This vegan raw fermented vegetable recipe is totally delicious and amazing help for healing the gut of anyone with food allergies or food sensitivities. I’ve been making my basic fermented veggie recipe for years. I’ve learned some interesting new info and tricks in that time so this is my updated version. You can totally make this recipe varying the amounts of the vegetables or leaving some out all together. This batch has lots of carrots. If you’ve got some cabbage then go for it…what else is in your fridge? Go f-ing crazy! (that’s fermenting crazy)
1 large head of cabbage (any variety)
1 onion (or leeks, green onions, shallots)
3-8 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of carrots
1 bunch of radishes (or try a daikon radish)
1” piece of ginger grated (or more)
2 Tbs dried dill (or 4 Tbs fresh)
1 Tbs caraway seeds (or to taste)
2 Tbs Celtic sea salt (or more to taste)
Other Optional Ingredients: summer squash, turnips, snow peas, seaweed, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, kale, burdock root, parsnip, beets* *If using beets cut them into large chunks. Do not grate or chop them too fine, as the sugar in the beets can push the fermentation process to alcohol.
Process all vegetables in batches in a food processor to whatever thickness you desire (I prefer a mixture or finer and thicker pieces). You may also chop/grate the vegetables by hand. I use the food processor because it’s fast and easy and the veggies put off a lot of liquid this way so you don’t have to pound them to get them to release their juices. Mix the vegetables with the sea salt, dill, caraway in a large bowl. If desired, you may add two tablespoons of a good optional ferment jump-starter but this is not necessary. I used some of the brine from a previous batch of sauerkraut. Some people use whey strained from plain yogurt. If you are sensitive or allergic to dairy this is not a good idea and it is obviously not vegan. Taste the mixture. It should be salty but not unpleasantly so. The amount of salt used can vary. As you increase the amount of salt used the fermentation progresses at a slower rate and the resulting ferment will be sourer.
Pack the mixture into a ½ gallon glass jar leaving at least an inch of head room so the juices do not leak out of the jar when the sauerkraut expands during the fermentation process. It is important to pack the veggies down with a wooden spoon until the liquid released from the vegetables rises above the vegetables. This is key because fermentation is an anaerobic process, which happens in the absence of oxygen. If there is not enough juice to cover the veggies you may have to pound them with a wooden spoon (the smaller you have chopped your veggies the more juice will have been released). Some people add water to cover but I wouldn’t. I don’t think it works as well or tastes as good.
Put a lid on the jar and leave it on your counter to ferment. The warmer it is the quicker the fermentation process will occur. As the veggies ferment you will see bubbles form and the mixture will expand. You do not want it to expand above the level of the liquid and get into the oxygen so you may need to push It back down again in a few days. Alternatively, you may also pack your sauerkraut into a crock and weight it down with a weight (i.e. another jar filled with water) to keep the sauerkraut below the level of the liquid. The Fermenta Cap, a super cool and inexpensive lid that burps out but won’t let oxygen in, can solve these issues for under $10.
There should not be mold, slime or other gnarly-ness on the top of your ferment. If you think you’ve gone wrong somewhere and there is trouble in fermentation paradise check out this Troubleshooting Sauerkraut guide from Nourishing Treasures.
For the best colonies of good bacteria your sauerkraut needs to go through three different stages of fermentation. Therefore, you usually need to leave your jar out on the counter for at least 4 weeks at a temperature of 65-72 degrees F. You may then refrigerate them for months or longer. Remember, fermentation was used to preserve foods when there was no refrigeration.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Want to ferment other things?!?
At Punk Rawk Labs (PRL) we traditionally ferment all of our vegan nut milk cheeses by hand. That’s why they are so delicious and actually have the savory umami flavor that most vegan cheese are missing. Here’s a link to a Video showing How to Ferment Nut Milk Cheese by my biz partner and PRL founder Alissa.