Sauerkraut Sauerkraut Recipes and Tips

Please start out with the cabbage juice since that is the easiest to digest fermented food.

From Elaine Gottschall:
*Warning: If one does not dilute the sauerkraut juice, etc. for the first few months, you very might run into trouble. As I have stated before,children/adults who have narrowing of the ileum, (and lymphoid nodular hyperplasia causes narrowing) eating a lot of uncooked foods with peels (even if fermented) can cause obstructions.

*No raw juice should be consumed until brisk diarrhea is over.

Cabbage Juice Recipe

Cabbage is a vegetable that is teeming with lactobacteria. No starter is needed for making this rejuvelac. Take 3 cups of coarsely chopped, loosely packed fresh cabbage and put into a juicer. Beginners should not use blenders or a VitaMix, only traditional juicers
Mix it with 1-1/2 cups of distilled or purified water.
Pour into a jar (a quart jar is excellent to use), cover tightly (ensure there is at least 1 inch of space above the mixture), and let it stand at room temperature for 3 days.

After 3 days strain off the liquid rejuvelac and discard the cabbage. The initial batch of cabbage rejuvelac takes 3 days to mature, but succeeding batches take 24 hours each.

Remember to dilute this with water before drinking it.

Each morning juice 3 cups of coarsely ground, loosely packed fresh cabbage then mix it with 1-1/2 cups of distilled or purified water.

Pour it into a jar and add 1/4 cup of the fresh rejuvelac just strained off, cover, shake, and let it stand at room temperature until the next morning. (You take the 1/4 cup from the cabbage juice that had just finished fermentation)

Making Cabbage Rejuvelac with a Blender:(For advanced SCDers)

Start one morning by blending together 1-3/4 cups distilled or purified water plus 3 cups of coarsely chopped, loosely packed fresh cabbage. Start the blender at low speed and then advance the blender to high speed and blend for 30 more seconds. Follow the instructions for making cabbage juice that are above.

Making Cabbage Rejuvelac without a Blender:(For advanced SCDers)

Cabbage rejuvelac can also be made without using a blender.

Chop up 2-1/2 cups of cabbage very fine (replacing the 3 cups in the recipe above), with the same amount of water (1-3/4 cups).

Good quality rejuvelac tastes similar to a cross between carbonated water and the whey obtained when making yogurt. Bad quality rejuvelac has a much more putrid odour and taste and should not be consumed.

Avoid using tap water because chlorine will interfere with the production of the bacteria. Boiling tap water for 30 minutes uncovered will remove chlorine.

Refrigerate rejuvelac if it is to be kept overnight. Discard any rejuvelac on hand 24 hours after it is poured off the cabbage.

How to Take Rejuvelac

Drink each day's rejuvelac during the course of the day by taking 1/2 cup three times per day, preferably with meals.

To implant a healthy population of lactobacteria in the intestinal tract take rejuvelac for 1 to 3 months.

People who have candida are very sensitive to yeast so it is recommended they make a new batch every time, but they could start 3 jars 3 days in a row so they do not run out.

Old-Fashioned Homemade Sauerkraut from Cathey Carney, Old Huntsville Magazine

This easy, old-fashioned recipe for homemade sauerkraut uses only two ingredients: cabbage and salt. You won't have to worry about strange ingredients and chemicals when you make your own sauerkraut.

* Cabbage
* Salt

Wash cabbage and cut into quarters. Remove core, then shred cabbage finely with sharp knife.

Place a layer of cabbage in a wide mouthed jar or crock, sprinkle with salt and press down firmly. Continue to layer til the jar is full.

Cover top with a clean cloth, put a plate on top and add a weight to weigh it down. Place jar in a warm place to ferment.

After a few days remove the froth on top, replace cloth, plate and weight, allow to stand for another 3 days, then repeat process.

The jar should now be moved to a cool place and ready in 2 weeks.

HERE IS ONE RECIPE from an SCD'er on Rachel's listserve:
For a one gallon crock of kraut--

Sauerkraut / Natural Probiotics

Here is the directions I follow from the Wild Fermentation book. You must start your sauerkraut out uncovered, except for a towel covering the container so the cabbage can ferment. If you cover your sauerkraut with a lid and leave it unrefrigerated, it will mold quickly.

Also try to find a 1 gallon crock. It is one of the best containers for making sauerkraut. I picked one up at the flea market for around $10 and I have recently seen new ones at antique stores for $6-10. If you want to get serious about making sauerkraut, enter "how to make sauerkraut" or "making cultured or fermented vegetables" into google and you will find some interesting info. Making fermented vegetables is an experiment not science, so have fun !!
Making Sauerkraut is Easy!
Sandor Ellix Katz, the creator of this site and the author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003) has earned the nickname "Sandorkraut" for his love of sauerkraut. This is Sandorkaut's easy sauerkraut recipe, one of more than 90 ferments included in his book.

Timeframe: 1-4 weeks (or more)
Special Equipment:
Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or greater.
Plate that fits inside crock or bucket. One-gallon jug filled with water (or a scrubbed and boiled rock).
Cloth cover (like a pillowcase or towel).

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):
5 pounds cabbage
3 tablespoons salt (do not use refined table salt)

1. Chop or grate cabbage, finely or coarsely, with or without hearts, however you like it. I love to mix green and red cabbage to end up with bright pink kraut. Place cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.

2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage (through osmosis), and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it. 3 tablespoons of salt is a rough guideline for 5 pounds of cabbage. I never measure the salt; I just shake some on after I chop up each cabbage. I use more salt in summer, less in winter.

3. Add other vegetables. Grate carrots for a coleslaw-like kraut. Other vegetables I've added include onions, garlic, greens, Brussels sprouts, small whole heads of cabbage, beets. You can also add fruits (apples, whole or sliced, are classic), and herbs and spices Experiment.

4. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock. Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using your fists or any (other) sturdy kitchen implement. The tamping packs the kraut tight in the crock and helps force water out of the cabbage.

5. Cover kraut with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the crock. Place a clean weight (a glass jug filled with water) on the cover. This weight is to force water out of the cabbage and then keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep dust and flies out.

6. Press down on the weight to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it. Continue doing this periodically (as often as you think of it, every few hours), until the brine rises above the cover. This can take up to about 24 hours, as the salt draws water out of the cabbage slowly. Some cabbage, particularly if it is old, simply contains less water. If the brine does not rise above the plate level by the next day, add enough salt water to bring the brine level above the plate. Add about a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and stir until it's completely dissolved.

7. Leave the crock to ferment. I generally store the crock in an unobtrusive corner of the kitchen where I won't forget about it, but where it wont be in anybody's way. You could also store it in a cool basement if you want a slower fermentation that will preserve for longer.

8. Check the kraut every day or two. The volume reduces as the fermentation proceeds. Sometimes mold appears on the surface. Many books refer to this mold as scum, but I prefer to think of it as a bloom. Skim what you can off of the surface; it will break up and you will probably not be able to remove all of it. Don't worry about this. It's just a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine. Rinse off the plate and the weight. Taste the kraut. Generally it starts to be tangy after a few days, and the taste gets stronger as time passes. In the cool temperatures of a cellar in winter, kraut can keep improving for months and months. In the summer or in a heated room, its life cycle is more rapid. Eventually it becomes soft and the flavor turns less pleasant.

9. Enjoy. I generally scoop out a bowl- or jarful at a time and keep it in the fridge. I start when the kraut is young and enjoy its evolving flavor over the course of a few weeks. Try the sauerkraut juice that will be left in the bowl after the kraut is eaten. Sauerkraut juice is a rare delicacy and unparalleled digestive tonic. Each time you scoop some kraut out of the crock, you have to repack it carefully. Make sure the kraut is packed tight in the crock, the surface is level, and the cover and weight are clean. Sometimes brine evaporates, so if the kraut is not submerged below brine just add salted water as necessary. Some people preserve kraut by canning and heat-processing it. This can be done; but so much of the power of sauerkraut is its aliveness that I wonder: Why kill it?

10. Develop a rhythm. I try to start a new batch before the previous batch runs out. I remove the remaining kraut from the crock, repack it with fresh salted cabbage, then pour the old kraut and its juices over the new kraut. This gives the new batch a boost with an active culture starter.

Like I said earlier, I use cabage, onions, carrots & radishes most of the time. I have also added apples, salad greens, cucumber, red cabage, garlic, ginger, etc. Next spring / summer when the vegetables are of better quality, I will start experimenting again.
Tim LI

Got this one from Seth:

Sauerkraut can be made in several different ways. The traditional recipe involves shredding and pounding fresh cabbage, adding salt, and submerging it under water for several days. The natural bacteria in the cabbage, such as lactobacillus plantarum, will natural begin to ferment the cabbage while the salt inhibits other microbes. You can eliminate the use of salt altogether by innoculating the shredded cabbage and water solution with yogurt starter or Kefir grains. A superior recipe can be found on Aquaman's Website. A traditional recipe follows:
1 Fresh Medium Cabbage (red or green)
2 Tablespoons Pickling Salt (Please no iodine, it will kill the bacteria)
Distilled Water (or filtered and non-chlorinated)
Shred the cabbage. In a large bowl, mix shredded cabbage and salt together. Pound the cabbage mixture to expel the juices. Place pounded cabbage and juices in a medium sized glass jar (1 Quart Sized). Press down firmly on the cabbage. Add distilled water until cabbage is fully submerged. Solution should be at least one inch from the top of the jar. Cover the jar and let sit for 3 to 7 days at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, one can use Kefir grains to ferment the cabbage, just eliminate the use of salt.
scroll down till you find it near the bottom of that page.

RENEE'S NOTE: I tried making the above recipe but instead of using salt I used Lucy's yogurt starter. The batch was so totally full of mold that I had to throw it all out. SO, I posted asking some questions about this. For folks on the makes more sense to start out with tiny batch recipes like the one above because we aren't sure that our guts will be healed enough to tolerate this yet. So, making a tiny batch, and starting out just sipping the juice is what I was wanting to do. But, as I said, it was totally mold. Here were some replies I got:

From Tim on Rachel's list:
Try using salt. It is available at most grocery stores. I do not believe yogurt starter would work. You also do not need to use a lot of salt. A little goes a long way. I have made sauerkraut with too much salt and it tasted terrible. Also sauerkraut made propertly has a tangy, alive taste to it, not salty. I usually never eat more that a couple tablespoons at a time as a condiment to my salad or meat. You never eat sauerkraut as a main course or side. I am just looking a little extra probiotic / health benefits when I can get them.

From Seth to me:
Here is what I would suggest to combat the mold:

1) If you are not using a brine (salt) solution, make sure that you give it a try. I know I talk about a saltless solution, but the salt will really inhibit the mold. Make sure you use iodine free salt.

2) If you are already using the brine, make sure that the liquid fully covers the shredded cabbage. Maybe fill the jar only half full of cabbage, and really stuff it in there so it can't float to the top.

3) if all else fails, you may have to do a larger batch. I know I've had much more success with larger batches. has a good large batch recipe.

MORE From Seth about this:

Regarding the sauerkraut, I did think of some more ideas. If you want to drink the juice, then the salt might be too much.
I guess, if you have to use salt, I would drain off the salted juice, and then add water to it - once it gets fermenting.
This way, you're not drinking salty water constantly. once it gets fermenting, you can drain the water off every day or every other day, and then add more water to it. The water should be sour, if not, let it ferment a little longer before draining it off. Are these fermentations being done in the dark? They should be if not.

The other thing you can try is adding more starter (rather going the salt route). This would help inhibit the mold.

When doing a larger batch, you can get some mold on the top leaves that you use to cover the batch, this is normal. You just skim off the top layer, and the kraut underneath is ok. But in the smaller batches, I never had a mold problem and would probably toss the batch out like you did, if I did.


From Seth:
Cabbage Juice (Veggie Culture): Next to yogurt and nut milk yogurts, fermented cabbage juice is probably the next easiest fermented food to tolerate. There are several different ways to make it, which I will cover below.

i. Aquaman's Recipe for Sauerkraut: I have chosen a variation of Aquaman Lifeforce's recipe because I believe it offers the cheapest and easiest way to make fermented cabbage juice on a continual basis. The recipe is basically the same as for traditional sauerkraut minus the salt. So a starter is necessary to ensure the kraut does not spoil. Once the brew starts going, you can strain off the juice every couple of days to drink, and add more water to the batch. I have followed this recipe and used the juice from a batch for about a month before it stopped fermenting. Once it does, you can use the remaining juice as your starter for the next batch.

You may be asking yourself, who is this Aquaman and why does he have a recipe for sauerkraut? Well, the answer is I don't know who he is, but his website closed down a few years ago. Luckily, his original recipe has been archived for us to enjoy. You can see the original recipe at the above link, or look at my revised version below. I have edited the recipe to make it easier to follow and fully comply with the SCDiet.

Aquaman Lifeforce, Mark's Homemade Sauerkraut (revised by SRB)
To make two sun jars of Mark's Homemade Sauerkraut
Start with:
1-2 cabbages (purple or green).
Non-chlorinated water (1 to 3 cups).
2 one quart mason jars (wide mouthed is easiest).
Starter (2 cups of yogurt, or two packages of yogurt starter, or one jar of live sauerkraut).

Chop, then shred the vegetables in a food processor using a 3X3 mm shredding blade.
Mix in a large bowl and place into the jars.
Mix the starter with the non-chlorinated water as follows:
For yogurt , mix 2 cups yogurt with 3 cups water, mix well.
For yogurt starter, mix powder with 3 cups water, mix well until dissolved.
For sauerkraut starter, mix cup of sauerkraut with 3 cups water in a blender.
Pour the water/starter mixture into the jars until covered, but not completely full.
Poke the mixture to release most bubbles.
Tap off the jars to the rim with non-chlorinated water.
Screw on lids with holes and cover with cloth.
Put the jars in a warm dark place (room temp is fine).
After two to four days, you can start enjoying the juice. You may drain the juice into a container for drinking and refill the jar with new non-chlorinated water. After a day or two you can repeat this process. In this way, you will always have lots of this tangy, energy filled, life giving, power juice.

Keep the jars clean and vegetables submersed. The batch gets stronger depending on the temperature and draining cycles. Good for two or more weeks, if it does not get eaten by then.
You can use the last bit of fermented juice as your starter for the next batch.


Starter Sources: there are dairy and non-dairy yogurt starters available. When I started making this, I used Dannon plain yogurt. Lucy's Kitchen Shop sells a legal yogourmet powdered starter (but it contains dairy). You can also order live organic sauerkraut on the internet from Gold Mine Natural Food Company and use that for a starter. Please note that on the link to Aquaman's recipe, he uses a starter that contains bifidus. In order to remain SCDiet compliant, you will want to use a starter without bifidus

Variations: once you get experienced with this recipe, you can add other vegetables and even herbs if you want. Also, between Aquaman's original recipe and the edited one above, you can upscale or downscale the recipe to your needs.

Staining: The fermenting cabbage juice has a tendency to run over, so make sure you place the jars in an area that won't be damaged from overflowing cabbage juice. Purple cabbages easily create dark purple stains (I have many shirts that can attest to that).

1) Traditional Sauerkraut: When Elaine Gottschall first met with Dr. Haas about her daughter with UC, surgery was looming over them. On their way home, he directed her to a local German deli that made homemade sauerkraut for her daughter to eat. Elaine has also cautioned us that Dr. Haas was using an adjunct therapy at that time, so she stresses caution when eating sauerkraut (since it is so high in fiber) when symptoms are high. A much easier source of fermented cabbage for the gut would be to consume the juice only. Please see Aquaman's recipe above.

Sandor Katz has an excellent recipe for traditional sauerkraut on his site. Food grade buckets can be found at any home brewing store for an economical price. However, if you are just starting, you may want to start with smaller batches. Wide mouthed mason jars (1 quart or larger) are a good vessel for smaller batches and you don't have to worry about using plastic over glass. You can speed up the process by adding a starter culture in the beginning (per the recipes above. However, a starter is not required as long as you are using salt in the recipe. Salt acts as a yeast and mold inhibitor, giving the lactobacillus an edge.

Sauerkraut is high in fiber and is not always well tolerated. The longer you let a batch ferment, the softer (or riper) the cabbage will get. Really ripe sauerkraut is quite soft. Not everyone likes the texture of mushy sauerkraut, however, very ripe sauerkraut is often tolerated much easier. So if you are just starting to make your own, you may want to let your batch ferment an extra long time to ensure an extra ripe batch.

Next there is:
ii. Straight Cabbage Juice: If you already own a juicer or don't mind purchasing one, then you can also just ferment juice straight up. Since we are not using salt yet, you will still need to use a starter to prevent spoilage. Follow the instructions on your juice and obtain enough cabbage juice to fill one quart sized Mason jar full. Then add your starter (as above). Again, you can use yogurt, powered starter, or live sauerkraut as above. Let the jar ferment longer than above, maybe 3 to 5 days before consuming, longer if it does not seem tart. This method does not continually produce cabbage juice as Aquaman's does, however some people like to use their juicers.

From Tim on Rachel's list:
Fresh homemade sauerkraut has a tangy, zingy powerful taste to it. It is also likely that if you are not use to fermented vegetables, you might get a slight stomach ache and feel like crap from the probiotic effect going to work in your body. It took me some time to get use to the taste, but now I love it. I usually have a salad with sauerkraut once or twice a day. I have found that fresh salads, with sauerkraut, has helped my healing process greatly (even though it took me over a year on SCD before I began eating raw salads).

I found these two "Q & A"'s on the net. Here they are:

For green cabbage:
1. What caused my homemade sauerkraut to turn pink?

Pink color in sauerkraut is caused by the growth of certain types of yeast on the surface of the kraut. These may grow if there is too much salt, an uneven distribution of salt, or if the kraut is improperly covered or weighted during fermentation. Discard pink sauerkraut.

Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia.

2. I have found a recipe for making sauerkraut in jars that says to pack shredded cabbage into jars, add salt, cover with boiling water, and seal with canning lids. Is this safe?

This method for making sauerkraut cannot be recommended. There are two serious problems with this procedure. First, boiling water should not be used as it might kill the lactic acid bacteria that causes the fermenting process. Second, sealing fresh, unfermented cabbage--a low acid food--into jars essentially by the open kettle method could permit the growth of the spores that produce the toxin that causes botulism. Any sauerkraut made using this procedure could be dangerous. Discard it.

Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia.

[Thanks to Renee for help]

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a scientific diet that is based on chemistry, biology, and clinical studies.

The selection of foods that are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is based on the chemical structure of these foods. Carbohydrates are classified by their molecular structure.The allowed carbohydrates have a molecular structure that is small enough to be transported across the small intestinal surface into the bloodstream. These carbohydrates do not need to be broken down by various processes of the digestive organs such as the pancreas or the intestinal cells' surface enzymes.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is biologically correct because it is species appropriate.The allowed foods are those that early man ate before the agricultural revolution. The diet of early man is one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, low-sugar fruits, and certain oils. Starches, grains, pasta, legumes, and breads have only been consumed for a mere 10,000 years. Many people are not adapted to these types of foods yet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was clinically tested for over 50 years by Dr. Sidney Haas and biochemist Elaine Gottschall with amazing results.