How to: Make salt-less sauerkraut

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I was not sure if sauerkraut without salt would ferment properly. My mom informed me that when she tried it the whole batch became rotten and completely inedible. After reading other’s success with salt-less sauerkraut, I decided to try making it. Not only is it possible, but it is delicious edible! Sauerkraut is definitely an acquired taste and not everyone is going to like it (especially without salt), but it can be a nice flavor addition to many recipes and salads! Although you can make sauerkraut with just cabbage, I prefer it with a variety of vegetables. Broccoli, celery, carrots, beets, kale… pretty much any vegetable that doesn’t need to be cooked to eat (like potatoes) you can use. In this one, I used savoy cabbage, fennel bulb, celery, carrots, spring onion, parsley and dill (and a few baby broccoli).

You can either shred all of the vegetables in the food processor or chop it finely by hand. I prefer to chop mine, mostly because I would rather not have to clean the food processor! Unless you ferment the vegetables for a very long time (around a month) they will remain somewhat crunchy, so make sure to cut them finely enough that you would enjoy eating! Reserve about 6 (or more) leaves from the outside of the cabbage and set aside.

Shred all of your veggies and mix them in a bowl. Next take a couple cups of the vegetable mixture and blend it with about 3 cups of purified water. If you want to use a starter you can blend it with the mixture (or follow the instructions on the package). The starter adds a more complete range of healthy probiotics, but it is not necessary to make sauerkraut.

You will need a large glass jar with an air-tight lid. Start filling the jar with your veggies, making sure to pack them down. Pour half of the blended mixture into the jar. Continue filling the jar with the vegetables, packing them down untill about two inches of space is left from the top. Roll up your reserved cabbage leaves and place them on top of your vegetables pressing down firmly. When you have all of the cabbage leaves packed on top, check to see if there is enough water in the vegetable mixture. The shreaded vegetables should be just covered (but not the cabbage leaves). If not, add just enough water for the shredded vegetables to be covered. The vegetables will release some juices, so don’t add too much or it will overflow!

Close the lid of the jar and place it in a warm spot in your kitchen (about 75 degrees is best). I like to let mine sit for about a week. Make sure you monitor it every day (after about three days) by tasting it. After your first batch, if you make more, you can use some of the juices for your next batch and the fermentation time will be much quicker (only about 3 days).

Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions and try it! It is not as scary as it sounds! 😉

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