Pink Sauerkraut - The Fermented Foody

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Pink Sauerkraut


Ooh, Really?!

I hadn’t made a sauerkraut for a while.  Cabbage, fermented on it’s own with salt, is beyond delicious.

But I figured it would be an idea to throw a few more vegetables into a jar for the start of winter, to enjoy some variety.  And why jolly not?!

When I first started fermenting, I followed a recipe that included slices of orange, but I’m afraid it didn’t hit the spot. Too fruity and sweet. For me, sauerkraut is better without too much fuss and ummm … well … no fruit!

Here’s my latest version of a savoury sauerkraut that turns a beautiful shade of pink; the fermented water taking on the hue of the pink cabbage.  Oooh, lovely!

And don’t forget that this will be giving you a lovely dollop of nature’s own friendly bacteria as well.  You know, those cheeky little babies called probiotics.

Probiotics help build your immune system and fight any bad bacteria that may have dared to set up home in your ‘gut’ .. which is where 85 % of our immune system lives.  Our gut is like our immune HQ.

Don’t fancy colds, viruses, infections, bugs?  Try this recipe for starters and add to it a daily drink of kefir.

Sauerkraut.  One part of your daily intake of probiotics.  Just in time for winter.  HOW dudey?!

Gather Your Goodies

1 White Smooth Cabbage

1 Red Cabbage

2 Large Cucumbers

6 Peppers

1 Bunch Celery

Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt (NOT TABLE SALTTTT! – Yes, I did do a screechy/yell-type thing just there.  Table salt just ain’t the ticket.  We don’t need that in our kitchens. No, really.  Ditch the table salt. You’ll be doing yourself a super dooper favour.)

Read more about ‘why’ right here:

It’s Action Time!

  • Slice or shred your vegetables into fairly thin strips. Cut the cucumbers into medium width ‘julienne’ strips. (Ignore me.  I’m just using a fancy name for cutting veg into thin sticks.  Gosh, I can be SO annoying. 😉
  • Keep a few large cabbage leaves back.
  • Take the total weight of your vegetables and add 2% salt. Use less if you prefer.  2% does turn out reasonably salty, so 1% may be a good place to start.  Just work to your own taste.  Salt slows down the fermenting process and keeps a crunch to the skin of your vegetables.  Too good.
  • Mix the salt thoroughly into the vegetables with your hands, then either bruise the veg with the flat end of a rolling-pin (or similar) in a washing up bowl (clean – and new, preferably!) or start to layer the veg into your jar and bruise it as you add each layer.
  • The ‘bruising’ is to break down the vegetable, allowing the salt to draw the juices more easily.  You can test this by simply bruising them in a large bowl first and allowing the veg to then sit for an hour.  When you return you’ll find they’re sitting in a good deal more of their own juice.  Good, huh?!
  • Whichever way you choose to prepare your vegetables for the fermenting jar, keep pushing them down with the rolling-pin into the jar. You want them to be tightly packed.
  • The juices will keep releasing from the veg as you bruise them and, if you do your job well, should cover the entire contents of the jar by time you reach the neck.
  • If you’re slightly short of moisture, you can add filtered/mineral water to top it up.  This will be mostly needed if you’re using a majority of dry veg such as cabbage and onions.  As soon as you add wetter vegetables: peppers, cucumbers, celery etc they will produce plenty of vegetable water for your ferment.
  • Another idea (it’s fun to ring the changes and it’s an alternative to using mineral water, if you don’t have any to hand) is to simply juice a few of your vegetables in a juicer and use that clear juice to top up your jar.
  • Finally, use your spare cabbage leaves to layer on top of the vegetables in each jar. Tuck them in neatly. This will keep your fermented food submerged in water and prevent them drying out or moulding. 
  • It’s unlikely that you’ll create mould unless you neglect your ferment, but if you did see any, throw your ferment away. A white film on top of the ferment is safe, can be removed and your food can continue to ferment and be eaten. White sludge on the bottom of your vessel is a type of yeast and tends to settle. This is also safe, although you wouldn’t want to be eating it if you can avoid it. If this is accompanied by a slime that coats the food, even slightly, throw your ferment away. ANYTHING other than these two situations, ie pink mould, creamy films, grey/black mould, an unpleasant odour (you’ll know!), cabbage discolouring (it tends to turn brown) and of course, the slime I mentioned previously, are non negotiable. Your ferment must be thrown. 
  • You can top up with mineral/filtered water during the fermentation process if any leakage from the jar occurs.
  • Your veg will be fermenting after a few hours.
  • Leave in a place that’s not in direct sunlight.  A worktop is great.  Somewhere out of your way.
  • Temperature should be anywhere from 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit, not more than 85 degrees.  The warmer the room, the faster your food will ferment. So keep an eye on it and don’t worry too much about the ambient temperature!
  • Taste them daily. They’re great after 3 days, better after around 7 and will often keep for months in the fridge – that’s if you don’t eat them fast enough. 😉  I tasted these after 3 days, but then decided to leave them until day 8 or 9 and they were even better!

Here’s a little video that shows the jars, the types of lid I use .. and me doing a taste test (slurp slurp!) for this sauerkraut .. and also the kimchi recipe I’ll post soon.

Fare thee well until demain.

But pleeeease.  Don’t write to me to tell me you buy your kraut from a store .. or I’m going to have to start smacking naughty little cyber hands! Just go buy the veg, chop, bruise and pack it into a jar.  I mean, HOW long does it take? Not very. 😉

I’m looking forward to seeing the photo of your first kraut!

KISSES - CBemail-signature1

About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write poetry, read, walk in nature, take iphone photographs, sing, cycle, watch good movies, documentaries, dramas and comedy.

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Leave a Comment:

Ray Morgan says

The first time I ate Sauerkraut was in what then West Germany. I was about 18 years old and fell in love with Sauerkraut ! These days I buy either German or Polish Sauerkraut. I will have to try this recipe because I have never made it myself. Very interesting !!!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Yes, it’s a lovely food Ray! I hope you enjoy this recipe too. 🙂

Michele says

Haha, I thought this was another American blog and then watched your video. Great! My red cabbage kraut doesn’t look right 🙁 After I made it I stored it in the fridge and it has leaked a lot. There is a grey-pink sort of deposit at each cut edge. Perhaps if it smells okay then it is okay?

    Sarah Jackson says

    It sounds like you may have a pink mould Michele. That would mean throwing out your ferment. Any coloured mould is an absolute no no!

Rhianon says

This sounds delicious! I absolutely love the video; that’s a healthy ferment!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thank you Rhianon! Yes, some ferments go crazy! I’ve made a kefir style yoghurt that fizzed all over the worktop before now. 🙂

Gilly Maddison says

I probably should have my cyber hands smacked anyway for not keeping up with this site! The concept of fermented food keeps coming back into my life in various ways as if it trying to get my attention! So it probably is. I think it’s the use of salt that puts me off – even the ‘proper’ pink Himalayan stuff. I think I may try it with 1% salt as you suggest and see what happens- will let you know! Lovely energy in your writing.

    Sarah Jackson says

    I never use 2% Gilly. If you see my fermented berries I think I use less than 1%. Salt prevents spoilage, gives the food a longer shelf life, helps to draw out juices and discourages growth of bacteria other than Lactobacilli, including the risk of mould. Salt also slows down the fermentation process and protects the skin of the food from going too mushy. I find mine last long enough without huge volumes. It’s a personal preference, rather than a rule.

    You can ferment without salt. The benefit of using it is better texture and flavour, for many people anyway. You can also ferment using whey. If, like me, you don’t use cow’s dairy, you can use sheep or goat’s whey. I’ve read that ferments can smell/taste odd after shorter periods using this method. I don’t drink animal milk, so I don’t make/use whey. Try it if you fancy seeing if it works for you.

Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says

This looks so healthy, nutritious and delicious! The video is AWESOME!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thanks Anu. Yes, that was a pretty popular video. Bubbling raw veg. I love it too!

kimberly says

Thanks so much for sharing such a fabulous recipe at the Merry Mondays Linky Party Sarah. Haven’t head of sauerkraut before. (please excuse my ignorance!) but it sounds great. It’s like pickled veggies!!
And oh yes… I can join you in doing the screechy/yell-type thing as far as table salt is concerned. I prefer sea salt any day!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Ooooh! You don’t know what you’ve been missing Kimberly. 😉

    You can make sour coconut milk (kefir milk – all on the blog) and then turn into the world’s healthiest ice cream. It’s sooo delicious! Never a guilty moment to be had. 😉

Kourtenay Main says

Fantastic Sarah..I can’t wait to try this recipe for myself. Goodness knows my gut could use it. 😉

    Sarah Jackson says

    Great news Kourtenay! This is one of my fridge staples. 🙂 Hope you like it too!

Vidya Sury says

🙂 I love how you present the recipes! I had no idea I was making this! Actually stumbled upon the idea! Who knew it was called sauerkraut! Ah, so glad I escaped the smacking! 😀

    Sarah Jackson says

    Aha! That’s the instinctive chef in you doing the work Vidya. 😉 … Glad you like the presentation. I seem to have a little formula going now, in between the ramblings! 😉 … Yes, no smack smack for you my sweet.

katrina says

This post made me laugh so hard! I’m so glad I’m not the only goofball in the kitchen. I actually feel like I could try this recipe and succeed. I may go ahead and try this one even though we’re moving out very soon. It just looks so good!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Oh doooo Katrina! It’s super easy. I filmed a whole bunch of clips the other day, making this very recipe (with slightly different balance of ingredients) but haven’t pulled all the clips onto one phone to edit it yet. It takes minutes, literally!

    Sooo glad I amused. These blogs can end up being a bit random, but it’s great fun not to plan everything to the last degree. 😉

Jessica Aiduk says

OMG you crack me up! I love the video… “Get to know your babies” “I’m doing this for you” hehe. I think you’ve inspired me to try throwing some onion and green pepper into my next batch. I really should do it today. I have the cabbage just languishing on the counter, and you’re right, it doesn’t take that long! It’s decided then. Today. Hold me to it!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Hehe. Jessica, I don’t rehearse, so it’s all a bit haphazard! And I really do call them my babies!!

    Now go get a knife and chop that veg. Then post your photo on my Facebook page please: The Fermented Foody (public page) .. No excuses now. You know what happens when Mama Fermented Foody gets cross? She has more kitchen accidents. And you don’t want that do you …? 😉 (You’ve seen the photos of previous carnage on this blog!)

Paul says

Great video ……. I think seeing the ferments in a video makes it easier to understand the process xx

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thanks Bro. I’ll be making more in future. Just making mini ones at the moment, if I think it could add a tip or two to a blog post! Watch this space for more … xx

Sara says

Could this work with another leafy green like swiss chard?

    Sarah Jackson says

    Absolutely Sara. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve used lots of different greens in the past and wouldn’t stop at anything.

    It’s said that there is so much natural salt in swiss chard that the fermentation process doesn’t require the use of extra salt. Just chop the stalks and pop in filtered/mineral water. Please let me know how it turns out!

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