Carrot Ginger Sauerkraut is a staple in our kitchen. And organic, raw kraut can be expensive at the store. This easy recipe shows you how to make inexpensive, real sauerkraut that you and your family can enjoy. I’ve experimented with lots of different ingredients and have settled on this basic combo as our “usual” kraut. I like green cabbage better than red. No particular reason. Just feel my kraut tastes better. The ginger is a nice touch, and it also helps with digestion. I think I add the carrots because I like a little color in my kraut. It does add a titch of sweetness. We go through kraut quickly at our house, so I usually double the recipe. Lately I have been adding a bit of caraway seeds to my kraut which is so delicious.
Fermentation times vary depending on your taste preference and the temperature inside your house. I like to ferment kraut for 2-4 weeks, sometime longer. The most important thing is to use a completely airtight fermentation vessel. The good bacteria needs a totally oxygen-free environment to thrive. This way it will not spoil. Also, be sure to cover your fermentation vessel to block out any light as light inhibits the good bacteria from growing. You can read more about that HERE.
The only thing that you need to add to your vegetable is sea salt. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage (through osmosis), and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it. I use an unrefined sea salt when fermenting veggies.
Store in fridge after fermentation. I have stored mine up to 6 months without it spoiling, but it usually doesn’t last that long around here.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
I have been fermenting foods for years now and have found that the best and most consistent results come from a closed-system fermentation system that keeps oxygen out but allows CO2 to be released.
I have experimented with fermentation crocks and various mason jars but have found my results to be inconsistent. This mainly has to do with the fact that these systems are not air-tight, leaving my ferments open to oxygen, molds, and bacteria in the environment.
So what do I use?
I have been fermenting foods for quite some time now and have experimented with many different jars. The ones that I personally use are no longer available online, but I have seen similar ones HERE. These type of fermentation jars come with an airlock that needs to be filled with water and work great at keeping oxygen and pathogens out.
I also really love THESE fermentation lids that fit right over wide mouth mason jars. They are so easy to use and super affordable. The airlocks allow for the CO2 created by the fermentation to be released but keeps oxygen out. This keeps the lactic-acid bacteria happy and healthy.
You’ll want to add a weight on top of your fermenting foods so they stay below the brine. I use glass fermentation weights made specifically for that purpose. I know some folks get creative and use rocks or other clean/sterile items.
Want to learn more about fermentation?Print
- 1 and 1/2 medium green cabbage (yes, that’s one cabbage and half of another. This is the amount that fits in a 1.5 – 2 liter fermentation jar))
- 3 carrots
- 1–2 TBS grated fresh ginger, depending how gingery you want it
- 1 1/2 TBS sea salt (like this)
- Carefully clean all equipment to be used. You can pour boiling water into glass jars or place dry jars in oven at 200 ‘F for 10 minutes to sterilize. Place lids and utensils into large glass bowl and pour boiling water over them.
- Shred cabbage in food processor or cut by hand into thin shreds with a sharp knife. Place into large glass bowl. (save a couple of the big outer leaves to cover kraut in the end)
- Shred carrots and add to cabbage, along with grated ginger.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and mix well.
- Pack mixture into large glass jar or crock. Press firmly down to release juices.
- Cover the mixture with a couple of outer cabbage leaves. This will help prevent the cabbage from floating above the liquid. Place airtight lid on jar that is fitted with an airlock. Cover to block out light.
- After 24 hours, press down again. If the liquid that is released does not cover the top of the kraut, make a brine and pour it over the kraut until it is covered. (see directions below)
- Seal with airlock lid and allow to sit, covered, for 2-5 week, until done to your liking. Start tasting at 2 weeks.
- Store in fridge after it is done
If there is not enough brine to cover all of the cabbage, you can add a 2% brine on top. Make a 2% brine by mixing 9.6 grams of salt in 2 cups of water (which is about 1 and 1/2 tsp of salt.)
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Are fermented foods part of your regular diet??
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