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This Delicious Beet Sauerkraut is Loaded with Probiotics

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This beet sauerkraut can be made with red or green cabbage. It’s an easy recipe to ferment and it’s so good for you. Here’s how to make it with some of your garden fresh produce.

Or try this traditional sauerkraut recipe.

jar with red beet kraut bubbly

This is one of those “I can’t believe it’s so simple” recipes. Also one of those “why in the world didn’t I try this sooner?” recipes.

Fermented beet sauerkraut

Ever since my friend Zoe shared her beet kraut recipe at a potluck, I’ve been wanting to try to replicate it. (I seriously could have eaten the whole jar, but that would have been rude.) 

I had a small harvest of beets from my first (temporary) garden beds, so it was the perfect time to learn how to make beet sauerkraut. 

4-panel process of making sauerkraut with beets and cabbage

Making this fermented beet recipe

There’s no cooking involved in making this beet sauerkraut. It’s simply a matter of doing some shredding and grating and tossing

Once the cabbage and beets are prepared, you’ll toss them with sea salt and seasonings and press the salted mixture into jars for fermentation. The most critical part of a successful ferment is that the produce — in this case, cabbage and beets — needs to be completely submerged in liquid. Use a weight to prevent the produce from coming into contact with the air.

As I said: It’s really easy! (If you’re lucky enough to have a fermentation crock, you can use that.)

After sitting for just a few days, the beets and cabbage will begin to actively bubble as fermentation begins. Days two and three are often the most active, but it will continue to ferment as long as its sitting at room temperature. Once the beet sauerkraut is flavorful enough for you, cap the jar and store in the refrigerator or a cool cellar.

My son likes to use this as part of a healthy breakfast plate: Smear hummus on a plate, then top it with a couple of fried eggs and a spoonful of this beet sauerkraut.

squat glass jar with bright purple beet kraut

★ Did you make this beet sauerkraut? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

Beet Sauerkraut with Red Cabbage

Beet Sauerkraut with Red Cabbage

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Fermenation Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 25 minutes

Beet sauerkraut with red cabbage is an easy recipe to ferment and it's so good for you.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded (red or green)
  • 2 cups beets, shredded 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Himalayan salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your (clean) hands to really work the salt into the veggies. Don't be afraid to give it all a little squeeze; you want the salt to start to bring out the juices.
  2. Once well mixed, begin transferring veggies tightly into a wide-mouth Mason jar.
  3. Use a tamper to press the veggies tightly into the jar. There are specialty tampers or you could do as I do and use a large dowel. process of making sauerkraut
  4. As you press, you'll start to see the juices rise to the top. If your produce doesn't generate enough juice, add just a bit of distilled water to bring the level of liquid above the level of the veggies. (You could also use a bit of leftover brine from another ferment, if you happen to have it.)
  5. Place a glass weight on top of the sauerkraut, making sure to push out any air bubbles that are visibly trapped under it. It's critical that the vegetables are not in contact with air.
  6. Place a fermentation airlock or lid on the jar to seal it. If you use a standard lid, you'll need to be sure to open the jar daily to let out any built up gasses.
  7. Let sit at room temperature for a week or two, checking occasionally to make sure that the veggies remain covered with liquid. This will vary depending upon the temperature in the kitchen. A warmer kitchen results in a faster ferment.

Notes

Hot tip: Even with airlocks, my beet kraut went crazy and overflowed on about day two or three (called heaving, as you'll read here). You might want to set your jars in a tray to catch accidental spills. (And when this happens, remember that the liquid might need to be replenished.)

Days two and three are often the most active, but it will continue to ferment as long as its sitting at room temperature. Once the beet sauerkraut is flavorful enough for you, cap the jar and store in the refrigerator or a cool cellar.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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fork full of reddish purple kraut

Originally published in July 2015; this post has been updated.

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

11 comments… add one
  • Lori Aug 23, 2015, 10:17 pm

    Love this idea, I’ve been wanting to try fermenting beets a different way where they would be softer as I have a hard time with hard vegetables, but I want the benefits of the beets being fermented, yeah and i’m with you on shredding some tiny tined out carrots..

  • Billy Jun 5, 2017, 12:06 pm

    I have never seen beets used in a sauerkraut recipe, but I don’t see why not! This is great and I love beets to boot! Can’t wait to try this recipe at home. I usually just buy sauerkraut from the store, but I think its about time I start fashioning my own in my kitchen! Thanks for sharing!

  • Todd Woodard Jun 11, 2017, 11:39 pm

    I do my fermenting in a crock, would I use the same time frame as regular sauerkraut

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 13, 2019, 7:43 pm

      I am SO sorry == I never saw this comment until now! Yes, the time frame for fermentation would not change.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 7:27 pm

    Thank you for the recipe!

  • Lillian Terry Nov 5, 2019, 10:34 am

    Dumb question, did you peel the beets before shredding?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 7, 2019, 7:39 pm

      Totally up to you. The beet skins are edible. Just be sure to clean them well.

  • Ricardo Rincones Apr 9, 2020, 12:21 am

    cook the beets first ?

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 12, 2020, 10:31 am

      Nope!

  • Ann Aug 31, 2020, 2:22 pm

    I made two jars. One jar the brine is a beautiful red but in the other it’s brown…any ideas why?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 1, 2020, 8:35 am

      I’ve had this happen. The only thing I can think is that the jar itself had some sort of residue? I’ve taken to washing “clean” jars right before I start a ferment.

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