Friday, March 14, 2014

Fermented Sauerkraut Recipe (Sounds gross tastes perdy good)

So this is a picture of my last batch of fermented sauerkraut. And it turned out really tasty.
So I thought I'd share my not-so-secret recipe with you.

Fermented Sauerkraut

Health benefits.
1. Loaded with tons of probiotics
2. Aids in digestion.
3. Helps fight cancer.
4. It's a good source of vitamin C
6.  Has vitamin U which is used in treatment of ulcers.
7. The fermented juice has anti microbial properties inhibiting the growth of Salmonella

This is a link to an interesting article on fermented cabbage juice and its health benefits. This recipe is for fermented sauerkraut, but I figure it's about the same.

Things you will need.
1. Cabbage
2. Sea Salt
3. Water
4. Vinegar to taste (Only if you like a little more pep to your kraut)
5. Garlic powder or any spices you might like.
6. Any veggies that you may like.

Just so you know, fermenting isn't an exact science. To me it's all about experimenting, tasting, and figuring out what flavors I like the best. And it's fun.

There are a lot of recipes out there for fermented Sauerkraut.
Most people hear the word fermented veggies, and they gross out.
I even went through that stage. I had this clipart image in my head of fermented foods. And it wasn't a very nice picture. It looked like some bubbly chicken slop, and smelled like it too.  

But if done right, fermented  foods can taste amazing. Ferments can enhance flavors, and be quite zesty. Before our modern age of refrigeration, our ancestors fermented foods all the time in order to keep their food from spoiling. Without even realizing it, they were creating a super food that we are just now rediscovering.

It sounds a little gross fermenting cabbage, but what the ferment really does is bring out all the flavors, and add a zesty taste to your food.
To make this particular sauerkraut, this is what I did, and my family liked it. So I'll share it with you. First off I want to say that this is my own personal recipe that I've altered to my liking. Feel free to modify it as you would any recipe.

I like to think of this sour kraut recipe more like a glorified coleslaw.
To make it, you make it like you would any coleslaw, only with a few different twists. Add any veggies that you would normally, and spice it up the way you would like any normal cabbage salad.

1. Chop as much cabbage you want, or use a cheese grater, or food processor to slice it up (That's a lot easier)

Then while you're slicing it or chopping it, squeeze it every once in a while, to bruise the leaves and press out its juices.

While you're doing that, toss in some sea salt, and mix it up with your hands. Add as much salt as tastes good to you. But note that the salt is the main ingredient that helps the cabbage ferment.

2. Squeeze the leaves some more until they look a little darker in color.
Then toss in whatever spices you like.
I chopped some onions, a green pepper, and some cilantro. Then I added lots of pepper, sea salt, and some garlic powder to the mix.
If you want, add some lemon juice too.

After you've done that, pack it tightly into a quart jar, and then dump water over the cabbage. (Some people let the cabbage sit about 20mins before adding the water.) But I didn't. Also some people use a salt water brine. It's up to you.

What I did was add salt to it as I was chopping it, until it tasted good.  Then when I packed the cabbage tightly into the bottle, I added some water, and then I added enough apple cider vinegar to give it a nice zippy taste.  (Note that most recipes don't call for vinegar) I just like the taste it adds to the cabbage.

After that, close it with a lid, or a cloth. Then let it sit on your counter for a few days---or weeks depending on how you want it to taste.  
Some people say to put your cabbage in a crock and let it ferment for a while. Or store it in a dark place. But I just put mine a mason jar, out on the counter, and it worked just fine.

Then after you've done all that, check on it from time to time to see how it tastes. It will usually have a strong smell, and be a bit bubbly. (That's good)
If the taste isn't to your liking, let it sit longer. The longer it ferments, the more strongly flavored it gets. If you taste it and it is to your liking, and you want to slow down the ferment, just put it in your fridge and eat it up. People say to eat it like you would a side dish, and not to eat it in huge portions.

My last batch took only a few days to get it to a nice flavor I liked. I know that sounds fast, but I used some old, yellow cabbage that was nearly ready to expire in my fridge. I'm glad I did, because it is now very tasty.

Also, note that fermented foods are oftentimes an acquired taste. So just be patient with yourself.  Work with flavors you like best.
And last but not least, if you have thyroid problems, I've read that certain properties in cabbage can inhibit the thyroid. So if you're having thyroid problems, I'd probably either, eat it very sparingly, or ferment something else.



  1. My mom would absolutely love this. I should send it to her :)

  2. Just be warned, this recipe is really, really yummy. Once you make it, you won't ever want to not have it on hand.


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