This probiotic sauerkraut is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse! Enhanced by the flavours of pineapple, turmeric and ginger, fermented sauerkraut aids digestion, is nutrient-dense and so tasty too. Follow my simple foolproof technique to ferment cabbage the correct way in order to achieve the best flavours and health benefits.
Lately this pineapple-turmeric-ginger probiotic sauerkraut is incorporated into our meals often, from winter to spring, when there isn’t a great selection of local vegetables available in the produce section. These are grown-in-the-sun, Ontario cabbages I fermented last fall. Yum! Contrary to what I can find in the store this time of the year – vegetables mostly imported or grown in the green house, that also cost a small fortune. Can’t wait for the summer and the farmer’s market to open again.
This delicious probiotic sauerkraut is on my mind, so I will share the recipe now. I use them as a vegetable side to go with many meat entrees or sandwiches. Spring is not exactly the time I ferment them, since I like to use fresh in-season local cabbages in the fall, and preserve them over winter. But you could any time of the year you have cabbages on hand. Have you heard the story of the magic sauerkrauts? I love a story like this about the wisdoms of our ancestors. But no matter how magical the sauerkrauts are, remember to eat in moderation.
My pineapple-turmeric-ginger probiotic sauerkraut is inspired by this recipe here from Fermented Food Lab. I made a few modifications to address the following.
- ACV (apple cider vinegar) or any vinegar is not needed in fermentation. It could actually interfere with the growth of beneficial bacteria.
- Cabbage is a self-brining vegetable, meaning it will release enough juice to cover itself. So water isn’t necessary in the recipe. I prefer the brine not diluted and skip the excess kraut-juice that isn’t so popular in my house.
- I converted the amount of cabbage and pineapple to precise measurement in weight rather than using the number of cabbage and pineapple that vary in size. In order to ferment vegetables successfully, the ratio between the weight of vegetables and the salt is important. Too little salt, the sauerkraut will grow mold. Too much salt, the beneficial bacteria will not multiply. The ratio is also very important to the taste of the final product. We all want delicious, safe, probiotic sauerkraut that’s not overly salty in the end, don’t we? The perfect saltiness to me is 1 tbsp salt to 2 lb. of vegetables for any flavour sauerkrauts I make.
- I adjusted the amount of each ingredient and the fermentation time to achieve the best flavours. Not all vegetables are fermented the same way. Sauerkraut is one that requires longer fermentation time and the flavour will develop with age.
- I added black pepper to increase the absorption of the curcumin in turmeric. If you don’t like the idea of black pepper in sauerkraut, you don’t have to add black pepper. Studies have shown that consuming black pepper with turmeric boosts the curcumin absorption. You can also eat this probiotic sauerkrauts with other dishes that contain black pepper and fat. Yes, eating fat with turmeric also boosts the absorption of curcumin.
In addition, if you are interested, I also talked about why I don’t use whey as a starter in vegetable ferments in my Wild Fermented Salsa recipe. I talked about what kinds of salt are best for fermentation in my fermented cucumber pickles recipe. I also have a super easy classic sauerkraut recipe with caraway seeds.
Pineapple-Turmeric-Ginger Probiotic Sauerkraut
- 5 1/2 lb cabbage, shredded
- 2 1/2 lb pineapple, diced
- 4 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
- 2 tbsp turmeric, freshly grated or dried powder
- 4 tbsp sea salt
- pinch of ground black pepper (optional)
- Mix the sea salt with shredded cabbage. Let it sit for half a day, until cabbage juice is released.
- Mix in all other ingredients.
- Fill the fermentation vessel, such as glass jars or crock, leaving an inch or two head space to the rim. Press down the mixture until the brine comes above the solid. You can use a weight, such as a plate (I use a bag of marbles) to hold the solid down. Cover the fermentation vessel with a lid to keep out the air. Use an airlock if you wish. Or you can use a fermentation lid that holds down the solid and keeps out the air at the same time.
- Put a plate under your fermentation vessel to catch over-flowing juice. Check regularly and press down the sauerkrauts if needed during the first 2 weeks, as the fermentation activity will generate a lot of air and push the cabbage and brine up and out of the container.
- Let the sauerkraut ferment for a minimum 4-6 weeks, in a cool and dark spot of the house, before eating. Sauerkrauts that are fermented for less than 4 weeks don’t taste very good. My preference is over 2 months.
- Once the sauerkraut reaches your desired taste, you can move them to cold storage such as the fridge or cellar. The sauerkraut will continue to develop flavours in cold storage. The longer they age, the better the taste. Sauerkrauts properly fermented will last for years.
- Calorie calculation is based on the full recipe.
- The prep and cook time include time actively spent on making this recipe; do not include time waiting for the fermentation to progress.
- This recipe makes 4 quarts = 1 gallon.
- The perfect saltiness to me is 1 tbsp salt to 2 lb. of vegetables for any flavour sauerkrauts I make.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you like this probiotic sauerkraut as much I do. Don’t forget to check out my other fermented recipes for more gut-healing yumminess! If you made this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out in the comment below.