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Homemade Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe

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If you’ve always wondered if it was possible to make red cabbage sauerkraut at home, then you’re in luck, because it is, and it’s incredibly easy. The fermentation process of creating sauerkraut is easy. All you really need is a few supplies and time. 

The waiting may be the hardest part of any homemade sauerkraut recipe or food that requires fermentation. But it’s totally worth the wait. Let’s get started on your own red cabbage sauerkraut!

The Benefits of Fermented Foods

Just in brief, let’s go over the health benefits of eating fermented foods, especially those that are made at home. I am not a medical professional, so bear that in mind. 

Homemade sauerkraut offers several potential health benefits:

  1. Probiotics: Sauerkraut is a fermented food rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. These probiotics can help improve digestion, boost the immune system, and promote overall gut health.
  2. Vitamins and minerals: Sauerkraut is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as various B vitamins. It also contains minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are important for overall health.
  3. Improved digestion: The probiotics found in sauerkraut can help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which may improve digestion and reduce symptoms of digestive disorders like bloating, gas, and constipation.
  4. Enhanced immune function: A healthy gut microbiome is closely linked to a strong immune system. The probiotics in sauerkraut can help support immune function, potentially reducing the risk of infections and illnesses.

It’s worth noting that individual responses to sauerkraut may vary, and while it offers potential health benefits, it should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. Store-bought sauerkraut may not offer the same level of probiotic benefits as homemade varieties due to differences in preparation and processing. So making your own may be the best bet overall!

Ingredients and Supplies for Homemade Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe at home!

Ingredients:

  • One small head of red cabbage
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Filtered Water

Supplies:

  • Large bowl
  • Knife and cutting board (or food processor for shredding)
  • Half-gallon jar or 2 quart mason jars with lid(or other glass or ceramic container with lid or fermentation crock)
  • (optional) Fermentation ring or fermentation weight to hold cabbage in brine
  • (optional) Fermentation lid 

For my home fermenting, here are the items I personally use and can vouch for:

  • True Leaf Market Fermentation Kit: They have several options, but the one I have included 3 fermentation rings and 3 burping lids all designed to fit wide mouth mason jars. Since the components are small, they are easy to store, and I don’t have to have a separate crock for fermenting.  
  • Half Gallon Mason Jars: This is a set of 6 for less than $20, and they also make excellent storage jars for grains. 

Recipe for Homemade Red Sauerkraut

Now that you have all of your supplies in place, let’s starting making your own sauerkraut!

  1. Begin by removing the thicker outer leaves of the head of cabbage. 
  2. Then begin cutting or shredding the red cabbage. I prefer shredded cabbage thicker, so I opt to cut the cabbage with a sharp knife. Using a food processor will give you a much finer shred.
  1. Place shredded purple cabbage in large bowl and sprinkle salt on top. Now it’s time to dig in!
  2. Using clean hands, begin to massage the salt into the cabbage. This will feel dry at first, but just keep going. You’ll notice the liquid increasing in the bowl as the salt draws the moisture out. Massage the cabbage for 10-12 minutes. It will feel like an eternity, but just channel all of your stress into it. 🙂
  1. If using a wide mouth mason jar, use a canning funnel to begin filling the jar with the cabbage. Pack it in and get all of the brine that is in the bowl as well. If using a fermenting crock, simply scoop the cabbage into the crock along with all of the liquid from the bowl. 
  2. The liquid must cover the top of the cabbage, so press the cabbage down, and if the brine isn’t covering the cabbage, pour in just enough filtered water to cover it. 
  3. Use a fermentation weight (these can be ceramic or glass pieces), fermentation ring (looks like spring), or even a discarded outer cabbage leaf with something heavy on top to hold the cabbage below the level of the brine. It’s important to have enough brine. 
  1. Place jar or crock in a place out of direct sunlight (more important if you’re using glass) and allow to sit for 3-4 weeks. If you’re using a regular lid, burp the jar every day (open it up briefly), so the gases don’t build up and give you a mess you don’t want to clean up. 
  2. Taste your sauerkraut after a few weeks to see if it has enough tangy flavor for you. If not, continue to let ferment. As you might expect, fermentation may take longer in the winter since our homes are cooler. 
  3. Once your sauerkraut is to your liking, remove any weights or rings that may still be in the jar, and store it in the fridge. 

How Long Does Homemade Sauerkraut Last?

Since your sauerkraut will be stored in the refrigerator, this extends it’s life. Hopefully, you’ll eat it all in a few weeks, but if not, no worries. Homemade sauerkraut can typically be kept for around 4 months when kept in the fridge. 

​If your family is big sauerkraut eaters, then as one jar is going into the fridge after fermenting, you can go ahead and start on your next batch!

Uses for Homemade Red Sauerkraut

Not sure how to use this red kraut once you’ve make it? Here are some easy ideas:

  • Condiment: Red sauerkraut can be used as a tangy and flavorful condiment to dishes like sausages, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, or as a topping for bratwurst or other grilled meats.
  • Salads: Incorporate red sauerkraut into salads for added flavor and texture. It pairs well with mixed greens, roasted vegetables, nuts, seeds, and a variety of dressings.
  • Tacos and Wraps: Use red sauerkraut as a topping for fish tacos, burritos, or wraps to add a zesty kick and crunchy texture. It complements ingredients like grilled chicken, fish, or tofu, as well as avocado, salsa, and sour cream.
  • Stir-fries: Add it to stir-fries for a burst of acidity and umami flavor. It pairs nicely with vegetables, tofu, chicken, or shrimp, and can be seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and chili flakes.
  • Sauerkraut Soup: Include red sauerkraut in soups and stews for depth of flavor. It can be added to traditional cabbage soup recipes or used as a base for hearty vegetable soups.
  • Pierogi Filling: Try red sauerkraut as a filling for pierogi, a traditional Eastern European dumpling. Combine sauerkraut with ingredients like mashed potatoes, onions, and spices for a savory and comforting filling.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Layer red sauerkraut onto sandwiches and wraps for added flavor and crunch. It pairs well with deli meats, cheese, mustard, and other condiments.
  • Appetizers: Use red sauerkraut as a component in appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta toppings, or as a filling for savory pastries or turnovers.

These are just a few ideas, but the versatility of red sauerkraut means it can be used in many creative ways to enhance a wide range of dishes.

Customize your Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Once you’ve gotten the hang of making sauerkraut, try mixing the recipe up a bit with some of these additions:

  • Add one shredded apple for a red apple kraut
  • Do a mix of green cabbage and red cabbage for a fun twist
  • Use a knob of grated ginger in your kraut for extra bite
  • Consider adding in a shredded carrot or two for some sweetness

I’d love to know if you give this homemade cabbage recipe a try and how you liked it!

Yield: 2 Quarts

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

red cabbage sauerkraut recipe

Learn how to make red cabbage sauerkraut at home! It's easy and delicious to make fermented foods at home. Give it at try!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 21 days
Total Time 21 days 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • One small head of red cabbage
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Filtered Water

Instructions

    1. Begin by removing the thicker outer leaves of the head of cabbage. 
    2. Then begin cutting or shredding the red cabbage. I prefer shredded cabbage thicker, so I opt to cut the cabbage with a sharp knife. Using a food processor will give you a much finer shred.
    3. Place shredded purple cabbage in large bowl and sprinkle salt on top. Now it's time to dig in!
    4. Using clean hands, begin to massage the salt into the cabbage. This will feel dry at first, but just keep going. You'll notice the liquid increasing in the bowl as the salt draws the moisture out. Massage the cabbage for 10-12 minutes. It will feel like an eternity, but just channel all of your stress into it. 🙂
    5. If using a wide mouth mason jar, use a canning funnel to begin filling the jar with the cabbage. Pack it in and get all of the brine that is in the bowl as well. If using a fermenting crock, simply scoop the cabbage into the crock along with all of the liquid from the bowl. 
    6. The liquid must cover the top of the cabbage, so press the cabbage down, and if the brine isn't covering the cabbage, pour in just enough filtered water to cover it. 
    7. Use a fermentation weight (these can be ceramic or glass pieces), fermentation ring (looks like spring), or even a discarded outer cabbage leaf with something heavy on top to hold the cabbage below the level of the brine. It's important to have enough brine. 
    8. Place jar or crock in a place out of direct sunlight (more important if you're using glass) and allow to sit for 3-4 weeks. If you're using a regular lid, burp the jar every day (open it up briefly), so the gases don't build up and give you a mess you don't want to clean up. 
    9. Taste your sauerkraut after a few weeks to see if it has enough tangy flavor for you. If not, continue to let ferment. As you might expect, fermentation may take longer in the winter since our homes are cooler. 
    10. Once your sauerkraut is to your liking, remove any weights or rings that may still be in the jar, and store it in the fridge. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 13Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
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