View Full Version : Lazy Girl's Saur Kraut
01-09-2009, 01:59 PM
I can't eat raw cabbage because it gives me gas. Fortunately, fermented cabbage, aka saur kraut, is a flatulence-free way for me to get the goodness of cabbage into my diet. Cabbage is also an amazingly cheap anti-cancer superfood. One important step in making saur kraut is to shred and massage the cabbage well enough so that lots of juice oozes out from the cabbage. I never have time to do that! So, I came up with this simple method for juicy saur kraut without the sore muscles from all of the shredding and massaging. It relies on juicing some of the cabbage and using the cabbage juice as a marinade. I hope you like it!
Lazy Rainbow Saur Kraut
2 heads purple cabbage
1 head green cabbage
4 large carrots
2 cloves garlic
1 habanero pepper (optional, this makes it really spicy!)
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
1. Rinse the cabbage really well. If the cabbage is not organic, soak it for thirty minutes in water with either lemon juice OR food grade hydrogen peroxide. Organic is best, but none of us live in a perfect world and sometimes we have to make do with conventional produce.
2. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Save them for later.
3. Cut the cabbage heads into quarters.
4. Juice a quarter of a head of red cabbage, a quarter of a head of green cabbage, two carrots, the garlic, and the pepper. Compost the pulp or save it for using in other recipes. Reserve the juice.
5. Coarsely chop the remaining cabbage and carrots. Put the chopped cabbage and carrots in a large glass or stainless steal bowl. Pour the reserved veggie juice over the cabbage and carrots.
6. The veggie juice should just barely cover the cabbage and carrots when you press down on the cabbage and carrots. If it doesn't, add equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar until you have enough liquid to cover the cabbage/carrots.
7. Cover the cabbage/carrots with the reserved outer cabbage leaves.
8. Put a plate on top of the cabbage/carrots, and put something heavy on top of the plate.
9. Leave the saur kraut on your counter for 3-4 days. When it smells vinegary, it is ready.
10. Remove the outer leaves and the very top layer of chopped cabbage/carrots.
10. Transfer the finished saur kraut to a glass jar and store it in your refrigerator. The cold temperature of the refrigerator will slow down, but not stop, the fermentation process. If you don't eat your saur kraut in time, eventually it will be all fizzy when you open the jar. Fizzy saur kraut should not be eaten. It should go directly to the compost pile. I include garlic in my kraut because it kills some bacteria, slowing down the fermentation.
This recipe may sound like a lot of work, but it is relatively easy compared to the old-fashioned way of making saur kraut. It also is much cheaper than buying unpasteurized saur kraut at a health food store. Best of all, saur kraut is a wonderfully nutritious, delicious predigested superfood. Have a great day everyone!
01-09-2009, 04:14 PM
Thanks! Can't wait to try it out!
01-09-2009, 05:16 PM
if never've seen donna gates body ecology site these recipes at bottom of this link page may supply ideas =
01-10-2009, 01:33 AM
Thanks for taking the time to Share.
01-10-2009, 08:31 AM
The body ecology site also has an interesting method, using a blender to make the "brine" instead of a juicer.
01-10-2009, 10:26 AM
Interesting, RS - I will be trying it. :)
01-29-2009, 05:15 PM
So, no salt, huh? interesting
03-11-2009, 11:24 AM
So, I don't know if I'd call it fizzy but my last batch smelled like alcohol. I'm a little nervous. I think i let it sit for too long. My house is cold so I thought it'd take longer to ferment but I suspect I overcalculated.
03-11-2009, 12:07 PM
A-ha! Brilliant to use juice to submerge the cabbage! I have tried other recipes that say salt and smash until enough juice comes out to cover, but that never happens and I end up adding water!
03-11-2009, 12:11 PM
This sounds good, I will try it because I do love saur kraut
03-15-2009, 10:53 AM
Does anyone understand the mechanics of fermentation?
How does this recipe work without salt? I mean, what purpose does the ubitiquous salt in fermentation recipes serve?
I did a modified version of this last night with the cabbage juice but with salt.
I'll keep you updated. I keep wrecking batches of sauerkraut. This might be the one that doesn't cause food poisoning.
I heard there's a yahoo group specifically for fermentation. I'd like to track it down..
I'm amazed that people in previous generations had such awesome food preservation skills, especially with the fermention. And they were so healthy for it.
thanks Rawstrength! Hope you're still around!
03-24-2009, 12:25 PM
Nope. Another gross batch of sauerkraut. The factors seem to be trickier than I thought. Might be a temperature issue or probiotic issue. I give up for now.
03-24-2009, 03:30 PM
I just shred, tamp down, sprinkle a little salt, repeat for about 4-5 layers, and then weigh it down.
Are you trying to eliminate the salt part? When you salt the layered cabbage, it pulls the juice out, you don't need to add anything other than the cabbage and salt - and other veggies if you wanted.
03-24-2009, 08:11 PM
rawstrength, how long does it last in the fridge? do you need to eat within days or weeks?
03-25-2009, 08:20 AM
Stina - I'm so sorry about your saur kraut not turning out. Maybe try adding some probiotics and some salt to your next batch.
Aleesha - it lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
03-25-2009, 11:05 AM
When I have a batch going on the kitchen counter - I try to keep it going!
Meaning - I don't make a batch and refrigerate.
I'll make a batch, and have some each day - and it's fun to see how the flavor and texture changes over 2-5 days!
When it's about 1/2 gone, I dump it all out. I put some new shredded cabbage into the bowl, sprinkle salt (or NOT if the first batch had too much, lol!). Fill up the bowl half way - then put the original batch on top, with all the juices. The original is still ready to eat, so I keep on eating daily and the new batch gets cultured very quickly.
I've kept this up for maybe 3-4 additions. Just lost it as I got busy - didn't add new and ate it all - not that the batch went bad or anything.
03-25-2009, 09:07 PM
mmmm sounds like a plan!
and thanks... 1-2 weeks... good to know.
03-25-2009, 09:53 PM
Thanks! I was craving something but did not know what. This could be the ticket! (tigger to kitchen.......)
03-25-2009, 10:07 PM
Ok, now I just have to be patient. Tigger's are never patient...:D
I used jalapenos and jalapeno juice and lots of garlic. And salt. (my name is tigger and I am a salt-a-holic.)
Thanks for sharing!
03-26-2009, 12:25 AM
This entire thread is making my mouth water...I can almost taste the tart vinegar...Yum...
03-27-2009, 04:39 AM
copied from another forum:
Vegetable Fermentation Further Simplified says:
> The simple key to successful vegetable fermentation is to make sure your vegetables are submerged in liquid. That’s it, the big secret. Usually the liquid is salty water, also known as brine, but fermentation can be done without salt, or with other liquids, such as wine or whey. Typically, when fresh vegetables are chopped or grated in preparation for fermentation—which creates greater surface area—salting pulls out the vegetable juices via osmosis, and pounding or tamping the vegetables breaks down cell walls to further release juices, so no additional water is required. However, if the vegetables have lost moisture during long storage, occasionally some water is needed; if brine hasn’t risen to submerge the weighted vegetables by the following day, add a little water. In the case of vegetables left whole (cabbage heads, cucumbers, green tomatoes, string beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, peppers—try anything), the vegetables should be submerged in brine.
The huge variety of vegetable ferments you can create all exist along the spectrum from shredded and salted to whole and submerged in a brine. Sometimes you use elements of each style, as in kimchi recipes that call for soaking vegetables in a brine to soften them and leach out bitter flavors, then pouring off excess brine and mixing in spices. In some cases the liquid is what we’re after, flavored by the vegetables and fermentation.
Pretty much any vegetable can be fermented. Use what is abundantly available and be bold in your experimentation. Seaweeds are a wonderful addition to ferments, as are fruits, though mostly fruit ferments go through their process very quickly. I’ve even made delicious sauerkraut with mashed potatoes layered in with the salted cabbage, as well as kimchi with sticky rice layers. The sharp fermented starches are delicious. The spicing of vegetable ferments is quite varied, too. Kimchi typically includes red chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Sauerkraut might include caraway seeds (my favorite), juniper berries, apples, or cranberries. New York–style sour pickles are spiced with dill, garlic, and sometimes hot peppers. To keep cucumbers crunchy, add to the brine some grape leaves or leaves of horseradish, oak, currant, or cherry.
How much salt do you use? Traditionally vegetables have been fermented with lots of salt. In addition to pulling water from the vegetables, salt hardens pectins in the vegetables, rendering them crunchier, and discourages the growth of bacteria other than lactobacilli. By inhibiting competing bacteria, salt enables the vegetables to ferment and to be stored for longer periods of time. Since preservation has historically been one of the important motivations for fermentation, ferments have tended to be quite salty. But for health-conscious people interested primarily in flavor and nutrition, less salt can be better. Salt lightly, to taste. It is easier to add salt than to take it away, but if you oversalt, you can dilute by adding water and/or more vegetables. There is no magic proportion of salt the process requires—it’s just personal preference. As a starting point, try 3 tablespoons of salt per 5 pound of vegetables. More salt will slow the fermentation process; less (or none) will speed it up. Ferments with less salt may be more prone to surface molds. You can leave out the salt or use various mineral-rich substitutes such as celery juice (my favorite salt-free variation) or seaweed. Just be sure the vegetables are submerged in the liquid.
Some people promote the idea that salt-free sauerkrauts contain more beneficial organisms than salted krauts. I don’t believe that. The most specific beneficial bacteria we’re after, Lactobacillus, is salt-tolerant and abundantly present even in salty krauts; arguably, salt-free ferments are more biodiverse, but this diversity often results in mushy textures. Though it is possible to ferment vegetables without salt, a little salt results in far superior flavor and texture—and just as much beneficial bacteria. So again, salt to taste...
I think some celery juice and/or seaweeds would make a good kimchi - just mix it in with whatever vegetables you want, and cram it down into a tall glass jar or crock.
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