How to Make Sauerkraut

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Cutting board with jars of our homemade sauerkraut recipe with ginger and turmeric

My first experience with sauerkraut was when I was working at a sandwich shop in college. The rule was if you showed up late you had to make the “sauerkraut.” It was kind of awful because the sauerkraut was pre-made and came in a giant can, and once you got past the smell, you had to mix it with mayonnaise. Needless to say, it was one of my least favorite tasks and a major motivator to get to work on time.

This sauerkraut, however, is nothing like that. It’s homemade from scratch with simple ingredients to help promote a healthy gut (and there’s no mayonnaise in sight). Plus, it’s super easy to master the technique and requires just 7 simple ingredients. Shall we?

Tray of red cabbage, garlic, ginger, turmeric, carrots, and beets

What is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a fermented food made from cabbage. It has been consumed for thousands of years for its probiotic benefits and is rich in vitamins C, B, A, K, and a variety of minerals.

It has a tangy flavor, crunchy texture, and is simple and cost-effective to make at home!

Origins of Sauerkraut

You may have heard that sauerkraut was a German invention, but that’s not necessarily true! Who knew!?

Instead, sauerkraut is thought to have originated in northern China. It made its way to Europe about 1000 years later and was eaten by Dutch seafarers as a way to prevent scurvy, due to sauerkraut’s vitamin C content. (source)

How to Make Sauerkraut

The simplest form of sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt, which is where we start in this recipe.

Once the salt is added, simply massage with clean hands for 10 minutes or until the cabbage has reduced quite a bit in size and released quite a bit of liquid at the base of the bowl. See the progression in the next two photos.

Massaging red and green cabbage to release moisture
Massaged cabbage that has released moisture for the sauerkraut liquid

We’re looking good! Now, let’s add some color and flavor.

I went with shredded carrots and beets, which provide a vibrant orange-magenta hue. Next come fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger and turmeric for big flavor. The result is a perfectly salted fresh vegetable sauerkraut infused with zesty garlic and ginger and earthy turmeric. Swoon!

Mix again to incorporate and you’ve practically made sauerkraut!

Big bowl of massaged cabbage, shredded carrots, and chopped garlic
Massaging beets, carrots, and cabbage for our tutorial on How to Make Sauerkraut

All that’s left to do is pack into sterilized jars and ensure the liquid extracted from all that massaging rises up and covers the kraut for optimum fermentation. Then leave it alone to do its thing. Set it on the counter out of direct sunlight or in a cabinet for 1-14 days (or longer) to let it naturally ferment.

Pressing down on the vegetables inside a jar of sauerkraut

We hope you LOVE this kraut! It’s:

Tangy
Crunchy
Fresh
Filled with probiotics
Garlicky
& So delicious

This would make the perfect topper for sandwiches, salads, wraps, bowls, and more! Our favorite way to enjoy sauerkraut is with dishes like Kitchari or Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas. But it’s even tasty right out of the jar (just don’t double dip to avoid contamination).

More Probiotic-Rich Recipes

If you’re into fermented things, be sure to also check out our Easy Vegan Kimchi, Mango Coconut Yogurt, Cultured Vegan Sour CreamProbiotic-Cultured Vegan Cheese, and 2-Ingredient Coconut Yogurt!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Jars of sauerkraut made with ginger and turmeric

How to Make Sauerkraut

Easy, flavorful sauerkraut made with simple ingredients and methods. The perfect snack or side with fermented, healthy gut-promoting benefits.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Cutting board with fresh ginger, turmeric, carrots, and jars of our homemade sauerkraut recipe
4.92 from 25 votes
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Servings 10
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, German-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 6 months

Ingredients

  • 8 cups red or green cabbage (finely grated or chopped)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 small beet (finely shredded)
  • 3 whole carrots (finely shredded)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger (shredded / grated)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh turmeric (shredded / grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)

Instructions

  • Sterilize any equipment you will be using for fermentation, especially the jars (we prefer using mason jars or these Weck Jars that are about 850 ml). It is extremely important that everything is sterilized to allow for proper fermentation. Do so easily by pouring boiling water over clean jars and lids and drying completely. Let come back to room temperature before adding ingredients.
  • Add finely grated cabbage (we used our mandolin) to a large mixing bowl and top with 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or the lower end of the suggested range if making a different batch size). Wash hands thoroughly and massage cabbage for ten minutes. The cabbage should start softening, shrinking in size, and releasing water (see photo). Continue massaging until this happens.
  • Add shredded beet, carrot, ginger, turmeric, and garlic and massage once more with clean hands for 4-5 minutes until thoroughly combined (see photo). Then taste test and adjust flavor, adding more salt for saltiness, grated ginger for more zing, or garlic for more intense garlic flavor.
  • Use your clean hands to put the sauerkraut mixture into your sterilized jars and press down firmly to pack. There should be enough liquid from the massaging to rise up and cover the vegetables. If this doesn’t happen, top with filtered water until covered (it is unlikely that you will need to add water).
  • Also, make sure there is plenty of room (about 1 1/2 inches) between the contents and the lid so it has room to expand. Seal with a lid and set on the counter where there’s not much direct sun exposure or in a cabinet. The ideal temperature for fermentation is above 65 degrees F (18 C), so try to keep your environment on the warmer side to encourage proper fermentation.
  • Fermentation can happen as quickly as 24 hours if your space is hot, or it can take as long as 2 weeks, (again, depending on the environment). We found our sweet spot to be about 10 days.
  • During this fermentation process, open your jars once per day to release air (you should feel pressure release and see air bubbles when you open the jars). Press down with a sterilized object such as a spoon or the bottom of a drinking glass to ensure that the vegetables are still completely covered in the liquid. Doing so helps encourage proper fermentation.
  • The longer it sits and ferments, the tangier it will become, so sample occasionally with a clean utensil to test and see if it is at the right stage for you. Once it has reached the desired tanginess, cover securely and transfer to the fridge, where it should keep at least 3 months and up to 6 months. When serving, don’t double dip to avoid contamination.

Video

Notes

*8 cups finely grated or chopped cabbage equals about 1 large or 2 small head(s) of cabbage.
*Recipe as written makes enough to fill approximately 1 1/2 (850 ml) jars of sauerkraut.
*Prep time reflects time it takes to make recipe and let it ferment for 24 hours. However, fermenting up to 2 weeks may be necessary.
*Recipe and method inspired by lovely and talented Nina Montagne of Cam and Nina.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 43.7 Carbohydrates: 10.2 g Protein: 1.7 g Fat: 0.2 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 393 mg Potassium: 319 mg Fiber: 2.7 g Sugar: 4.8 g Vitamin A: 4000 IU Vitamin C: 66 mg Calcium: 49.05 mg Iron: 0.85 mg

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  1. Deb says

    Hi, my sea salt is very fine so therefore the quantity will be greater if measured in teaspoons as opposed to actual weight measurement than regular salt. Could you please weigh the salt you use and put that measurement on the recipe too please.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb! We didn’t weigh this particular amount, but roughly speaking 1 tsp salt = 5.9 grams.

  2. Stephanie says

    The first couple of days when I opened the lid the kraut was bubbling and had risen right up to the lid. I pushed it all back down again and closed the lid and now a few days later is has stopped bubbling. I used my hands to do this (Washed them) but now i see i should have used an object not hands. Could this have contaminated the kraut or should it stop bubbling after a few days? Would it still be okay to eat?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think it’s still OK to eat! It doesn’t always keep getting more and more bubbly in my experience. If there’s no mold, it’s tangy, and the taste is pleasant you’re good to go!

  3. Genevieve says

    Made my 1st ever sauerkraut a few months ago. I didn’t have beetroot or turmeric on hand, so used a white cabbages, carrots, ginge and garlic. Within the 1st week it smelt REALLY strong, but not off.
    I opened the lids every second day as they were under a serious amount of pressure, compressing the contents each time. After approx. 2 weeks there was no more smell and after about 2 months we had our first taste with some honey-mustard eisbein. WONDERFUL!
    Smells stronger (due to all the ginger & garlic) than it tastes and is a bit more sour than store bought kraut, but we love it! My husband has consumed nearly half of the jars (made 6) and has asked me to make more!
    Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Way to go, Genevieve! We’re so glad you both enjoy it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Deborah Norvell says

    Greetings ! I have made this recipe 3x so far, and I love it! I love the flavorabe notes of ginger and garlic. Thank you for your informative website.

  5. Rebecca John says

    I made this recipe a few months ago. It took two weeks to ferment as it’s a bit cold in Melbourne. It’s delicious and is keeping really well in the fridge. Even my daughter loves it. Making another batch very soon!

  6. Chontelle Murphy says

    I made this for the first time and was stoked when it started working on day 2, but day 4 and nothing id happening now. How do i save all my hars work.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, does it have any signs of mold or smell bad? You could try transferring to the fridge. Hope that helps!

  7. Laurel says

    I made this but I am just waiting for it to ferment now! I have a question, is it normal for it to smell a bit off at first? I am having a hard time getting all of the ingredients under the liquid even with added water. Is that alright or will the top pieces rot and ruin the rest of it? Thank you so much!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laurel, hmm, we haven’t experienced it smelling off at first. We wonder if some bacteria was introduced in the process or something wasn’t sterilized? It’s best for it to stay under the water, but if it isn’t, you can scoop off the top layer. Hope that helps!

  8. Sam says

    Hi,
    When transferring to the fridge from the jar I’m going to use small plastic tubs. Do we remove and discard the brine and just keep the fermented cabbage or do we keep the brine as well as the cabbage and move that to the tubs to go in the fridge?

    • Deb says

      Could you give me the weight of the salt and cabbage instead of measurements in cups and teaspoons please as my sea salt is very fine and therefore the quantity will be higher measured in teaspoons than in weight. Also in the UK we don’t use cups.
      Many thanks. Can’t wait to try it out.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Deb, you can find a weight measurement for the cabbage by clicking “metric” beneath the ingredients header. We don’t have a weight measurement for the salt as it was our understanding that teaspoons are used there too?

  9. Matt says

    Hi Dana

    Just wondering if this can be made with a machine? For example add all the ingredients to a KitchenAid, mix and add to the jar? The massage for 10 minutes part is turning me off a little. How about putting it all in a NutriBullet and then in a jar to ferment?

    Cheers

    Matt

  10. Tara says

    Hi Dana!

    It’s been 8 days and the liquid is no longer covering the cabbage. Should I add more liquid this late in the game or just assume it has done what it was supposed to do and is done?

  11. Amirah Asraf says

    Is it okay if my jar is like 60 per cent full, cos i scraped off the top layer of the sauerkraut that turned brown (read somewhere that that can happen when the top part is oxidized due to not being fully submerged in the brine). This is day-2 in the whole fermenting process so should I add more cabbage leaves on top or just let it be?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amirah, we’d recommend scraping off any that isn’t submerged as it can oxidize and get moldy. Hope that helps!

  12. Jessie says

    Hey Dana! First, I just want to say how much I love this website and your cookbook. You have completely changed the way I eat and I’m so grateful to you! … Sauerkraut. Mine has been sitting for a couple days now and the liquid is pretty much sitting level with the cabbage, not actually covering it. Should I add a bit of water to cover the cabbage?
    Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say press down a bit to make sure it’s fully compressed. If it still doesn’t cover at that stage, a little water is fine.

  13. Berrin says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made a mistake and added 1 1/2 half tbsp salt :( I tasted the liquid and it was too salty :( I’ll keep it and see the result but I was wondering if there was anything to do now (this is the first day of the fermentation) or is it just rinsing it before eating.

    Thank you!

      • Berrin says

        I don’t have any cabbage left and hard to find organic ones because of quarantine but i guess carrots and beet will do good. I’ll try that. Thank you for your quick response.

  14. Lisa Kuspira says

    Hi, this is my first time fermenting and it looks great in the jar. However, I misread and only left an inch of air at the top and now I’m paranoid the jar might explode as it expands. It’s only been fermenting for a few hours. Should I remove some of the sauerkraut and put the lid back on. It’s a rainy 15 degrees in Melbourne today, so not that hot.
    Thanks for your help. Lisa

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say yes! Otherwise it will likely spill over. Otherwise you can put it on a rimmed plate or bowl to catch any spill over (which has happened to me before).

  15. Linda says

    Made this for first time. Why is the cabbage turning black on the very top layer of cabbage? Is this mold? Should I discard this? If so what went wrong ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say discard anything black. A little mold is not typical but as long as it’s removed and the rest of the kraut looks OK, that’s fine. It could have just been set out too long in too warm of a climate or in direct sunlight?

  16. Steph says

    Thanks for this! My first venture into the fermentation world!
    Question: I made this last night, and it’s sitting out on my kitchen counter, away from direct sunlight. I don’t see any bubbles, or gas, forming. Is this normal? Would I need to add more salt? ?‍♀️
    Thank you!

      • Steph says

        I have! There was definitely some activity the next day- and some spilling over too! 2 weeks later, I’ve tasted it and am so pleased! I’m so excited by how simple that was! Thanks!

  17. Robin says

    I made this take on sauerkraut along with a more traditional all-cabbage one and this is by far the favorite! Just as described, and easy to make with just a few simple kitchen tools.

  18. CHRISTOPHER JAMES says

    Thank you. Very easy recipe to follow. It really does take 10 minutes of cabbage massaging to get the liquid release going. Liquid will start to release after a few minutes, but keep going for the whole ten. As a bread maker also, I found this experience therapeutic and much like kneading bread by hand. I added carrots. Didn’t have beets, but will add those next time. The carrots give it a nice orange color. I used my Chinese wonton roller (wooden) to push the sauerkraut down into the liquid each day. I washed the roller before and after using it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Christopher! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  19. Odessa Kelebay says

    Is it an issue if the cabbage is poking above the liquid level? I pushed it down before I sealed the jar, and originally it was fully submerged, but after 20 minutes, bits of cabbage were poking up out of the liquid. Is that okay?

  20. JoAnne says

    This is great, i’ve made it twice now, and it’s very popular with my family! Today i plan on using your apple variation. Somebody suggested using a smaller jar filled with water as a weight to push the goodies down into the liquid… i’ve done that, and filled it with hot water – only at the beginning – to get things started quickly. Seems to work! Thx.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, JoAnne! Thanks so much for the great tip and lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  21. Mark says

    Hi all. I have 2 suggestions and a question. To prevent stuff from floating, I put the cabbage leaf on top and then a glass weight and stainless steel spring. I use starter culture so the process is accelerated in my case so I’m concerned CO2 will be produced much faster then the traditional method. I want to make sure as little as possible gets to the surface of the brine under pressure. The surface is where yeast (white film) and mold form. There’s also a neat product I intend to try called pickle pusher. It’s a plastic ring with mesh screen in the middle to prevent anything getting above the brine at all.

    Also an airlock helps keep air from getting in and allows CO2 to vent. That way you dont need to burp the container, which could also allow mold to enter. I now ferment in 1/2 gal Mason jars having moved up from quart size. I spent good money on airlock lids with charcoal filter but you can just as easily get a 1/2 dozen silicone ones from Amazon for a couple of bucks. Same thing for the glass weights, they’re not too pricey although the springs were a bit over $20 for only 3.

    Now my question. Every time I try to ferment sugary stuff like carrots and beets I get wicked yeast film and mold forms 1/2 the time. I found that natural remedies for Candida such as extracts of garlic, grapefruit seed, oregano and olive leaf help but not eliminate the problem. I’m obviously pretty conscientious about what I’m doing, so does anyone have any tips and tricks they could share?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting! We haven’t had that experience with beets and carrots, but they can of course just be left out or substituted with more cabbage. And thanks for sharing the tips! So helpful.

  22. Susan Davis says

    I am about to make this! It sounds delicious. And it will be my first ever fermentation recipe! I’ll keep you posted.

  23. Sherri says

    I made this today, probably could’ve added some more beets because I used mostly green cabbage so it doesn’t have that really rich color. I Added in a Ciupke if Thai chilis as well. It hasn’t fermented yet but it smells absolutely delicious. And it taste phenomenal, even “raw” Thank you!

  24. Stewart Totten says

    On another site I saw a good idea regarding keeping the cabbage submerged. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or freezer bag) with water, leave the top open, put it inside the top of the jar with the plastic bag over the rim of the jar, put the ring on to hold it in place. The bag full of water holds the cabbage down.

  25. marty says

    i didnt use this recepie but used purple?green cabbage, carrots , hot peppers, garlic and some butternut squash, i put it in a 1 gal crock salted and mixed and stirred and put a glass tea cup saucer on top to keep it in the brine/juice. this is my first time trying this

  26. Elaina says

    This recipe is PERFECTION! This was my first ferment, and so far I’ve made it twice. It is a permanent staple now! I use all red cabbage and have to add just a little filtered water. It’s SO good! And mine is the most beautiful purple-pink color. I’ll have to photograph it! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Elaina. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  27. Soumyo Biswas says

    For those living in hotter climates (average temperature here tends to be around 25-30 degrees Celsius), how much time do you need to keep it fermenting for? How does one know if there are any signs of spoilage in it? I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to mycotoxins and botulism.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great question. Warm climates do accelerate fermentation so check around 24 hours, then 36 hours. If it’s already tangy that may be all you need!

      • Jen says

        I live in Queensland, Australia and it is very warm especially in summer when the temperature is over 35 deg C most days. I ferment for only half the day, and I use a cabbage leaf with a stone as a weight.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Margaret, we aren’t sure that will work as fresh tends to have a different/stronger flavor. But let us know if you give it a try!

  28. Kara says

    I am on day two. My kraut is under the brine, but when I opened the lid, I did not notice any air releasing or bubbles. What could be wrong?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Just keep going. It may be that it’s too cool in your space, so make sure it’s somewhere warm and keep pressing the top down to ensure it’s under the liquid. I’d say leave it for a week and check back!

  29. Candy says

    I love this recipe and have made it several time. However, I have reduced the garlic quantity as there was too much of garlic flavor in the sauerkraut.

  30. Lynn says

    Hi there… I have tried several of your recipes and love all of them!
    I want to make sauerkraut or kimchi and have been wondering why there is no rinsing process in the start of making sauerkraut unlike kimchi which most recipe ask for rinsing the salt water / brine before mixing with the other ingredients. Perhaps you know the answer and are able to help? Thanks in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s just not necessary because you massage it with your hands, which softens the cabbage.

  31. Michelle says

    I’m in the process of making this sauerkraut, but my sauerkraut won’t stay under the brine. I’ve been pushing it down into the brine and even adding water, but it rises and the top layer gets a weird brownish color. I’m at day 3 right now. What should I do?! Not sure how to fix the batch I have going…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The brownish layer is normal. Just keep pressing it down. Did you by chance top the sauerkraut with a whole cabbage leaf? That tends to help with keeping it down!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that and aren’t really sure! If you figure it out, we would love to hear what you learn!

      • Al says

        This is a *fabulous* recipe and I modify it to make a spicy dill pickle-y flavor by getting rid of the carrots and beets and add a shallot, a couple of tablespoons of fresh dill and 2 Fresno chilies. It turns out super tasty and fulfills my pickle cravings (also very good on sandwiches/burgers/brats).

  32. Janet says

    Looking forward to starting fermentation. Sorry for maybe asking a silly question but are the beets raw or cooked?

  33. steve says

    this looks fabulous and nutritious and will definitely try it. however, I am wondering whether the antibiotic qualities in the garlic effect the probiotic qualities of the finished sauerkraut. any idea on this ? thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting question, Steve! We wouldn’t think so since many foods have antimicrobial properties (ginger and turmeric included). But if you are concerned, you can reduce or omit.

  34. Jeannette says

    I have made plain sauerkraut a few times and I really like it. This flavor combo sounds great! I have a question. With my last batch, I had left over brine. Can this be added to a new batch? I actually ended up drinking it, but I wondered if it would help the fermentation process.

    • Eva says

      Hi, I found that adding a little leftover brine to the next project is excellent for jumpstarting the fermentation process. Can’t wait to try the beautiful beet combo.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, fresh beets! You could try that, though we haven’t and can’t say for sure how it would go. Let us know if you experiment!

  35. MeLee says

    I made this recipe and forgot to push it down. It has been about a week now…. and it has also gotten discolored on the top. Is it still fine to eat or should I skip it and start over?
    Please HELP

    • Matt J says

      Hi everyone, I started this recipe a couple of days ago and did push down but still noticed some brown at the top. Is this still okay to continue fermenting? Thanks.

      • Robert says

        It happened to both jars and I just mixed it with the rest before serving. Seems to be a normal oxidation process and does not harm the taste neither my health, if it can help.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The brownish layer is normal. Just keep pressing it down. Did you by chance top the sauerkraut with a whole cabbage leaf? That tends to help with keeping it down!

  36. petrus says

    ingredients state 1 1/2 – 2 tsp but that should be 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp in my opinion.
    i didn’t get quite enough liquid so topped jars up with some boiling water.
    great recipe. thanks for sharing.

  37. Tatiane Hannisdal says

    I made it like a “full salad”: used broccoli, onion and parsley too. Next time I’ll take out the parsley and put ginger and turmeric. And bay leaves! My mom says it helps to be crunchy in the end.
    And cocumber pickles is the same process! Cocumber, salted water, bay leaves and garlic. Delicious! I’ll never buy pickles at the grocery store again!

  38. jkramer says

    For those that are concerned about salt, the salt is needed for fermentation. If you are on a restricted salt diet you can rinse the finished sauerkraut before eating or cooking with it.

  39. Bob Bradford says

    Is there any reason I cannot use a plastic jar? Glass containers are non existent in this part of Ecuador. TIA

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bob! You could probably try using plastic jars that are made for canning specifically, but we wouldn’t recommend using a generic plastic jar as they break down much quicker than a glass jar, especially when repeatedly being disinfected with boiling water.

    • Cynthia says

      Hi, where in Ecuador are you? I’m in Cotacachi and have found a few large glass jars in the canister section of the store. They’re kind of square and hold almost 2 gallons. They have plastic lids but I don’t use them. I use the plastic bag of water methods of holding everything under the juice. Keep on the lookout, I bet you’ll find something.

  40. Melissa Ramsey says

    I just found your site. I made a batch found on another site. I read on there to wait 4-5 hours before adding any liquid to it. Yesterday, I made my first batch ever. It didn’t have much liquid, but by last night it did. I can’t wait to try it. When making it, I thought of adding garlic and/or shredded carrots, but wasn’t sure if I would like it. I don’t like Caraway seeds. This recipe sounds really good, but not sure is I would like to make something I may wind up not liking. I like all the ingredients in other things. Can you tell me what it winds up tasting like?

  41. Lori K says

    Hi! Love your site! Everything I’ve made has been awesome!

    I’ve been wanting to try fermented veggies for a while! Made this a couple of days ago, and today I noticed the top layer is discolored (more brown; less vibrant). Is this anything to be concerned about?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The brownish layer is normal. Just keep pressing it down. Did you by chance top the sauerkraut with a whole cabbage leaf? That tends to help with keeping it down!

  42. Derry Schembri says

    I made it exactly like you said except used dried turmeric . Turned out brilliant absolutely love it i had tried it before shop bought and did not like it but mine yummy . left it 14 days and now it is great tasting.Now need to make more different recipes please is you got any.Thank you

        • Ragg2 says

          Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation. To put it (fairly) simply: There is beneficial bacteria present on the surface of the cabbage and, in fact, all fruits and vegetables. Lactobacillus is one of those bacteria, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt and many other cultured products. When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

  43. Rosemary Leicht says

    Hi! My kraut is in the process of fermenting right now, but when I’ve tamped it down ive noticed a discoloration on the top layer- it seems a little more brown/ Orange but it smells fine (tangy like sauerkraut but not off like most bad things do) is this safe? Ian it just from the exposure of the top layer? Or maybe because i used a little powdered tumeric instead of fresh?

    • Imma says

      I had the same problem, and I used fresh turmeric. The discolored top layer did taste fine, but has me wondering why it lost all the red and went beige… I disinfect the fork or glass I use with boiling water before pressing down and wait until it’s room temp… but perhaps the tools are still warm when I use them and that causes it? The discoloration definitely seems “off”.

      • Julie says

        I just made this about 6 days ago and was wondering the same thing. Did you end up eating yours? (I realize your comment is several months old, sorry!)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          The brownish layer is normal. Just keep pressing it down. Did you by chance top the sauerkraut with a whole cabbage leaf? That tends to help with keeping it down!

  44. Justine Reif says

    I tried this recipe out yesterday — looking forward to eating it in a week or so. One thing I noticed (maybe it was mentioned above in other comments, sorry if it was), is that your fingernails might stain after handling the turmeric. Mine are still stained yellow even after lots of scrubbing. Wear gloves if you are concerned about this =)

  45. Denise Rice says

    hi,

    I bought everything to make this recipe but forgot the beets (duh)
    Can I just leave them out or is there a substitute?
    Can I just leave them out.
    thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried leaving out the beets, but it should still work! Let us know how it goes!

  46. Katie says

    I have not fermented anything before. Do I taste it every day? How do I tell when it is fermented enough? (I don’t want it super sour.)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, sample occasionally with a clean utensil to test and see if it is at the right stage for you. Once it has reached the desired tanginess, cover securely and transfer to the fridge.

  47. rmilo says

    This version is very interesting to me, and I will definitely try this different flavored kraut (tumeric, & ginger)! My preparation is quite different and have to say……I really love adding sweetness to the sauerkraut, then let it marinate.

    I sweat onions first, then fresh cabbage in veggie broth with a little garlic, salt, and pepper to taste (you can modify by using prepared plain kraut from jars or bag, but of course rinse and drain first, then add to the sweated onions to meld).

    Continue cooking down the cabbage by adding apple cider or juice, chopped apples, caraway seed, and after a while, add some paprika for color until cabbage is all very soft! It’s more Austrian-Hungarian style (tangy, sour & sweet, possibly similar to what some may call a sauerkraut stew, but for my family it’s sauerkraut?) I put them in clean jars (using no soap or heat, only water). You can serve it after 2-3 days – the longer you can allow it sit, the better it tastes! It never lasts, though I try to make several extra jars & keep refrigerated, they’re gone… 1month, possibly 2 months max if I’m very, very lucky!

  48. Marie says

    I just made this tonight. I really didn’t get much liquid. I mixed for 10 minutes and then let sit maybe another 10-15. I ended up adding water to the jars at the end.

    Also I used ground turmeric because fresh is non-existent around where I live.

    Looking forward to trying it once it’s ready to go!!

  49. Mary Karen says

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I usually make fermented carrots (very easy), but never sauerkraut, I´ll try at my home. Thanks for sharing…

  50. julie says

    Your recipe looks Fantastic! Can’t wait to try it!
    I’ve used freshly made celery juice for the extra liquid
    if needed and it worked great! Read that on a blog post
    somewhere but can’t remember the gal’s name.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The salt is what helps draw out the moisture that covers the vegetables to promote fermentation. So I highly recommend using the recommended amount.

    • Nick says

      You do not want to go with less than the recommended amount of salt, as you can get sick. Dr. Weil mentions this when he is discussing making sauerkraut and the health benefits:

      ‘So is it healthy? “There is a range of salt concentrations you can use, and I tend toward the minimum,” says Dr. Weil. “So unless you need to restrict your salt intake for some specific reason, that’s not a concern.” But be aware – too little salt can lead to spoilage and food poisoning. Don’t go below three-tablespoon-per-five-pound limit, and never eat sauerkraut that is slimy, excessively soft, discolored or off-flavor.’

      I’d recommend weighing the produce that you use before cutting, or grating to see how much salt you need and don’t go below that. For example, say that you have 2 pounds of veggies. Then multiply by 3/5 to get 1.2 Tbsp of salt needed, which is about 1 Tbsp plus 1 scant tsp, since there are 1 tsp per Tbsp. This would be the minimum amount of salt to safely make it. You can go with more, but not less.

      • Deb says

        Yes, I understand. But it basically puts sauerkraut off the menu for me. I’m not supposed to eat a lot of salt due to a medical problem. I’m very healthy otherwise, but salt is not an option for me. That’s why I was asking.

  51. Joanna @DIY Project says

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Gonna try this out. Awesome sauerkraut DIY tutorial you made.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I don’t think so. It seems essential in the preservation and natural fermentation process.

      • Ragg2 says

        No, you need the salt to kill of any unwanted bacteria. Otherwise it just goes off. Lactobacillus is one of those good bacteria, which is the same bacteria found in yogurt and many other cultured products. When submerged in a brine, the bacteria begin to convert sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid; this is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

  52. Susie Prentice says

    Lovely recipe- Thankyou
    Could I ask I few questions please …
    What do you do if you don’t have enough liquid to cover the jars ?
    How long can you keep in the fridge after fermentation?
    Is it ok to freeze
    Many thanks !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I wouldn’t freeze this. It can keep refrigerated for months (I’ve read up to 6). And if you don’t have enough liquid to cover the jars apparently you can add a little water.

      • Mikhael NISNER says

        Hi Dana, Just completed the above recipe and the cabbage softened up nicely.
        Two questions –
        1 – definitely short of liquid… so I added a little water to cover the cabbage
        2 – as I only had a slightly larger jar, I’ve got about 3 cm of space between the top of the liquid and the lid. Do you feel I have a problem? or have you got a suggestion for me?
        Mikhael

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Mikhael, depending on the water content and freshness of the veggies, water may need to be added- so that’s fine. As for the amount of space, it could bubble over or not ferment properly, so you might want to transfer some to another jar or at minimum, put a plate under the jar to minimize any mess. Hope that helps!

  53. Karen Monteith says

    I have made sauerkraut but just cabbage, salt and garlic. I will try this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Karen

  54. Anne says

    I’ve been afraid to try homemade sauerkraut, because I didn’t want to make a mistake and end up getting sick… But I know how healthy it is. Maybe I’ll give it a try….

  55. David A says

    I have made sauerkraut numerous times, usually plain, sometime ginger, ferment carrots alone and with ginger which were great. This I have to try as the combo looks incredible and definitely going to do this.

  56. Silvia says

    Thanks for the recipe! I usually make fermented carrots (very easy), but never sauerkraut, I´ll try. Just a question: is it possible to use ground ginger and turmeric, or it´s only possible with the fresh ones? Thanks again!

    • Amy says

      This is the question I have as well. We can easily find fresh ginger but have no where close to us that carries fresh turmeric.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        I’d say give it a go and see if it works! I haven’t tried it myself, so let us know if you do!

      • Cheryl says

        Check with local health/whole foods stores for fresh tumeric. While you can use dried, it will not taste the same as a fresh food that ferments with the veggies. Re added water – I second what Joelle mentioned. Some veggies might need a bit more coaxing or patience before they release their water. It’s also very important to use fresh vegetables. Wilted veggies won’t work well.

      • Carol Abnett says

        In Australia we can buy fresh Tumeric in Asian grocery stores or good green grocers.
        I have just made this now and looks interesting, I have only tried bought Sauerkraut and didn’t like it so I’m hoping this turns out tasty.

  57. Y says

    I’ve never fermented anything before but would like to start. Silly question but do you wash the vegetables first ? Thanks.

    • Joelle says

      Wash them with water, but don’t wash with any of those vegetable washes. Also, wash your hands and jars, but don’t use any disinfectant soap or anything like that. You WANT microbes and those kill everything!

      I know Dana says to sterilize your jars, and I’m NOT arguing with her (because she’s awesome and I love this site), but I’ve read a lot on this and most everyone says you don’t need to do this step because it’s not like canning, just use clean jars.

      It’s really fun to ferment and while I swear I’m not out to promote the book Fermented Vegetables, I don’t know the authors or have any link to them, I’ve found it invaluable for answering all the questions I had. Now I’m free to try recipes like this one knowing I have a good idea of how to do it!

  58. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says

    I honestly thought for sure you had to add vinegar to make sauerkraut? Shows how much I know…love how approachable this is!

  59. Mollie says

    Do you think there would be anything wrong with using a head of Napa cabbage? I have a whole head in the fridge and usually I would make kimchi, but this looks like another great idea!!

  60. Chelsea Fredrickson says

    I’ve been wanting to make my own sauerkraut for so long (I eat so much of it!), but it always seemed so daunting to me. Thank you for sharing your gift with us! I cant wait to make this…every week ?

  61. Joelle says

    This sounds good. I’m making a lot of fermented vegetables, primarily using the cookbook Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. One thing they are adamant about is never adding water to your brine. As I’ve made other recipes where you do, I have to say after trying theirs that I agree with them. They turn out much better if you don’t. They give a few tips for getting more juice out of your veg, but one of them is to let it rest for an hour and then come back to it. I like your recipes so I’ll probably try this one, thanks! Oh, in their hot and smoky kraut they put peppers in from the start, both sweet or hot.

  62. Jay B says

    Think there would be any harm in adding finely chopped jalapeno pepper for some spice? Not sure if that would interfere with the fermentation process?

    • Laura says

      I haven’t added it to the beginning of the fermentation process, but I have added it after it’s done and left it to almost ‘pickle’ in the jar. I loved how it turned out

      • Charlie. says

        I have used very hot chillies in the making of fully fermented Indian pickles and they do not interfere in the fermentation at all.

    • Evelyn Barney says

      The thing about jalapeno is they don’t have a ‘standard’ of heat. Most seem mild to me but then again . . . If hot is your thing and you don’t mind – GREAT! I’m posting this more for the capsicum delicate here. For some odd reason, I adore horseradish and ginger in what my (hot food loving) son calls ‘medicinal quantities’ but peppers and I have a more delicate relationship. Anchos, OTOH, have never caused me tummy burn or upset.