Red sauerkraut is, like its white sibling, packed with vitamins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria when eaten raw. This sauerkraut doesn’t only look great with its purple colour, it’s also incredibly versatile depending on which additional ingredients are being used.
How healthy is unpasteurised sauerkraut?
Captain Cook knew about the health benefits of sauerkraut; thanks to the fermented cabbage he was able to save his sailors from scurvy, the deadly vitamin C deficiency. Sauerkraut contains 300-400 times more vitamin C than the raw cabbage. Besides vitamin C, the lactic acid bacteria also produce many other beneficial substances during fermentation, from vitamins to enzymes and short-chain fatty acids. When the sauerkraut is consumed raw, one also benefits from the various lactic acid bacteria and their probiotic effects. In this recipe we show you how to create three different varieties of red sauerkraut.
Recipe for red sauerkraut three ways
juniper berries and caraway seeds
chili peppers, garlic and fresh coriander
apples and cloves
- Round fermentation jar size 1L, with rubber ring and hinged lid
- 800g red cabbage
- Salt (without iodine and fluorine)
- Classic version: 12 juniper berries, 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
- Asian version: 2 garlic cloves, 2-5 green jalapeno peppers or other chili peppers
- Fruity version: 1 apple, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 3/4 tsp whole cloves
Wash cabbage and remove the outer leaf if damaged. Keep two leaves uncut for later. Cut the rest of the cabbage in half and remove the white core. Shred the rest medium-fine to fine.
Weigh the cabbage and calculate 1.5% salt (1.5g of salt per 100g of cabbage). In a large bowl, mix the salt with the cabbage and knead the cabbage for a few minutes – the longer you knead, the softer the sauerkraut will be (sauerkraut doesn’t need to be soft, we love ours crunchy!). Put aside for 60 minutes, so the salt can draw water out of the cabbage.
Then add the additional ingredients and mix well.
Take a clean fermentation jar and add the cabbage in layers. Press each layer down firmly with your fist so all air bubbles are squeezed out; air promotes the growth of mold and bad bacteria, so the cabbage should not contain any air spaces. Fill the jar only to 4cm below the rim. Cover the cabbage with a cabbage leaf and weigh it down with a weight (glass or ceramic works best). The cabbage, including the cabbage leaf, should now be covered with at least 3cm of brine. If not, add a 2% brine (2% = 2g of salt per 1dl of water).
Close the jar and let it ferment at room temperature (18-22 degrees Celsius is most ideal). Be sure to place the jar on a plate as liquid will leak out during the first week. Do not open the lid during fermentation. The bacteria convert the starch and sugar of the cabbage to lactic acid and CO2. Thanks to the rubber ring, the CO2 will escape even though the jar is closed.
Ferment for 2-6 weeks and store in a fridge or a cool cellar (below 15 degrees C). Make sure the vegetables are covered in brine at all times. Consume within 12 months.