Use red cabbage to make sauerkraut with more color and healthy phytonutrients than kraut made with green cabbage. Fermentation crocks can be expensive and hard to find, but slow-cooker crocks are easy to find at yard sales and thrift stores. Maybe you have one you are not using already! I use a 1-quart crock, but you can scale this recipe up or down. You don’t need to fill the crock to the brim for success.
Compared to many fermentation recipes, Red Cabbage Kraut is quick. I start nibbling on it after the first 24 hours. Let it ferment for two weeks or more for the most complex flavor.
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut costs just 38 cents a serving using local organic cabbage.
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Passive Time||2 weeks|
- 3 pounds red cabbage organic and super fresh
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- Wash your slow cooker crock, a potato masher or a big ladle, and your hands with hot soapy water. You don't need to sterilize anything with boiling water, but do give the healthy bacteria a head start.
- Cut red cabbage into thin strips up to two inches long, discarding the core.
- Put the potato masher on a clean surface. Drain crock and fill with shredded cabbage, sprinkling with salt and caraway seed every inch or so. Mash cabbage with the potato masher, ladle, or just squeeze it with your very clean hands every fifteen minutes or so until cabbage can be pressed down into its own juice.
- To keep cabbage submerged, cover with a non-reactive plate or a plastic bag filled with water. Store crock in a cool place. If the crock is quite full, put it on a plate in case any liquid bubbles over during fermentation.
- Let sauerkraut ferment as long as you'd like. I start using it after just 24 hours when the first halo of bubbles appears around the outside edge. It gets tangier and more complex for at least two weeks. Before refrigeration, people stored raw cabbage this way to eat until spring. Eat Red Cabbage Sauerkraut as a side dish, on sandwiches, on beans, in tacos, and as a fat-free salad dressing.
- When the flavor is "sauer" enough for you, pack fermented cabbage in clean jars and refrigerate. It keeps for months.
- If you want to travel with your Red Cabbage Kraut while it's still fermenting, pack it in clean jars with vegetable toppers. (Check out those toppers in my recipe for fermenting Kraut-Chi.) Bring it to a potluck or as a gift. Always serve it with clean forks and keep the kraut you will be eating submerged.
- Why is this process safe? Salt inhibits the dangerous bacteria and it needs air to grow. That's why we keep the cabbage submerged. You can keep it at room temperature for several months.
- Learn more about your microbiome and the benefits of probiotics on Diet Spotlight. This post highlights the lack of regulation for probiotic supplements. It's one of the reasons I'd rather grow my own probiotics and eat plants as prebiotics. (Thanks for quoting me, Diet Spotlight!)