Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut

Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut

Every New Year brings a brand new opportunity to start fresh and create a healthier lifestyle. One of the best and easiest ways to get healthier is to make simple changes to your diet by adding more whole foods into it every day. A nourishing smoothie a day, eating more leafy green vegetables with your meals, adding in wholesome fats, and eating fermented foods are some of the best ways to start to make changes that can transform your health. Whole foods taste amazing and once you start eating them daily you will not want to go back to eating processed foods filled with ingredients that deplete your health.


I want to do whatever I can to make it easy for you to eat healthier and one of my favorite ways to do this is by sharing my favorite whole foods recipes that I love on my site. Today’s recipe is for a fermented purple cabbage and apple sauerkraut. If you have been to my blog before or checked out my Instagram you already know that I adore making batches of fermented foods every month. This vibrant sauerkraut is absolutely delicious and is now one of my most favorite sauerkraut recipes!


This yummy sauerkraut includes navel orange brine along with organic purple cabbage, Fuji apple and goji berries. The crunchy Fuji apple and goji berries really add a wonderful sweetness to my ferment which balances out the tangy and earthy flavor of the cabbage. If you don’t have goji berries, dried cranberries or golden raisins would be great with this recipe.


Eating fermented foods on a daily basis has really made a huge difference in my health. I used to suffer with terrible indigestion, gas, acid reflux and bloating almost every day. Once I started eating fermented foods with my meals, I started to support my digestive system health and I felt so much better! If you’ve never made fermented foods, you will love what happens when beneficial bacteria works together with food and time to create fermented foods that are rich in nutrients and active probiotics!


I get so happy when I see my ferments being transformed by the lactobacilli bacteria. Fermentation is truly a wonderful process to see in action. The Greeks explained the transformation of food that occurs with fermentation as “alchemy.” Beneficial lactobacilli bacteria, sea salt, or adding a probiotic cultured vegetable starter or probiotic capsules transforms cabbage and other vegetables or fruits into a nutrient-dense living food filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics that helps support your digestive system.


Lactobacilli are naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria that are present on vegetables and fruits and in the air. This good or 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 beneficial bacteria in our intestines.


70 to 80% of our immune cells reside in our gut, so it is crucial that you do whatever you can to keep your digestive system healthy so your immune system stays strong. Fermented vegetables and beverages are a delicious and simple way to provide food-based nutrients that support both your digestive and immune system health and they are so simple to make!


The key to a successful fermentation is to make sure your vegetables or fruits are submerged completely under the brine so bad bacteria won’t grow in your ferment. Fermentation is an anaerobic process so doing this is an absolute necessity. Two of the best ways to do this is to use either a  Picklemeister Glass Fermentation Jar or a Pickl-It Jar. Both of these options are bit more expensive than glass canning jars so see how you like making your own fermented vegetables before you invest in the more expensive option.


I started with glass canning jars and they worked great when I was making small batches. Now that I ferment frequently and share my ferments with my family, friends and clients, I bought the one gallon Picklemeister Glass Fermentation Jar so I can make larger batches and keep them free of oxygen because of the airlocks that come with the jars.  Every batch I have made with these jars comes out great and the vegetables stay so crunchy and fresh! If you want more information on the health benefits of eating fermented foods check out my post and other fermented recipes. I have a lot of tasty recipes for you to try so please be sure to check them out!


I hope this New Year will be filled with abundant good health and happiness for all of you! Here’s some of my favorite tips to help you have a happy and healthy year! May my recipe inspire you to start making your own fermented sauerkraut creations!


If you want to try another fermented food recipe and are a fan of Salsa Verde, you have to make this delicious Fermented Salsa Verde recipe from Yogi Mami that is packed with healing probiotics!


Have you ever made fermented foods before? If so what’s some of your favorites? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.


If you enjoyed my recipe, check out my holistic cookbook that’s packed with 154 tasty whole foods recipes and 50 pages of healthy living tips! Deliciously Holistic is for sale as a eBook for only $15.00 or as a print book on Amazon! Find out more about the cookbook or get the eBook by clicking here.


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Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut


Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut

Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Makes around 2-3 quarts depending on size of the cabbage

1 medium head organic purple cabbage

1 large navel orange—peeled and white pith removed

4 ½ cups filtered or spring water

3 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt

1 teaspoon organic coconut sugar or organic cane sugar

1 pack vegetable culture starter or 2 probiotic capsules (I like this vegetable culture starter or probiotic capsules)

1 large organic Fuji Apple-diced or shredded

¼ cup organic Goji berries-optional (can also substitute dried cranberries or raisins)

2 or 3 ( 1 quart) Glass canning jars or a 1 gallon Picklemeister Glass Fermentation Jar


1. Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and the core. Cut cabbage into thin shreds rinse, drain well and pat dry. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and set leaves aside for later.

2. Make your brine. Place peeled orange into your blender with water, pink salt and sugar. Blend until smooth and stir in vegetable culture starter or contents of probiotic capsules and stir to combine. Let brine sit for 10-15 minutes to activate it.

3. Add diced or shredded apples to your bowl of cabbage along with the goji berries if using and pour brine on top. Using your clean hands mix together the cabbage and fruits to make sure everything is well coated with the brine.

4. Place sauerkraut into the clean glass jars or 1 gallon jar and push down with your fist or a tamper to remove all the air bubbles. Add folded outer leaves of cabbage on top and then pour remaining brine on top to make sure the sauerkraut and outer leaves are completed covered with brine. Leave at least 2 inches of space at the top of the jars for the cabbage to expand as it ferments. Seal with the lids and place sauerkraut jars into a large box and keep out of sunlight while it ferments. Let it ferment for 6-7 days, remove top outer leaves from jars and then place in the refrigerator.

5. If using the larger fermentation jar place the flat outer leaves on top of the sauerkraut and then place the extra plastic top on the leaves and a glass drinking glass on top of the lid that fits inside the jar to weigh down the cabbage. Seal with the top and fill the airlock device with water and pop it in the center of the lid according to the manufacturer’s instructions and place in a large box out of direct sunlight while it ferments. Follow the same instructions and time for fermentation that is listed above.
Important Note: I like to check my fermented vegetables every day to make sure they are still submerged in the brine. If they are not remove the top and push down under the brine, reseal the jar and place back in the box to continue fermenting.

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.


  1. Hi Shelley,
    this sounds like a yummy recipe.

    I never thought of putting Goji Berries into this.
    Would beetroot work as well as an ingredient?
    Do you need the sugar for the fermentation to work or is it just flavor?

    Thank you so much for this!
    Love and Light!
    Yorinda Wanner recently posted..Therapeutic Benefits of KnittingMy Profile

    • Thanks Yorinda! You can use beets/beetroot in your sauerkraut recipes. Since beets are high in natural sugar, I would combine them with the cabbage only, leave out the apple, add fresh herbs and make a nice brine with cucumber, lemon, and filtered or spring water and pink salt. I would do one beet with 1 head of the purple cabbage. Use the vegetable culture starters that I recommend in this ferment as well. If you want to make this recipe and don’t have access to Goji berries you can leave them out and substitute raisins or cranberries instead. The sugar is added to activate and provide some food for the culture starter. Love and Light to you too!
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple SauerkrautMy Profile

      • Thank you for the clarification on that.

        I appreciate your suggestions for the alternatives.

        My mum used to make sauerkraut in large earthen ware containers and also store it in these before we had a refrigerator.
        I suppose the fermentation would continue if the temperature is too high?

        Thanks again!
        Guten Appetit!
        Yorinda Wanner recently posted..Having a Good Day with Nature and BeautyMy Profile

        • Hi Yorinda, Sauerkraut continues to ferment whether it’s refrigerated or kept in the large fermentation crock like your mom had. The cold temperature in your refrigerator slows down the process significantly so once you taste your sauerkraut and like the acidity and flavor you can place it in the refrigerator to maintain this flavor. If the temperature is too high your fermentation will ferment too quickly and your beneficial bacteria won’t have the time to develop properly. The idea temperature for fermentation of vegetables is between 55-75 degrees F.
          Shelley Alexander recently posted..Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple SauerkrautMy Profile

  2. This looks yummy!!! I have to admit the benefits also look super appealing. I’ve never tried fermentation, but with my boyfriend declaring “no more eating out! we’re eating healthy!!” (although his definition of healthy is chicken and black beans) I am going to need more recipes like this! Thanks for sharing.
    victoria recently posted..How to Keep your New Year’s ResolutionsMy Profile

  3. I just bought my husband a kombucha starter and we are just barely embarking on our fermentation journey!! Sounds like so much fun!!

    Anyhoo, I stumbled upon your page through a fellow blogger, and thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same.. or better yet, keep in touch! <3 – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  4. Hi Shelley. I have been eating more fermented foods as part of my daily diet to keep my digestion at its best, so your article was calling my name! Just the other day I bought some homemade sauerkraut at my local farmer’s market (it was an interesting blend with some Indian spices in it) and I was thinking about how I need to make some at home. So I was so happy to have found your delicious recipe. It’s got all the the things I love in it and the addition of goji berries really does make it sound super healthy! Thanks for sharing it. I can’t wait to try making a batch. Would you say it’s pretty much foolproof?
    Karen Peltier recently posted..Top 10 Reasons to Make Your Own Green Cleaning ProductsMy Profile

    • Thanks Karen! Fermented foods transformed my digestive system and overall health so I am a big fan of them! This recipe is really foolproof especially if you make sure to keep the veggies under the brine and use the culture starter or probiotics I suggested. I hope you let me know how your sauerkraut turns out if you decide to make my recipe.
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple SauerkrautMy Profile

  5. Hi Shelley,

    This article wowed me! What a great blend of ingredients you have here. I haven’t yet started to ferment anything ..yet, but here you describe so well how to do it. I have been using the cook book I purchased from you a while ago and it has been such a great help for my health.

    As a vegetarian, I love this idea. My step-son just went on the Paleo Diet and this is one thing he can add on his list.

    Thanks so much!

    donna merrill recently posted..Sales Funnels In 2015My Profile

  6. Thank you Shelley!

    I definitely need to get with the program already and start consistently eating

    I’ve yet fermented any meals, but thanks to you education, at least now I know the potential benefits of doing so!

    And from what you’ve just shared, there appears to be plenty! Thanks!
    Mark recently posted..Introducing 15 Incredibly Dynamic Female Entrepreneurs That Totally Rock! Volume Two!My Profile

  7. Shelley,

    I love fermented purple cabbage but have never actually made it, and have never tasted it with your ingredients. Just adding the orange and gogi berries and fuji apples must add such a delicious taste to it. I will have to make this soon. The ingredients make it so very healthy.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica recently posted..Be More Productive – It Will Change Your LifeMy Profile

  8. Mmmm. Not bad. I need to get on with this program. Like yesterday.
    Andy Bland recently posted..Auto ResponderMy Profile

  9. I had no idea that fermentation had potential health benefits, having not known anything about it outside of the creation of alcoholic drinks. Sounds tasty, too.
    Zach recently posted..Can a Minor Enforce a Contract?My Profile

  10. Mmmmm that looks so good! I love sauerkraut and that looks delish. I tend to do something different with red cabbage and thus hadn’t considered treating it so similar to white cabbage. So what time is dinner at your house? 😉
    Kimberly Castleberry recently posted..WordPress Plugin Review: Frame Breaker (Tell Toolbars to Stop Traffic Stealing)My Profile

  11. This recipe seems so interesting! I’ve never imagined using fruit like orange and apple to go along with a ferment of some sauerkraut. Definitely imagine this probably adds a solid sweetness to the kraut. Can’t wait to try this at home! Thank you for sharing!

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