I knew I needed more sauerkraut in my diet but I was getting bored of my basic kraut; research studies have confirmed its direct connection to weight loss due to the nutrient profile of cabbage (high fiber) and the specific strains of beneficial bacteria that result from the fermentation process. I just needed more variety, more flexibility with the flavors…
I’d been ignoring recipes that touted any basic sauerkraut recipe can be flavored to specific tastes very easily. While cabbage is fermenting in a salt brine, the end result isn’t always salty, especially if you leave it to ferment for a longer period of time. Oftentimes, the addition of other veggies and even fruit lessen or even hide any salty taste. I needed to be convinced; I gave it a try with a basic sweet recipe, a mellow one, and then spicy.
Three no fuss sauerkraut varieties that compliment a wide range of other foods are pictured above (left to right): carrot-apple cabbage, kale cabbage, and a green salsa cabbage kraut mix.
I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t skeptical of putting fruit in a sour, salty kraut. My mind could not meld the separate ingredients together in a tasty way so much so that I didn’t even want to try it!
I was mistaken. Many people make kraut with shredded carrot, but adding small apple bites into the mix completely transformed everything about the basic kraut! It eliminated the salty and replaced it with a gentle, sweet taste.
For the kale cabbage kraut, I finely shredded a bunch of kale and tossed it into the brine mix. While the kale fermented softer than the cabbage, its small size didn’t change the texture at all but did mellow it a bit. It’s not a huge flavor transformation, but it made this variation compliment many more meals.
My absolute favorite is the green salsa cabbage kraut. Originally posted by a like-minded Foodie, Fermented Food Lab‘s recipe for jalapeno cilantro sauerkraut is what propelled me to try “other” kraut recipes when she described it as a green salsa. I love green salsas! (I was a Texan for a while.) After diving hands-in to the recipe, I then read reviews where fellow fermenters recommended adding in cilantro after the fermenting process in order to preserve the strong cilantro flavor. When my 8 quarts of that Foodie’s recipe is gone, I’ll be sure to try adding the cilantro after ferment and see how I like the cilantro punch. Yes, the herb did mellow quite a bit and meld quite nicely into the overall kraut, my interest is piqued to taste the difference with fresh, unfermented cilantro.
I shared the green salsa cabbage kraut with a friend who cooks many Puerto Rican and Mexican dishes, and she ate it straight from the jar-no sharing! The kraut has a lovely spice kick to it that is just addicting.
In many of the fermenting forums and groups people post mouth watering pics of all sorts of varieties of sauerkraut. Whereas before my attitude was more, “Just stick with what I know,” I’m now readily bookmarking (screen shot saving) recipes. I’ve seen people making razzleberry or other berry kraut and taking a pic of it on top of cooked oatmeal for breakfast. Now I want it on mine and search for their recipe instead of scrolling on by.
This is a tale of three krauts, one will change the way you see and taste food. Cilantro jalapeno sauerkraut opened my mind and taste buds to a world of great flavors; which one will you try? Next up for me is Fermented Food Lab’s Apple Spice Kraut; she has some great recipes and I know if you follow that link, you’ll be encouraged and hungry!
Please, if you have a great recipe for sauerkraut, post it as a comment!