Raw Lacto Fermented Sauerkraut

If you like sauerkraut, this recipe is the ultimate. It is also incredibly easy! This is best eaten raw as a condiment, heat would kill the beneficial bacteria. We love to eat it with kielbasa from our farm co-op. Yum!

Lacto Fermented Sauerkraut

1 small head of organic cabbage

2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1/4 cup whey (from your homemade yogurt)

  • Shred the cabbage in a food processor (or cut into tiny pieces). It will look like way too much cabbage. Trust me it IS going to fit in the jar!

  • Place cabbage, whey, salt and caraway seeds in a 1 quart wide-mouth canning jar. You may need to add half now, and half after you have pounded it down a bit.
  • Using a meat hammer, take out your aggressions by pounding the heck out of the cabbage. You want to release a lot of juice. So much juice, that it comes up to the top of the jar and covers the cabbage.
  • Leave it sit out on your counter, in a warm sheltered location for 7 days.

This was delicious after the 7th day, but as it sat in the fridge it really developed a wonderful flavor over time. We finished the jar right around the 1 month mark, and it was even better! Because this was the original way to preserve foods before refrigeration, this stuff lasts for ages in the fridge.

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17 Comments

  1. April 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Who knew you could do this? I remember making sauerkraut the stinky way with my grandparents. All that chopping by hand, then packing it in pails with ? salt, maybe? I don’t remember how they did it. And then you let it sit.. and stink.. But the end result was always so good. This seems easy enough. I might try it when we get around to making cheese.

  2. creekrose said,

    April 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    try it with napa cabbage too . . . and a bit of crushed red chilli, it’s out of this world with a bit of rice after it’s fermented . . .. sometimes i’ll add garlic and shredded carrots or shredded apples . . . .yumm!

    • April 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      Oh my goodness, you are making me hungry. Apples would be amazing I’m sure. So trying that!

  3. chefconnie said,

    April 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Nice… I am really liking your posts this week. I am making this one!!

    • April 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Connie, you’ll love it. Rob had only previously eaten sauerkraut hot before. He didn’t think he’d like it cold as a condiment, but it adds this awesome crunch to so many different dishes. I love it on hamburgers, mixed in salads…there is usually a TBSP of this on my plate no matter what I’m eating…

  4. April 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Have you tried this with red cabbage or do you think it needs to be green?

    • April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      I haven’t tried it with red cabbage, but I don’t see any reason at all why it wouldn’t work. I have tried it with beets and with carrots. I’m pretty sure you could ferment any vegetable you wanted…

      • April 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        Great! I have some red cabbage left over from our homemade Easter egg dye. I will try this.

  5. April 11, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    We have a bucket full we are fermenting, we actually had to take it outside for a bit because it smelt like farts, LOL. No joke! Maybe we were fermenting the farts OUT of it? that would be good 😉 haha Ours are only purple cabbages though, it makes a nice pink color when done.
    I also read your comment above about Rob and the warm cabbage, Jay is the same way. I think he was afraid to try it raw at first 🙂

  6. April 12, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    i just made pickles the other day. still have to post about it. I love cabbage! and sauerkraut. maybe i till try your recipe next.

  7. June 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    […] flora as well as preserves and releases all the wholesome nutrients in your veggies!  For example, when making sauerkraut this way, the levels of Vit C and B vitamins go way up after fermentation!  Also, try to always […]

  8. Robynn said,

    March 19, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Please describe the best you can what this whey cabbage ferment tastes like. I have never liked sauerkraut and I have never had homemade. The smell and taste of the stuff from the jar is revolting to me. But i KNOW that it is good for me so I thought i would make it. I have seen mostly recipes for the salt version and a few with whey, I thought I would try mixing green cabbage, onions, garlic, red pepper, carrots and ginger. What do you think? And what might it taste like.I have been making Kombutchu for years, and have just begun making and raw milk yogurt and sour milk for soaking grains. The thought of eating something that smells like farts as someone said doesn’t sound appitizing. What can you tell me? Or suggest to make this a Kraut a plesant first experience?

    • April 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Robynn, It is salty and tangy and cabbagee (me thinks that’s not a word)….But I think your onion, garlic, pepper mixture sounds lovely. Keep in mind that anything you have to gag down just to be healthy ISNT WORTH IT! Eat what tastes good to you. There are gazillions of healthy fermented foods that you might like better. Don’t force yourself to eat something that you hate. Life is too short for that my dear–Heather

  9. April said,

    March 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Can this be made without the whey? What if you’re lactose intolerant? Is there an alternate product to use instead of the whey or can you just leave it out?

  10. ari Zimlev said,

    July 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Do I screw the lid on the canning jar when making the sauerkraut, or just cover with a cloth or coffee filter and rubber band?


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