If you don’t have the time or energy to constantly upkeep a probiotic culture such as non-dairy yogurt, kefir or kombucha, Fermented Sauerkraut is an easy way to get probiotics into your diet without much fuss. There really is no way to mess this recipe up!
Making your own homemade sauerkraut is delicious on top of many dishes and recipes, such as burgers and stir fry. Rob likes to eat it by itself. We have even made a sort of sauerkraut salad topped with warm rice and lentils. There are many ways you can include sauerkraut into your diet without much creativity involved. Alternatively, if you do want to get innovative, I definitely encourage you to do so. I haven’t experimented much with different flavors of sauerkraut as I’m more than satisfied with the variation that results from the recipe below.
One variation I have been itching to try is applekraut. Basically, you add shredded apples to the cabbage and allow them to ferment together. It’s supposed to give it a sweeter taste than the original sauerkraut.
If you enjoy spicy foods, you should consider adding some chili flakes to your sauerkraut as you ferment it. I do this variation quite often and the pepper flakes give the sauerkraut a zing. I usually add a half teaspoon of chili flakes for every half liter of sauerkraut.
I have tried making sauerkraut with red cabbage and I didn’t like the flavor. You can try red cabbage sauerkraut for yourself, but from my experience it simply isn’t very tasty.
Be as creative as you desire with different fruits, vegetables and flavorings you add to your sauerkraut. One thing to keep in mind is to not add much acidity to the sauerkraut. This means no lemon juice, vinegar or other acidic substances that could significantly alter the pH of the water. The bacteria in the cabbage will gradually change the pH of the solution to make it acidic. Not allowing the bacteria to create their own preferred environment will slow down the fermentation process or even alter the flavors in an undesirable way. If you do want to add acidic flavorings, I would try to add them after the sauerkraut has fermented to your desired level and then do a second ferment with the flavorings. If you decide to do this, don’t change the water.
Finally: speaking of water, the best water to use is filtered water or water that has sat out openly to allow some of the chemicals to evaporate into the air. Do not use leftover sauerkraut water to make a new batch of sauerkraut (though you can use this water for other recipes). Use new water each time you begin the recipe with fresh cabbage.
Fermented sauerkraut is another way to get your probiotics in. One wonderful attribute about cabbage is that you don’t have to maintain a culture. The bacteria that naturally comes on the sauerkraut is all you need to encourage probiotic bacteria growth. You won’t believe how incredibly easy supplementing your body with beneficial bacteria is. You’ll wonder why you haven’t started this sooner!
Vegan and free of added sugar, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds
Reasons to love this recipe: simple, probiotic bacteria, raw, of Germanic roots
Yield depends on amount of cabbage
- green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
- 1/2 -1 tsp salt
Pack a tight-sealing jar full with cabbage. Add the salt to the jar and fill up the rest of the jar with water. Seal and shake the jar to distribute the flavors. Leave in a dark place at room temperature for at least three days and up to a week. In the beginning open up the jar once a day to let excess gas out. After reaching desired fermentation, enjoy and store extra sauerkraut in the refrigerator for later use. You can also leave the sauerkraut to ferment longer for a month or more and even deeper flavors will develop.