Superfood Sauerkraut [ Fabulous Fermentation Week ]

Posted by: on Jan 21, 2013 | 61 Comments

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Hold onto your horses, it’s time to get dirty. Do you know what week it is? it’s freaking fabulous fermentation week and we are getting our bacteria on today (no worries, the bacteria we are talking about here aint that dirty). In fact, the friendly bacteria of fermented foods should receive triple gold medals every day, that’s how awesome they are.

Let me ask you a quick question, are you feeling a bit skeptical towards actually eating sauerkraut, kefir or opening weird jars of bubbly vegetables? If so, you are not alone. Growing up I was super scared of sauerkraut (and the darkness or accidentally seeing a cover of a horror movie). To be quite honest, I did not give fermented vegetables a chance until the nutrition super-nerd in me was awakened around the age of nineteen. But then.. boy was I hooked or what.

The goal of Fabulous Fermentation Week is to turn skepticism and weirdness into a fabulous party of gorgeous, healthy and totally magical foods. The project is sprouted by Sarah and me and then made possible thanks to many amazing foodie friends (high fives ya’ll) with recipes of their own. Is it overly obvious how excited we are? I hope so, because this is a goddamn revolution and we need to get the entire world onto the fermentation train. You onboard yet?

Ps. there will be links to all of our friends fermentation recipes at the end of this post and more for every day so check in regularly.

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Fun & Fabulous Facts

A digestive system and intestines full of friendly bacteria might just be the thing keeping us vibrant and even alive at the end of the day. An adult is supposed to have around two to five pounds (1.0 to 2.26 kilograms) of live bacteria inside their body, but low quality foods and drinks, antibiotics (both as medicine and in factory farmed meat/dairy), stress and other ”modern day comforts” like chlorinated drinking water and antiseptic mouthwash kills those friends of ours. This can lead to a leaky gut, candida overgrowth, a really weak immune system, concentration issues and poor development in babies. In short, we rid our system of the ability to take care of unwanted intruders and keep the perfect yet delicate balance. Did you know that when we eat antibiotics it takes about 6 months for the friendly bacteria to be back in full strength? That’s half a year!

This is where fermented foods come into the picture. Kimchii, kombucha, sauerkraut etc actually feed the little friends in our belly’s and that’s the reason why fermented foods are called probiotic foods. They are pro-biotic!

Lactic acid are among the principal bacteria active in food fermentation and they help the body produce natural antibiotics, anti carcinogenic compounds and even other compounds that are able to inactivate toxins and poison. I told you they were rock’n roll! This lactic acid also evens out blood sugar, making us less prone to developing diabetes or storing too much fat. One more thing, fermented foods with it’s extremely low pH level will turn your body into an alkaline angel and that we want.

Now, don’t just go to your nearest supermarket and get a probiotic yoghurt or something, how freaky would it be if every person on the planet walked around with identical bacteria in their gut, eh? I say – go find some gorgeous veggies and start fermenting yourself, it’s way easier than you could have ever imagined.

Plus, did you ever wonder why wine, chocolate and cheese is so alluring to most people? They are fermented foods, duh!

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Purple Sauerkraut

This is what alkalinity in a jar with a side of flavor explosions tastes like. It’s easy, it’s cheap and it makes you feel like a true magician. Remember to buy organic produce (for many reasons) but when fermenting it’s mostly because a head of cabbage heavily sprayed and fast grown has literally not got what it takes to turn into a fermentation success.

Makes 4 cups purple sauerkraut

8 cups shredded purple cabbage (save two large leaves)
0.5 cup red onion, finely sliced
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 small lemons
2 tbsp grated horseradish
4 tsp top quality salt like Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt

1. Put shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl, add salt and massage for about 3  minutes
2. Add peppercorns, grated horseradish and both juice and zest from the lemon. Mix thouroughly.
3. Add the mixture to a very clean glass jar (with a lid that closes tight)
4. Press the sauerkraut firmly using your fist or the back of a wodden spoon, now put those two large leaves of cabbage on top of the sauerkraut. These will help keeping oxygen away from your concoction and when the sauerkraut is done you just toss these leaves away as they may have some black spots or such on them. No worries here. Use your common sense and nose when deciding if your fermented veggies has gone bad. The probability that they do go bad is very low if you follow these instructions.
5. Close the lid and leave at:
20°C for 2-3 days
18°C for 10 days
then the fridge where it lasts for about 2-3 weeks

Enjoy your purple sauerkraut mixed in a salad, together with some freshly cooked millet, in a nori wrap or a veggie burger.

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Hey! Let’s give a shout out for your favorite fermented foods in the comments below (I’ll start!) then share with your crew and get this fabulous revolution rolling!

As always, I do love you.

°°Elenore°°

Fabulous Fermentation Week FRIENDS

My New Roots
Green Kitchen Stories
The Wooden Spoon
Coconut and Quinoa
Whole Promise
Two Blue Lemons
Golubka
Eat It.
Kyra’s Kitchen

Ola Domowa
The First Mess
The Natural Foodie
My Whole Food Romance
The Holy Kale
Kale & Cardamom
Mince & Type
Figgy & Sprout
Choosing Raw
Super Foodie Adventure
Cucina Ceri
To Be Nourished
Le Passe Vite
The Conscious Kitchen
Healthy & Hopeful

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61 Comments

  1. ElenoreEarth
    21 januari, 2013

    Sauerkraut and Kombucha are definitely at the top of my list.. closely followed by kimchii though…

    Reply
    • Lorraine Roberts
      10 oktober, 2013

      I am a happy 70 years old, love living well and have overcome some major health issues. I am a little tired of buying probiotics and I would really like to try this beautiful sauerkraut. When you mention the 20°C for 2-3 days
      18°C for 10 days is this an or/either, if not do both. Does it have to be exact temperatures?
      Thank you for your wonderful happy site and stay beautiful as you certainly are.
      An inquisitive Grammie

      Reply
  2. Sarah B
    21 januari, 2013

    LOVE IT!!! And I love the purple…so tasty Elenore! Thanks for sharing :D

    xoxo, Sarah B

    Reply
    • Branden Byers
      22 januari, 2013

      Great recipe!

      My favorite ferments are kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and heirloom yogurts (such as Matsoni & Filmjolk).

      Reply
  3. Marina
    21 januari, 2013

    Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkrauuut!!! Yummy!

    Reply
  4. Leticia Zero
    21 januari, 2013

    Thank you guys so much for Fabulous Fermentation Week! I have been into fermenting foods lately, your recipes and guidance will be priceless. Fermenting is fun, doing it the healthy and wholesome way is double fun! I made kimchi a couple of months ago – still eating out of it – and wanted to prepare souerkaut but recipes were so complicated, so full of steps and rules that totally scared and made me give up. Now I have you lovely simple recipe! I will so make it next weekend!!! Thanks again.

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      Oh how great! I am so glad to hear that! Bring on the fermentation adventures!

      Reply
  5. Thewoodenspoon
    21 januari, 2013

    Wowww!!!! Awesome!!! getting those beautiful, powerful healing bacterial goodness out there and doing such a good job elanore!!! I made this post a couple of months ago about a friend of mine and krauting queen, Carla…she is a wealth of exciting information on some very rare and special ferments and cultures that many people have never heard of. Definately worth a contact! http://www.thewoodenspoon.net.au/recipes/flame-trees-fermenting-and-foods-that-heal/

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      WHAT a BEAUTIFUL story you have written, love! I so enjoyed reading about your adventures with Carla!

      Reply
  6. Frances
    22 januari, 2013

    A great idea, absolutely well worth promoting!

    I had to take a course of anti-biotics after wisdom teeth trouble and woah did it mess up my system! Of course I had to take them, I don’t deny that, but I’m only now getting my bio-balance back. I had a serious skin rash following the course and consulted a dermatologist who identified it as a reaction to the destruction of my intestinal bacteria and recommended a bacteria promoting diet plus pro-biotics.

    Right now I’m living off cabbage basically! It is fascinating to learn what helps and what harms!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      M-mm isn’t is SO fascinating! I agree and I am very happy that you have started to include these goodies into your diet!

      Happy times!

      Reply
  7. Miss Vite
    22 januari, 2013

    Lovely photos Eleanore! This past weekend I brought home two beautiful and very purple cabbages and I already know their destiny! ;) Thank you for the inspiration and sharing! *

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      M-mm – I bet you’ll enjoy the taste! Good luck and thank YOU for the inspiration!
      Just gotta practice my french a bit more..

      Reply
  8. Golubka
    22 januari, 2013

    Yum, this sounds so good, beautiful colour! Thanks again for this Week.

    Reply
  9. New Leaf
    22 januari, 2013

    Looks delicious. Am loving the idea of ferment week! Am looking forward to the rest of the recipes coming my way! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Mango Coghurt and a Fabulous Week of Fermentation
    22 januari, 2013

    [...] health benefits of fermented foods, but you can read a bit more about all the goodness on both Eleanor and Sarah from My New Roots’ blogs. Essentially, properly fermented foods contain probiotics, or [...]

    Reply
  11. Daniel
    22 januari, 2013

    You may very well extend the time in the fridge, actually six weeks is not too much, and patience is not only a virtue, it also will allow a more mature taste.
    :)
    Good luck, all!

    Reply
  12. Kirsty @ The Natural Foodie
    23 januari, 2013

    Ohh that’s a hard one! I hate picking favourite’s… but I have to say sauerkraut is my fave. It’s what I was brought up with thanks to my German family. But I’m just recently starting to fall in love with Kimchi too. x

    Reply
  13. Grace
    23 januari, 2013

    I am lookin forward to this little festival of fermentaton goodness! Good bacteria makes me so happy. I love how in fermentation what you make is unique to its own environment, down to what you breath on your own ourdough starter. it’s such an awesome connectedness. hands down number one favorite: cheese. but i love sauerkraut, yogurt, and buttermilk as well. Would whey count as a fermented beverage? If so, toss that one onto the list too!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      Oh I know! That is so beautiful, I agree. bacteira adapted to just the thing we need when
      living in a particular area of this world!

      Reply
  14. {fabulous fermentation week!} za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew labneh, avocado + frisée » The First Mess
    23 januari, 2013

    [...] bacteria. If you want to read a little more about fermented goodies for your health, check out Elenore and Sarah‘s posts. It’s time to populate the [...]

    Reply
  15. Lieke
    23 januari, 2013

    This looks so delicious! We’re trying to make sauerkraut with paksoi from our garden at the moment. Hope it’ll work!
    I was wondering (maybe it’s a stupid question): is it a typical Winter thing to do? I own an allotment with a group of friends and now fermentation is on our mind as well. Not in Spring and Summer though. But I reckon it’s just as easy to ferment Spring vegetables?

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      Hi Lieke,

      So glad you have begun walking on the path of fermentation;)
      Actulally, no it is more difficult to ferment spring vegetables since they have not developed the sugars that winter veggies do.
      The level of natural sugar in the vegetables is crucial to get the process of fermenting going.

      Have fun in the garden! :)

      Reply
  16. Katie @ figgy & sprout
    23 januari, 2013

    I would have to say Kombucha… I was seriously obsessed with the stuff when I was still living in America. I haven’t seen it in health stores in Ireland though, maybe I’ll have to start brewing my own again!

    I’ll be sharing my recipe for the Fabulous Fermentation Week today – email you later on ;)

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      Brilliant Katie, can’t wait! Ps. I’m totally obsessed w that stuff too! haha.. yep, it’s time you start brewing!

      Reply
  17. Laura
    23 januari, 2013

    Elenore, you are such a shining star. Thank you so much for the amazingness of this week and the BEAUTY of this sauerkraut. Purple + gorgeous, yum! :)))

    xoxo
    Laura

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 januari, 2013

      Thank YOU Laura! Oh mmy gosh – we do shine together;)

      Big big big LOVE

      Reply
  18. Nancy
    24 januari, 2013

    Such fun being part of the fabulous fermentation week! Many thanks to you and Sarah for inspiring new creations in my kitchen. Hard to choose a favorite ferment but I would say spicy kimchi tops my list!

    Happy fermenting!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      28 januari, 2013

      Well, WE thank YOU for taking part and spreading the bacteria revolution! Have a beautiful week, Nancy!

      Reply
  19. Nat @ The Apple Diaries
    25 januari, 2013

    Thanks for the sauerkraut recipe Elenore! I’m really starting to like the sound of fermentation week, finally bringing bacteria into the spotlight! I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on fermented foods and am so surprised at the health benefits they hold for your body. I think I need to become somewhat of a fermenting expert and your blog will get me well on my way :)

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      28 januari, 2013

      Oh, that´s so perfect that you just started doing all that research! The universe tend to give us what we need and ask for;)

      Reply
  20. Chelsea Carroll
    25 januari, 2013

    I love this!!!! Fabulous Fermentation week is an incredible idea. I wish I would have seen this earlier so I could join in the fun with my blog. Living in korea, I eat a lot of kimchi, but I am currently trying to introduce my friends to kefir and kombucha. YAY! for fermentation! Thanks for always making the most beautiful posts. You inspire me.

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      28 januari, 2013

      M-mm Kimchi seems to be at the top of many lists! You can surely join in next time, Chelsea!

      Reply
  21. Shanna
    26 januari, 2013

    Thank you so much for this beautiful creation! I love the vibrant purple of the cabbage and all the amazing love that is behind it. Fermented foods are so important, I am so pleased to see you and your favorite bloggers starting up such a massively needed trend! Shine on!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      28 januari, 2013

      Oh yes, that cabbage was SUCH a gift from nature! I love your little nook in the internet world, keep it up, girl!

      Reply
  22. amy chaplin
    26 januari, 2013

    I love red cabbage! I like that you top it with a cabbage leaf, nice way to use the outer leaves, I’ve only tried it once before…
    Thanks again for organizing such a fun week!
    amy x

    Reply
  23. Jacqueline @ UponWildStars
    27 januari, 2013

    I have seen some people talk about fermenting cabbage before as a great way to get good bacteria (and avoid yogurt) but yours is my favourite post on it. LOVE the deep purple colour. Just screams ”healthy”! I will have to add this to my to-do list. Thank you ;)

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      28 januari, 2013

      Oh wow! I am honored! Have fun fermenting, Jacqueline and keep up that brilliant work of yours!

      Reply
  24. The Loop in Manitou Springs + Vegan news you can use (1/27/13)
    27 januari, 2013

    [...] Superfood Sauerkraut [ Fabulous Fermentation Week ] [...]

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  25. How to Make Homemade Vegan Lacto Fermented Veggies
    28 januari, 2013

    [...] post is a contribution to Elenore and Sarah’s wonderful, week long fermentation week. These two ladies, who are blogging heroes to me and wonderful, supportive online friends, had the [...]

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  26. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
    29 januari, 2013

    I’ve always loved sauerkraut, I think most of the jarred/canned stuff at the store doesn’t cantain the healthy bacteria however because it has been heated to death.
    I’ve made my own but am still trying to acquire a taste for it ;)

    I do love miso, which is fermented and am in the process of making a fermented corn bread! ;)

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      30 januari, 2013

      Ugh, I know! So sad! Bu for heating fermented goodies!

      M-mm miso – love that stuff!

      Reply
  27. ola
    30 januari, 2013

    Hi there, sauerkraut always rocks :) I noticed you’re missing two of my posts in your list, I’m wondering if you got my email?

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      30 januari, 2013

      Hi!

      I did – thanks a million! We really appreciate all of your amazing posts but we decided to only link to the one site even if people made more recipes. Otherwise this list would be crazy.

      Have a beautiful week and thanks again:)

      Reply
      • ola
        30 januari, 2013

        I thought it was supposed to be crazy :)

        Reply
  28. Linnea-Maria
    31 januari, 2013

    Hej
    Kikade igenom din sida och upptäckte att du bor i sverige, så jag antar att det är ok att jag skriver på svenska. Kul att hitta hit :) Jag har precis börjat min hälsoresa, eller rättare sagt återupptagit den. Jag provade att göra surkål häromveckan och det är ju supergott!! Jag ska absolut prova att ha i lite kryddor o citron nästa gång :)

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      2 februari, 2013

      Men visst går det bra med svenska, kära du!
      HA så kul experimenterandes med fermenteringen (och hjärtligt välkommen tillbaka hit)
      Kram!

      Reply
  29. DAKOTA
    1 februari, 2013

    B E A U T I F U L ! ! ! ! <3 So glad to have found your blog!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      2 februari, 2013

      Wihooo! Celebrations!! You are so welcome to this space!

      Reply
  30. Amy Jo - Pure and Simple
    1 februari, 2013

    Sauerkraut is my favorite ferment…and I love the purple cabbage in yours. Beautiful photos.

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      2 februari, 2013

      Oh thank you so much! I am feeling pretty honored to be able to actually grow those beauties!

      Reply
  31. Elin Östman
    3 februari, 2013

    Jag älskar idén med temaveckor och ska definitivt prova några av recepten! Perfekt när man lever på studentbudget, att kunna handla grönsaker när det är billigt och sen ha sparat när det är dyrare igen :)

    Det skulle vara roligt om ni kunde göra något liknande igen, kanske med fokus på mat för studenter/stressade föräldrar/etc, det är definitivt brist på bra recept på billig, snabb och hälsosam mat!

    Tack för en underbar blogg!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      4 februari, 2013

      Men va kul att det var givande för dig! Jag skall ha dina idéer i åtanke!

      Reply
  32. Monica Silva
    12 februari, 2013

    Hi Elenore, i’m new to fermented food and i want to start(finally) in this world of bacteria with yours Purple Sauerkraut but i can’t find horseradish, can i substitute with other veggie or just omit it?

    And thank you for inspiring me everyday.

    Reply
  33. hugin
    3 april, 2013

    this is really good! i’ve been kefiring for a while, since my body doesn’t like straight milk, but this was my introduction to veggie fermentation. it turned out delicious, and got me started… now tearing through reading about fermentation in general and playing with various vegetable ferments. :) thanks for participating in fabulous fermentation week!

    Reply
  34. 4 healthy food blogs to inspire you… | rhubarb & stars
    25 september, 2013

    [...] Here’s a great guide to making sauerkraut and why it’s good for you Purple Sauerkraut [...]

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    1 september, 2014

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