Fermented Vegetables (and Sauerkraut)

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This is the third post in the What Are Fermented Foods? series…Fermented Vegetables (and Sauerkraut)

I started out using the simple 3-5 day recipes for fermented veggies from Nourishing Traditions.  They turned out alright but it wasn’t until I read a post by Nourishing Treasures about all things sauerkraut that I realized I would get much more probiotic activity and better ‘sour’ flavor if I fermented longer…much longer.  Good things come to those who wait.  Based on the basic recipe from Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin at the FeedMeLikeYouMeanIt blog, I make my ferments based on weight. It is worth it to purchase a simple kitchen scale that weighs in both grams and ounces/pounds.  For any fermented veggie recipe you can basically use any type of vegetable you want (root veggies and cabbage handle the treatment the best) and for each 450g increment you add 10g of real sea salt. Let your imagination run wild (or let your CSA box dictate it which is what I do).

My tips – keep a large bowl on the scale and as you chop your vegetables, add them to the bowl.  When you get a final weight, remove the bowl with the veggie content and then add a smaller bowl to the scale and measure out your salt.

Here is a recipe I made tonight  and it took me about 20-30 min because I hand chopped my vegetables vs. using a food processor.  By all means – use a food processor.  I find chopping vegetables soothing and meditative so I often do it when I need to relax and breathe. Sounds silly right? But it is true for me.  Thanks to Food With Kid Appeal’s Jenna Pepper for the great idea yesterday on Facebook when I posted the picture of my CSA veggies from Johnson’s Backyard Garden!

Beet, Kohlrabi, Summer Squash, Apple, Basil ‘Pickles’


3 medium beets, sliced into matchsticks

2 medium kohlrabi, sliced into matchsticks

kohlrabi leaves, sliced thinly

2 small summer squash, sliced into half moons

1 apple, sliced into matchsticks

half a bunch of basil, sliced thinly

10g of sea salt per 450g of veggies – where to buy salt


Mix all the veggies with the salt for a few minutes with your hands – don’t be afraid to squeeze everything really well – you want to release the juices.  Pack mixture into a fermentation vessel with a smaller glass jar until the veggies start to submerge in their own juices (they won’t be totally submerged but you will notice the air gets squeezed out quite a bit).  Store in your pantry for one month – checking every week or so to ensure the vegetables aren’t turning brown (if just the top bits are brown that is ok, just stir a bit and pack down the veggies again.  If it really starts to brown you need to throw them out).  Otherwise you just wait.

Veggies in the bowl with salt

Veggies packed into their home for the next month

I did this with beets and onions recently and it tasted just like sauerkraut – really complex deep sour notes and truly delicious. I have not had the same result pickling beets for a few days.  I love those microbes and how nicely they flavor our food!

Beet and Onion Ferment – one week old – 3 more weeks to go!

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I am a very busy real food mama! When I am not taking care of my 6 year old, I take time to share my real food recipes on my blog, Homemade Mommy. I find the time for homemade cooking and green living because eating this way has truly changed my family’s life. Ditching processed food has helped us all to live a vibrantly healthy life! I buy organic, from family farms, local and grass-fed. I am passionate about achieving vibrant health and am happy to share tips, techniques and recipes in my eBook, The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms which is an excellent resource for any busy mom (or dad) who wants to cook real food for their family but is not sure how to take the plunge.

18 Responses to Fermented Vegetables (and Sauerkraut)

  1. […] follow up with a post explaining in detail with recipes on how to make your own fermented foods: sauerkraut, other fermented vegetables and condiments and […]

  2. Tara Chin says:

    thanks so much! you are inspiring me to try it! doesn't make you sick?

  3. Laurel says:

    So the ziplock baggie is inside the jar? Is this healthy? Wouldnt the plastic leach into the brine? Love your website by the way…

  4. […] Eggs with sauteed arugula, pickled beets and […]

  5. […] sauerkraut in a small jar – make sure it doesn’t leak. Eat a small amount with breakfast and leave it […]

  6. […] vegetable Egg souffle from yesterday’s brunch, pickled beets, salsa, and […]

  7. […] from this cookbook than I did from Nourishing Traditions! I even shared Alex’s method for fermenting vegetables in my post on that topic before I even knew him! Alex Lewin’s cookbook provides very simple […]

  8. I clicked on the link for the fermentation vessels, but did not see them. The pics look like any jar you can get at a box store, but I am unsure if that would be the same. Could you give me a heads up as to where I can purchase these jars from. I have several mason jars as I do a lot of canning/preserving

  9. […] 3 sizes! I use these jars to make all of my fermented foods (what are fermented foods?) including sauerkraut, kefir, pickles and the BEST fermented mayo and […]

  10. […] Tbsp sauerkraut juice from a prior batch or […]

  11. […] foods like sauerkraut – bacterial fermentation augments K2 […]

  12. Jessica K says:

    Yippy! Another sauerkraut maker! My grandma has taught me her ways around the crock and I’m happy to hear other younger people such as myself are keeping the tradition alive. All my friends think I’m nuts for making kraut but its my great great grandmother’s recipe. And I’m happy to see your putting it out there about how truly healthy it is for you!

  13. […] Fermented Vegetables by Homemade Mommy Fermented Watermelon Radish by Homemade Mommy Fermented Cabbage Juice by Real Food Forager Brine-pickled Peperoncini by Nourished Kitchen Fermented Grape Tomatoes by Learning and Yearning Lacto-Fermented Dilly Green Beans by Real Food Outlaws Pickled Garlic, Y’all by The Sprouting Seed Lacto-Fermented Vegetables by Healthy People, Healthy Planet A Peck of Pickled Peppers by Mommypotamus Fermented Radishes by Mommypotamus Lacto-Fermented Berries by Oh Lardy! Fermented Yams by Cheeseslave Moroccan Preserved Lemons by Nourished Kitchen Lacto-Fermented Ginger Carrots by Girl Meets Nourishment Fermented Cranberry Sauce by Oh Lardy! […]

  14. Kathy says:

    I’m VERY new at this so I have a question about the baggie in the jar.
    I may have missed it but I cannot find a reason for it! In the recipe you say to pack the mixture down with a smaller jar so I am assuming that the water-filled baggir is being used as a weight to keep everything in the juices. Is this right?
    I am really looking forward to trying some of your recipes!

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