Fermented Lemon Kale and Savoy Cabbage

Fermented Lemon Kale and Savoy Cabbage

Lately I have been doing a lot of experimenting with different blends of vegetables for my ferments. I usually make a large batch of fermented cabbage and carrots together and it’s my go-to blend that always tastes fantastic.


I have been receiving an abundance of kale from the farmers market so I decided to make a different ferment that would feature kale. I mixed curly kale with Savoy cabbage and the results were absolutely delectable! The Savoy cabbage  pairs perfectly with the kale and the vegetables stay really crunchy after fermenting. Once you add the red onion, fresh lemon, and garlic you have a delicious fermented vegetable mix that will have you wanting more!


Eating fermented vegetables on a weekly basis has really made a huge difference in my health. I used to suffer with terrible indigestion, gas, and bloating almost every day. Once I started eating small amounts of fermented vegetables with my meals, I started to heal my digestive system and I felt so much better!


70 to 80% of our immune cells reside in our gut, so it is imperative that you do whatever you can to keep your digestive system healthy so your immune system stays strong. Fermented vegetables help keep both your digestive and immune system healthy and their wonderful tangy flavors are an added bonus!


Beneficial bacteria, whey, sea salt, and or culture vegetable starter transforms vegetables or fruits into a nutrient-dense living food teaming with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and probiotics that work together to cleanse, nourish, and rebuild your digestive and immune system.


Lactobacilli are naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria that are present in the air and on vegetables and fruits. This beneficial bacteria is high in natural enzymes and are responsible for turning the starches and sugars in foods into lactic acid that preserves food and enhances its nutrients. This lactic acid bacteria also promotes the growth of good bacteria in our intestines.


The key to a successful fermentation is keeping your vegetables or fruits submerged completely under the brine so bad bacteria and molds won’t grow in your ferment. Fermentation is an anaerobic process so doing this is an absolute necessity. One of the best ways to do this is to use a a  Picklemeister Glass Fermentation Jar or a Pickl-It Jar. Many people also love using a Harsch crock.


Both of these vessels are more expensive than glass canning jars so if you are just starting out you may want to try making your ferments with the mason jars and see how you like doing it before you invest in the more expensive options.


I just recently switched to a airlock jar but before that I was making ferments in glass canning jars for 5 years and never had any issues with bad batches especially when I keep my ferments under the brine and use either the vegetable culture starter or probiotic capsules together with sea salt. If you want to learn how to convert a inexpensive mason jar to an airtight container you can see how from Northwest Edible Life in this post.


If you want more information on the health benefits of eating fermented foods check out my post and recipes.


I like eating this tasty fermented lemon kale and savoy cabbage recipe with eggs, avocado, soups, and on top of hummus, rice, quinoa, and leafy green salads. I hope you try this easy recipe soon so you can enjoy all the benefits that fermented foods offer!


If you want to try more of my fermented recipes you should check out my new cookbook Deliciously Holistic which is for sale on Amazon. My book has 14 fermented foods recipes included in the 154 healing foods recipes along with 50 pages of holistic health and lifestyle tips.


Have you ever made fermented vegetables? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.


Share this recipe with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!


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Fermented Lemon Kale and Savoy Cabbage ( 2 ) 001

Fermented Lemon Kale and Savoy Cabbage

Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian

Makes 2 quarts

1 large head organic Savoy cabbage

4-5 cups organic curly kale—large stems removed and shredded into thin strips

½ small organic red onion—diced

4 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt

1 small peeled organic lemon— white pith removed and cut in half

3 cloves peeled garlic—minced

4½ cups warm purified or spring water (90˚ F)

1 teaspoon organic coconut sugar or Rapadura

1 packet vegetable culture starter

2—clean (1-quart) glass canning jars with lids


1. Remove 4 outer leaves from the cabbage, rinse, pat dry and set aside. Remove core of cabbage and cut remaining cabbage into thin slices or shred with a food processor. Place cabbage and shredded kale into a large strainer and rinse thoroughly with water. You may have to do this in several batches depending on the size of your strainer. Drain vegetables and pat dry.

2. Place clean sliced cabbage into a large bowl with the shredded kale and red onion, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the pink salt and massage with your clean hands until cabbage and kale starts to wilt and release its liquid. Set aside while you make the brine.

3. Place remaining 2 teaspoons of pink salt, peeled lemon halves, minced garlic, water, and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth. Mix in the vegetable culture starter by hand. Let brine sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the good bacteria to wake up and start feeding on the sugar. Pour the brine over the sliced vegetables and mix well with your hands until all the vegetables are coated with brine.

4. Place cabbage and kale into the clean glass jars and pack down tightly with your hands or a large spoon until brine goes over the vegetables. Be sure to leave at least 2-inches of space at the top of each jar to allow the cabbage to expand.

5. Fold cabbage leaves and place on top of the fermented vegetables in the jar pushing down on leaves to cover with brine. Repeat this for the second jar. By doing this extra step you will help keep your fermented vegetables under the brine. You can also add a small clean glass that fits inside of the canning jar on top of cabbage to weigh it down. Make sure you have at least 1 or 2-inches of brine over the top of the fermented vegetables and folded cabbage leaves.

6. Place jars of vegetables inside a cardboard box or ice chest to protect from light. Let vegetables ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days. Taste a small portion after 4 days during the summer months and 5-6 days in the cooler months to see if you like the flavor. If you do like the taste, remove the top cabbage leaves and place fermented vegetables in the refrigerator. The longer you ferment the vegetables the more tangy and sour they get. Once done fermenting place vegetables in the refrigerator for up to 6-8 months.

7. Each time you remove fermented vegetables to eat make sure you push the remaining vegetables under the brine to protect it.


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This post shared on  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wellness Weekend, Raw Foods Thursdays, Fat Tuesday.

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  1. I love savoy cabbage and it is so under used. This is a wonderful gut health building recipe and the information is truly great. Thanks for all that you share.
    beyond the peel recently posted..Tostadas with Cocoa Spiced Pinto Beans and Peach Mint SalsaMy Profile

  2. This sounds SO incredibly good! I love that there are so many different flavors and textures added. On the to-try list, for sure! 🙂
    Ricki recently posted..Comment on Wellness Weekend, August 29-September 2, 2013 by RickiMy Profile

  3. This looks great!! Well does make sauerkraut with my parents when I was a kid count?? I don’t think I want to spend the time to do this, is there a certain type of fermented food that you can buy that you suggest…
    Holly recently posted..Juicing Ain’t For Everybody!My Profile

  4. I’ve been seriously wondering about the benefits of fermenting, so thank you for such an informative post. And the recipe sounds really yummy!
    Heather recently posted..Raw Foods Thursdays: 8/29/13My Profile

  5. Wow. That looks delicious. The veggie lover in me approves.
    Kathryn Dilligard recently posted..The Site OwlMy Profile

  6. This would seem like this would be good to serve with a sausage too… much like sauerkraut. I admit that I don’t eat too many fermented foods.
    Nile recently posted..Take Your Blogging To the Next LevelMy Profile

  7. Wow! I am just delighted to find your site! I just completed a 10 day Master Cleanse and have been wondering what “good foods” I should/want to introduce back into my clean system! I hadn’t even considered fermented vegetables before but will definitely be trying them! Thank you for this!
    Kathy from Bliss Habits recently posted..Speaking of Living Hapfully – come share the joy of being alive!My Profile

  8. Hi Shelley,
    what a great way to not only turn kale (and cabbage) into a very healthy, ‘storable’ and on hand food.
    You have given some great information and an easy to follow recipe.

    As always I appreciate that you share your knowledge!
    To healthy intestinal flora!
    Yorinda recently posted..Ketones Coconut Oil Superfuel for the BrainMy Profile

  9. This keep me reading and understanding this new process to me. I felt compelled to continue until I could duplicate this process. Found out this is what we do with our fruit and it works wonderful.

    I do appreciate this method being detailed and user friendly. I love it and will be using it more.

    Thank you for the passion you put in all your recipes and this helps us so much. You are appreciated very much by this reader.
    William Earl Amis, Jr. III recently posted..Take Your Time!My Profile

  10. Hi,
    Thanks for the recipe. You mentioned that fermented foods can be made using probiotics, is that so for this recipe? Is it as easy as substituting the probiotic in for the culture starter?

    • Yes you can Hayley. I would substitute 3 probiotic capsules for the culture starter. Just open the pills up and add the probiotic powder to your brine. If it’s a liquid, I would add two of the recommended dose sizes as listed on the bottle.
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..Purple Cauliflower SoupMy Profile

  11. Fantastic, thank you for such a quick response!

  12. Fermenting’s something else I’ve never considered – you’re showing me how behind the curve I am!

    I’ve only ever juiced kale. I’m gutted that it’s out of season at the moment! 🙁 I need to check what other greens the market has which might be suitable!
    Jared Wallace recently posted..What’s the Best Juicer that’s Easy to Clean?My Profile

  13. I make whey to do my ferments with instead of the starter cultures. Do you think 1/4 cup of whey would suffice in place of the starter cultures for this recipe?

  14. Not sure if my first post went thru so am trying again. Do you think 1/4 whey would suffice in place of the starter culture for this recipe?

  15. That’s a great recipe! Fantastic, thank you so Much for your great effort!!
    Bret recently posted..Omega NC900HDC 6th Generation Nutrition Center Juicer :Omega NC900 ReviewMy Profile

  16. If you use a glass mason jar do you have to use new lids that inside of the ring?

  17. I just found your website and have all the ingredients except the starter to make this recipe. I have made similar recipes that used salt. would that be acceptable? if so how much would you recommend?

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