Red Cabbage and Beet Sauerkraut

I’ve always been a lover of sauerkraut. I loved it as a kid and still love it as an adult. I don’t remember when I started making my own but if I asked my wallet I’m sure it would remember 😉 If you are someone who buys or has ever bought raw sauerkraut, you know what I’m talking about. It’s amazing how much money one can charge for a head of fermented cabbage. I spent that money for some time because it was well worth it for me. And while I will still purchase it on rare occasions if the craving hits and I didn’t anticipate that 2 weeks prior, then I splurge. Sauerkraut, which is a fermented food, is a very high source of probiotic, which is essential for good gut health. Having a healthy gut is pretty much one of the best things you can do for you overall health. Have you ever heard that we have two brains? Our actual brain, and then our gut, or “second brain”? Well it’s true. Our gut holds so much information that it is imperative we take care of it. Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, amongst many other things, is a great way to introduce probiotics to our systems. While I make the plain and simple version more frequently, I like to play with the flavors every now and then. My latest kraut creation is a beautiful combination of red cabbage, beets, and red onions. Not only are we getting the benefits of fermentation here, but we are adding all the health benefits of raw beets (great for blood health and liver cleanser) and onions (awesome immunity booster). This batch came out surprisingly mild in flavor while still containing that delicious fermented taste that I look for. If I would have let my sauerkraut sit for a few more days, I probably would have gotten a stronger flavor, which would have been awesome as well. I’ve been introducing sauerkraut to my kids since they were babies, and they all like it. They are not always in the mood to eat it but I keep on presenting it to them, and some days they eat happily. I think it’s important we give our kids plenty of chances to eat “funky” foods without pressure in order to teach them about variety and so they can be familiar with all kinds of flavors of health boosting ingredients. Go slice yourself a cabbage and enjoy one of the cheapest ways to eat your way to a healthy gut.

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One of my favorite lunches recently has been this sauerkraut combined with some avocado, yellow yams, and whatever fresh greens I have growing in my garden. I actually crave eating that most days!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of purple cabbage
  • 2 small beets
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 TBS salt or to taste
  • 1 cup filtered water

Steps:

  • run vegetables in a food processor with the shredding attachement
  • put in a large bowl and add water and salt and massage really well to get the salt in there, it will get the vegetables to start releasing their juices faster so the fermentation process can start
  • either use this method here, or put your mixture in a large mason jar with screened lid covered with a piece of fabric (to keep bugs out) and press it down every few days to make sure the cabbage remains submerged in water. This is imperative or it will go bad!
  • let it sit on your counter or any place out of the way, for at least 2 weeks, taste it and let it sit longer if you want a stronger flavor.
  • when you are satisfied with the flavor, put it in sealed jars and keep it in the fridge for weeks!
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Red Cabbage and Sour Apple Sauerkraut

Another probiotic goodness recipe!! Easy to make, even easier to eat! There actually was another 16oz jar filled with this recipe but we ate it before I remembered to take the picture.  Oops 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small head red cabbage
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1TBS salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup water ( or more if needed, just make sure the cabbage is submerged)

Steps:

  • slice everything real thin and follow the same set up and steps as my garlic and onion sauerkraut
  • Always taste your mix before getting it to ferment and adjust the salt accordingly. A too salty kraut is a real bummer.

Garlic and Onion Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut. The live cultures and probiotics do wonders for the body and I think it tastes great. As usual though, buying it at the store is expensive, all things considered, and doesn’t always guarantee the freshness and quality of the ingredients. So I make my own. And it’s deliciously inexpensive and easy!!

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Above is my set up and a end result picture. If you want to look all professional and feel safer using it,  you can buy a sauerkraut container, made specifically for that. They are great but not indispensable. For this particular batch I used:

  • 1 medium of organic green cabbage
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1TBS of salt
  • Slice the cabbage very thinly, as well as the onion. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss well.

For the set up:

  • one large bowl where the mixture is in
  • 1 jug of water, filled ( you can use ANYTHING here as long as it’s clean and somewhat heavy) the purpose of this is to add weight on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged in liquid
  • 1 plate that fits on the inside of the bowl
  • a clean towel

As shown in photos above, place the plate on top of the mixture, put the jug on top of the plate then put a towel over everything to keep from dust or other dirt particles to enter, then leave this on your counter top or anywhere it won’t be in your way and wait for the deliciousness to create itself! It will take about 2 weeks, depending on the heat where you live and how strong of a flavor you like. I recommend tasting it to see if it is done to your liking before bottling it.

Check the mixture every 3 days and skim off any layer of bacteria you see forming. The first time you make sauerkraut, you might get grossed out with this part of it, but just remember if you love to eat it, that’s the way it is done, even when you buy it at the store.  And it is SO good for your body!!!

Once done put it in a sealed container and it will keep for weeks in the fridge. The flavor will mature with time.

That’s it! Enjoy!