I’ve mentioned before that according to Pantone, 2018 is the year of purple. I shared a delicious and hearty purple sweet potato smoothie bowl recipe to celebrate the color getting it’s due honor. Missed it? Don’t worry, it’s still up and you can check it out here and create your own smoothie bowl masterpiece.
Now I want to share another purple super food recipe. Homemade purple cabbage sauerkraut.
This sauerkraut is tangy, a little spicy, packed with nutrients, and absolutely beautiful. It’s such a vibrant showstopper.
If someone told me three years ago that I would be making my own fermented foods, I wouldn’t have believed them. However, I have grown to not only enjoy the taste of fermented foods, but also the realization that it’s not scary to make at home and the money saving aspect of doing it yourself are definite wins. As a kid, I did not like sauerkraut. However as an adult? It definitely has a place in my bowl and in my heart.
To start, sauerkraut is a probiotic food rich in iron, fiber, and antioxidants. It can reduce inflammation, improve immune function, improve digestion, as well as stabilize moods and overall health. Sauerkraut reportedly can lower cholesterol, reduce eczema flareups, alleviate arthritis inflammation, and help prevent bacterial infections such as UTIs. Sauerkraut is filled with ‘good bacteria’ which helps the gut microbiome.
When people hear the word ‘sauerkraut’ they often imagine the green/white cabbage variety. And although the traditional sauerkraut is delicious and packed with healing properties, I wanted to experiment with purple cabbage. We know that deep purple foods are nutrient dense. Pairing a nutrient dense food (purple cabbage) with a nutrient dense food (sauerkraut) seemed like a logical step to me. I really enjoy making traditional cabbage sauerkraut and figured making it with purple cabbage wouldn’t be too much of a leap. And it wasn’t. I learned that people have been making purple cabbage sauerkraut for years, I’m just late. I think that’s because we only ever really see green cabbage sauerkraut in stores. And that’s a shame because purple sauerkraut is delicious and it’s own beautiful creation.
Let’s move on to purple cabbage for a moment.
Purple cabbage (also referred to as red cabbage) is a cruciferous vegetable often enjoyed on salads or sauteed. Purple cabbage contains insoluble fiber which helps to prevent constipation and can relieve some gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS. It is one of the top Vitamin A providers you can find which makes it a immune booster powerhouse (FACT: It has more Vitamin C than oranges! So how about we start drinking purple cabbage juice in the winter to fight cold and flu season instead of orange juice?). It fights inflammation, arthritis, reduces the risks of osteoporosis, and can even help with degenerative and chronic conditions (like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s). Unfortunately, when we cook cabbage down, it loses many of its nutrients and it’s healing properties are lowered. It is recommended to eat purple cabbage raw or fermented in order to get it’s most benefit. If you do decide to cook it, do so on low heat and in a short time frame (steamed based cooking is ideal) to retain it’s nutrients.
Purple cabbage sauerkraut is a PERFECT and EASY way to enjoy the benefits of not just purple cabbage but also sauerkraut. This recipe is a healthy gut win.
And when I say easy I mean easy! You do a little chop, add some spices, and then do a little sitting and waiting. Seriously. Making fermented foods seems so much more complicated than it is but I promise it’s one of the easiest things you can do in your kitchen. Patience is key.
And the final result is a super food you feel good about eating and feeding those you love.
- 1 purple cabbage, shredded (I used my spiralizer with attachment C but you can do this by hand as well)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon habernero spice (optional)
Sprinkle shredded cabbage with salt
and massage cabbage for 10 minutes, releasing water out as you do so.
Stuff the cabbage into a mason jar (32 ounce) and cover with the liquid you massaged out. You want the cabbage to be completely submerged, so add a little water if you need.
The cabbage needs to remain under the liquid and you may need a weight to do this. I use a Ziploc bag, fill it with some water and place the bag over the cabbage to keep it down.
This works like a charm and I’ve never had issue with it. Cover jar with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or anything that is breathable but can also keep fruit flies, dust and other particles out of the sauerkraut. Place the jar in a dark location and wait for it to ferment. Check often to make sure that the cabbage is still submerged under the liquid (if you use the Ziploc bag you’ll notice it’s really good at keeping the cabbage submerged!). Taste sauerkraut after 2 weeks and if it’s tangy enough for you, replace cloth with an airtight lid and move your sauerkraut to the fridge and start consuming it.
I recommend eating a pinch or 1/4 cup of your homemade sauerkraut daily. Can eat it alone, on top of salads, or however you like.
What do you think? Easy enough? I love this recipe, I love the color, and I love the nutritional benefits!