If you are trying to avoid refined salt or are on a low sodium diet, you can still enjoy delicious sauerkraut. This recipe uses herbal seeds to replace the salt in normal kraut. Making this kind of ferment is a bit riskier when it comes to foreign bacteria having a foothold, so it is recommended that you make this kind of kraut in the winter and keep a close eye on it during fermentation.
- 5 pounds cabbage
- 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
- 1 Tbsp. dill seeds
- 1 Tbsp. celery seeds
- 1 Tbsp. crushed peppercorns
- Filtered water
- Shred or finely chop cabbage. Place in a non-metal bowl.
- Grind seeds and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle; toss ground seeds in the bowl with the cabbage until well blended. Pound the mixture a little with a Cabbage Crusher or pounding tool to get the juices flowing.
- Pack the cabbage mixture into the clean jar, rather tightly. Add just enough water to bring the liquid level to just above the cabbage.
- Weigh the cabbage down with a fermenting weight, if needed.
- Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
- Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred).
- Check the kraut's aroma and water level daily; replenish the water if needed. If it starts to smell anything but sour, start again. Making kraut without salt is doable, but is a risk, so be attentive and aware of what the ferment is doing and keep it happy. Mold may appear on the surface, but don’t worry about it unless the mold is dark-colored.
- Sauerkraut should start to get tangy within about 5 days. Continue tasting daily and place in cold storage when it reaches desired flavor.