaches four more people, who each teach four more people.
The cycle only needs to repeat itself seven times and we’ve packed out Yankee Stadium one-and-a-half times, meaning over 50,000 jars of sauerkraut have been made! Repeat it thirteen times and we’ve got more than the entire population of the United States with a jar of sauerkraut on their dinner table. High aspirations, I admit, but why not?
I don’t spend hours in the kitchen making sauerkraut. I don’t need to and you won’t either!
What I do spend my time doing is coming up with delicious sauerkraut recipes and fine-tuning how I teach to keep your life easy and help you have the health you deserve.
1. So, what is your website MakeSauerkraut! all about?
Launched in 2014, MakeSauerkraut! is a fermentation website with everything you need to know to successfully ferment sauerkraut that you and your loved ones will enjoy eating. REALLY!
I also teach you how to ferment other vegetables and fruits and talk about how fermented foods can effortlessly—and flavorfully—improve your gut health.
And, my recipes taste incredible. And… adding fermented foods to a meal, elevates the flavors in the dishes, instantly turning you into a 5-star chef.
You will not need to plug your nose and force down a forkful of the scrumptious sauerkraut I teach you to make.
Food is to be enjoyed. Traveling the world—27 countries by the time I hit 30—instilled in me both the beauty of other cultures and the joy of partaking in a cornucopia of real food. All the way from chewy and moist broa—cornbread—discovered in the small bakeries in every village in Portugal to the fermented garlic wafting through the big indoor markets in Moscow and Leningrad.
I’m a bit nerdy and exacting so if you aren’t into measuring and weighing things, but just like to toss and pray, I might drive you a bit batty. 🦇
But, that exactness draws praise from my students:
What I found most helpful is the principle of basing everything on weight and on working out the salt ratios. I’m sure when you’re very experienced, you can get away with doing it by feel like Sandor Katz, but I’m a beginner and I really appreciated the simplicity and security of having numbers. Thank you again so much for your excellent recipes. —Sally
So, do you want better health and have heard that fermented foods might help? Have you ever asked yourself questions like:
- Why should I eat sauerkraut (I don’t even think I like it!)?
- Don’t I need an expensive fermenting crock?
- Isn’t sauerkraut hard to make?
- Is making sauerkraut at home safe?
- Can I improve my digestion—and health—just by eating sauerkraut?
Then, stick around. You’re in the right place.
Praise from my readers
This was the best sauerkraut we’ve ever had, my entire family loves it. My 3-year-old was asking for it for breakfast this morning. We’ll be doing more than 1 jar this time around because that one is already halfway gone. Thanks for the awesome information. FYI, we did a cabbage and garlic sauerkraut. Just 3 cloves of garlic and cabbage to make that deliciousness.
2. If I’m clumsy with a knife, can I make sauerkraut?
If you can slice up a head of cabbage to make a batch of coleslaw, you can make mouthwatering sauerkraut. 😋
After all, the only difference between making coleslaw and making sauerkraut is that you omit the dressing and instead mix in just the right amount of salt. Then, instead of serving that sliced cabbage, you pack everything into a mason jar, and…
Patience is required, however! ⏳
Like, the ability to wait for 21 days to eat that cabbage that you just packed into the jar. The bacteria responsible for fermentation need that time to transform the salty cabbage into tangy sauerkraut. Can you do that?
Don’t worry, I walk you through the process step-by-step with numerous tips and helpful photos to make sure you feel comfortable with the process. It’s like having a trusted friend by your side as you work away in your kitchen.
3. But, isn’t fermentation dangerous?
My recipes all pass the friends and families flavor test and are backed by research for safe fermentation, proper salt quantities, and the best fermentation temperatures.
And, if you understand pathogenic bacteria—the bad guys—and where they thrive, it will soon dawn on you that eating sauerkraut is safer—and a heck of a lot more nutritious—than eating a green salad.
You see, any bad bacteria that may have found their way onto the surface of a lettuce leaf are still there when you go to eat your salad. Thankfully, a healthy gut is a great line of defense against those nasty little buggers and most of the time won’t make us sick.
In contrast, any bad bacteria hanging out of the cabbage leaf die and wither away in the salty brine of your fermenting sauerkraut.
😎 How cool is that?
Do still eat those green salads, however. 🙂
4. And, again, who is Holly Howe?
My name is Holly Howe. I grew up in California and now live in the Cowichan Valley, a foodies paradise on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I’m a school teacher turned fermentation educator. Some fun facts about me:
- I taught sixth-graders both in California and at an American military base in Bavaria, Germany.
- The best olive oil I ever tasted came from a one-donkey (pulled the stone roller around on a round slab to crush the olives), a one-man operation hidden in a cave in the deserts of Tunisia.
- I love to knit and you’ll often find me oceanside, soaking up the sun with needles in hand.
- I drank my first kombucha in a kind Russian lady’s home down some quiet side street in Moscow. That was back in 1985 long before kombucha was hip.
- I ate my first sauerkraut alongside bratwurst at a pub in Munich, Germany.
- The essentials in my fridge are butter, cheese, eggs, and an array of fermented foods… of course. And, I always have a selection of dark chocolate bars stashed in my office desk drawer.
- My first enterprise was selling homemade banana bread door-to-door.
- My first car was a lemon-yellow Honda Civic. Best feature? Cruise control for those long drives up and down Hwy 101.
- I spent the first 5 years of my life living in Hawaii. No shoes were required for kindergarten which set me up for a life-long habit of kicking my shoes off the minute I’m in the house.
Since my mid-20s, I have been fascinated by the food we eat and its connection to our health. I’m embarrassed to admit how many health-related books I’ve bought over the years.
I was compelled to add fermented foods to my diet after reading Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon, a book based on the diets of healthy traditional cultures and the foods they ate. A common thread among these traditional cultures was the inclusion of fermented foods in their diets. It sounded promising to me.
I found Bubbie’s Sauerkraut at my local health food store and added it to our evening meals. As my family found the bottom of the jar more and more quickly, I soon realized my wallet would be happier if I could cut costs by fermenting my own sauerkraut.
I followed the recipe in Nourishing Traditions, fermenting the mix in mason jars—just as I teach on this website. Then, after many months adapting the recipe, refining the process, and developing a variety of flavors, I graduated to making large batches in a traditional crock. I bought that prized fermentation vessel of budding fermenters, a Harsch crock. Today, I ferment about half of our year’s supply in a crock and the other half in jars.
- Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut Master an Ancient Art of Preservation, Grow Your Own Probiotics, and Supercharge Your Gut Health (2019)
Publications & Books Written For
- Banh Mi Pickled Carrots recipe—and more—in MyFermentation, an online publication by Mother Earth News.
- Thyme and Leek Paste Recipe in WECK Small-Batch Preserving: Year-Round Recipes for Canning, Fermenting, Pickling, and More—Stephanie Thurow
- Sweet Garlic Sauerkraut Recipe in Cowichan Grown: Seasonal Recipes & Local Wisdom—Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace
- Waist Away Podcast Are fermented foods good for you, what are the health benefits of sauerkraut, and how to make sauerkraut at home?
- The Probiotic Life Probiotic Sauerkraut Step by Step with Holly Howe: Cultivating Culture with Song and Fermenting Mouthwatering Sauerkraut!
- Master’s Degree in Education, Instructional Technology—University of Texas at Austin
- Bachelor’s Degree in Education—California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
- Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential—California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
4. OK, cool. Now what?
Grab a knife, a head of cabbage, and make some sauerkraut, or… perhaps some Kimchi-Style Sauerkraut as shown above. yum!
Best Place to Get Started Making Sauerkraut?
This sauerkraut recipe is not “just a recipe,” but instead a mini fermentation course in which I teach you everything you need to know to successfully ferment sauerkraut using a jar and other items found in your kitchen.
My proven tips, step-by-step photos, and helpful notes have you covered. Dependably delicious!
And, once you have learned to make sauerkraut, please teach four of your friends. Together, let’s pack out Yankee stadium.
If you have any questions or comments for me, reach out to me using my Contact page.
For Fabulous Ferments, Bodacious Bacteria, and Magnificent Microbes,
Last update on 2021-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API