Sauerkraut (aka pickled, fermented cabbage) is high in vitamin C and very low in carbs. All you need is cabbage, salt and a jar. Optionally, you can add spices like caraway, juniper berries or mustard seeds. I made mine using caraways seeds and juniper berries.
I used to make it in a mason jar weighted with a small bowl to keep the cabbage submerged and covered with a cheesecloth. After trying several different methods, I realised that the easiest way is to make it in a Fido jar. There are several other ways to make Sauerkraut which have been well documented by Lea from Nourishing Treasures.
Eating Sauerkraut will help you beat the symptoms of "keto-flu", which are very common for those who just started a keto diet, by providing additional sodium. Apart from electrolytes, Sauerkraut is beneficial for our digestive system due to high levels of probiotics and natural digestive enzymes.
Why make your own?
- it's easy
- it's cheaper
- you are in control of the ingredients used to make it
- you can use all sorts of cabbage, even red
How many carbs does Sauerkraut have? Sauerkraut is made by lacto-fermentation. The bacteria present in the cabbage convert sugars into lactic acid, thus decreasing the overall carb content. This process is also present in full-fat yogurt, another keto-friendly food. That's why the carb content in "real" yogurt is often lower than labeled (the actual net carbs go down by 30-70%)! The problem is that most commercially available yogurts don't ferment long enough and the carbs content only decreases by about 30%.
What's your favourite method of making Sauerkraut? Let me know by leaving a comment :-)
Nutritional values (per ½ cup/ 70 g/ 2.5 oz)
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Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (53%), protein (34.9%), fat (12.1%)
Ingredients (makes 1 large jar)
Note: When looking for ingredients, try to get them in their most natural form (organic, without unnecessary additives).
- Cut the cabbage in quarters and remove the hard cores. Discard any dry outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into slices. If you prefer a fine texture, use a food processor. Transfer the cabbage into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt and optionally with caraway, juniper berries and mustard seeds. I like my sauerkraut with caraway seeds and juniper berries. Mix well and let it sit for about 2 hours.
- After 1-2 hours, the sauerkraut will start releasing its juices and reduce in volume.
- Press and squeeze the cabbage to release as much of the juices as you can.
A) Mason jar method: Add the cabbage to the jar. Press down until the cabbage is submerged in its juices or add a small amount of water if needed.
Leave a small gap on top and weigh down using a small bowl (not shown on the photo). Top with the cheesecloth and tighten with a string or the outer part of the lid. Place on a plate - some of the juice may run over.
B) Fido jar method (preferred): After discovering the super-easy Fido jar method, I'm no longer using a mason jar. Simply place the sweated cabbage in a Fido jar, leave a small gap and close it. You won't need to weigh the cabbage down with a Fido jar. Don't worry about the jar exploding, the fermentation gasses will escape through the rubber lid while no oxygen will get in, thus there will be no risk of failure. Oxygen is what causes mold, so do not open the jar during fermentation.
No matter which method you use, keep the jar from direct sunlight and ferment at room temperature (60-75 F / 15-24 C) for 3-5 weeks. The warmer it gets, the less it will take to ferment. Just make sure it's not too hot or the sauerkraut will become unappetising. Refrigerate and store up to 6 months or preserve for longer. Enjoy! :-)
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