Fermented Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Fermented Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Have you ever made fermented sauerkraut? If you haven’t tried it before, it is pretty simple and quite a fun project to do, especially with kids.

 

 

Sauerkraut directly translates to “sour cabbage”. It is made by finely shredding cabbage, adding some salt and then allowing it to ferment via the process of lacto-fermentation. The various lactic acid bacteria that perform the fermentation are naturally present on the cabbage so there is no need to add any bacteria or “starter” to the cabbage. It will simply “do its thing” naturally, given the right conditions.

 

 

Sauerkraut has a very distinctive taste that is a combination of sour/salty/tangy which I find to be delicious and energizing. It is also very good for you! The lactic acid bacteria that preserve the sauerkraut are very beneficial to our digestive systems, and help to build and maintain a healthy gut flora.

 

A while back I made my Beet and Cabbage Sauerkraut which was so delicious, that I was inspired to continue experimenting with different combinations. I love adding different vegetables and seasonings to my ferments for flavor variety and added nutrition. This time, I decided to make a Fermented Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut!

 

 

Shelley’s Note: If you do want to use cultured vegetable starter bacteria you can make a low salt version of this recipe. Check out these sources for good cultured vegetable starter.

 

 

Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Raw Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free, Nut Free

1 Savoy cabbage (2-3lb), finely shredded*

3 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger**

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3 teaspoons fine-ground sea salt

Caraway seeds (optional)

1 cup brine (1 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in 1 cup of filtered water)

 

 

1. Finely chop up the cabbage. As your chopping board fills up with cabbage, toss it into a large bowl (or pot). Add the grated carrots and ginger. Sprinkle over the salt, garlic and optional caraway seeds.

2. Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and start scrunching that cabbage with your hands! Alternatively you could pound the cabbage with a wooden utensil instead of your hands, but I prefer to use my hands. The purpose of this step is to release the juices and to make sure that the cabbage, salt, carrots and ginger are mixed together really well. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. If you tilt the bowl and move the cabbage out of the way, you should start to see juice collecting in the bottom of the bowl.

3. When everything has been mixed and scrunched really well, and you have juice collecting in the bottom of your bowl, you’re ready to transfer the contents to the jar that it will ferment in.

 Note: It’s important to use a glass jar as opposed to a plastic or metallic container because the glass is non-reactive and won’t interfere with the fermentation process. Also, make sure you have a way of weighing down the contents while they’re fermenting. I like to use a drinking glass that fits snugly into the mouth of my fermenting jar (scroll down for image).

4. Pack the vegetables into the jar tightly to remove as many air pockets as possible. It is important that the vegetables are covered in a good inch of brine so that they are not exposed to the air. Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process, which means it won’t work in the presence of oxygen. If, after packing the vegetables down in the jar, the brine is not completely covering the vegetables by a good inch, then make up some additional brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of filtered water and gently pouring it into the fermenting jar.

5. Place a weight on top of the vegetables to keep them submerged (I use a drinking glass or you could use a glass jar). I always get a few bits of vegetables floating to the surface but that has never caused me any problems.

6.  Cover the fermenting jar with a light tea towel and place it on a spare dinner plate or similar because sometimes during the fermentation process the level of brine continues to rise, and may spill out of the fermenting jar. Leave it at room temperature for a week. My favorite fermenting spot is in our coat cupboard because it is cool and has an even temperature! My kitchen frequently gets too hot (above 75F).

7.  After a week I removed my jar of sauerkraut from the cupboard. I could tell it was good because it had a nice crisp, tangy smell to it and no signs of mold or discoloration.

 

*It is not necessary to use a Savoy cabbage; an ordinary green cabbage will do just fine. But I had a Savoy cabbage on hand that needed to be used.
**I used 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and it gave the sauerkraut a lovely ginger flavor without being overpowering. If you really like ginger, add more. If you don’t like the ginger taste but still want the benefits of ginger (helps with digestion) then use less.

 

 

Here the before and after photos:

 

I tasted some and it tasted crisp, fresh, salty and a little tangy. It tastes so fresh and alive and the ginger really shines through. Perfect! I closed the lid on the jar and transferred it to the fridge for storage. It will continue to develop in the fridge, but at a much slower rate. The flavor will mature and become more complex and well-developed with time.

 

 

If you’re interested in making this but still feel a little uncertain about some of the steps in the process, I recommend reading my step by step guide to making sauerkraut.

 

 

Lacto-fermented vegetables are a great probiotic food, are so good for you, and really tasty too! Go ahead and try it!

 

Bottom Blog Box Callout for Deliciously Holistic
This guest post is by Debbie Plaistowe. Debbie Plaistowe is a work-at-home wife and mom, and a big believer in the healing power of traditional foods. Debbie created Easy Natural Food to share her vast collection of recipes that she has been amassing ever since she began her real food journey. Not one for wanting to fuss around unnecessarily in the kitchen, Debbie likes to create simple, practical, yet nutritious meals for her family. Check out her website for more fantastic recipes.
 http://easynaturalfood.com/

What are your favorite ferments?  If you would like to contribute to the conversation, please take a moment to leave a comment.

 

For more information about the benefits of fermented foods for vibrant health check out my post.

 

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This recipe shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday , Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Friday

 

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Comments

  1. What a great recipe. I’m just starting to ferment and this sounds super easy and delicious!
    France recently posted..TV Tuesday #14: The Secret To Cooking Perfect Quinoa Every TimeMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks France! Debbie makes some really wonderful ferments and I was happy to have her do this guest post. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  2. I love sauerkraut and I am always looking for new recipes. I think my wife will really like this one. It does not seem to complicated to prepare also which is nice. I love the combination you have of vegetables. I am for sure going to try it our and report back to you how it turned out 🙂
    Kyle recently posted..Google Penguin Update: How To Utilize Anchor TextMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Kyle, I love sauerkraut too and this recipe by Debbie is so easy to make. Please let me know how it turns out when you make it.

  3. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, fantastic recipe shelley!

    You are the gem of the recipes. I didn’t know that sauerkraut was good for the digestion, but I think that makes sense.

    Have you ever tasted kimchi? It a vary popular Korean dish made out of sauerkraut and spices. I’ve been hanging out with a lot of Koreans few years back and they introduced me to kimchi. At I first I was a bit hesitant, but I came to love it.

    I am not crazy about the sauerkraut they are selling in grocery stores in plastic bags here. The sauerkraut my mother used to buy in France was so much better. I may try your recipe one of these days 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Monts du LyonnaisMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Thanks Sylviane! When you ferment sauerkraut rather than pasteurize it and use vinegar like most commercial varieties it becomes a living healing food with lots of probiotics and enzymes which improve your digestive system. I have made Kimchi and I love it too. I hope you try the recipe. 🙂

  4. Looks fantastic! I really want to try this. Love the idea of ginger in sauerkraut!

  5. Shelley, you have me wanting to leave my keyboard and go out to make this right now! The idea adding ginger really caught my eye…yummm

    Thanks for sharing once again!
    Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Law Of Attraction Part 2My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Donna, Debbie really created a fantastic recipe! I just made it and the ginger is so good in it. My new cookbook has a recipe that includes both ginger and cucumber and it’s a good match with the cabbage. I hope you make the recipe.

  6. Hey Shelly, I’m glad you like it! I just love the ginger in it too, so refreshing

  7. Hi Shelley,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. I adore making fermented dishes and love it that this post was so simple for people to do. I use a pickle press sometimes and also make different pickle dishes. Here is one that is very quick and simple, I hope you enjoy.
    Ume Radish Pickles
    12 or more red radishes, cleaned and left whole
    3 umeboshi plums, pitted
    Spring or filtered water

    Place radishes, plum and enough water to cover in a saucepan over medium heat.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes until pale pink and slightly crisp.
    Remove from heat and allow radishes to stand in the cooking liquid until cooled completely.
    Transfer radishes and cooking liquid to a jar. Serve pickles, whole, halved or thinly sliced. The pickles will keep about 2 weeks in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.

    Love Marlene x

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Marlene, Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe for Ume Radish Pickles. Radishes are one of my favorites and the idea of combining them with umeboshi plums to make pickles sounds divine! I hope you enjoy the fermented cabbage.

  8. Hello! I’m going to be making this recipe this week. One question about vinegar (which we all love): could I ferment everything exactly the way you described, then mix a little vinegar into my individual portion just before eating? Would that kill off the helpful bacteria that has grown? Thanks so much!

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Leah, I personally would not add vinegar to my cultured vegetables when eating them. I like to drizzle a good cold pressed oil like walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc on them to enhance the flavor. I also enjoy them blended into creamy avocado. If you still want to use vinegar make sure you use a raw apple cider vinegar with the mother like Braggs that has lots of enzymes and is not pasteurized.

  9. Karen Husted says:

    Juniper berries are a good addition to sauerkraut.

  10. I will try this recipe. I love sauerkraut and used to make the plain one all the time. Now I have a new version.

  11. Hey there! I am in the process of making this right now. I do have a question about the garlic. Isn’t garlic antibacterial? Do I need to be concerned about it killing off the probiotics that I am trying to grow? Thanks!

  12. Dear Shelley,
    Can you please tell me the size of the canning jar you used for you receipe above? Never made sauerkraut before but excited about the process and the health benefits from it. My mother bought it in cans (about 60 years ago) and it was delicious, but can’t wait to try the healthier fresh version.

    Thank you,
    Judith

  13. Berry Walczyk says:

    I didn’t expect to get this kind of useful and interesting content, so thanks indeed.

  14. This is utterly, utterly DELICIOUS. Thanks for a GREAT recipe! Yours in crispy, krauty crunch, Alice

  15. Rhianon says:

    I love fermented sauerkraut! I’ve tried making it before, but I messed it up somehow; I think it might have been the salt ratio, or possibly it was too warm. Your sauerkraut looks great, and I love all the ingredients- it’s inspiring me to think about trying again!

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