Beets are a favorite vegetable in our house! So it was natural that the next sauerkraut we attempted included this yummy root. The results were simply wonderful; a vibrant, fuschia-colored sauerkraut with an earthy and slightly tangy taste. It screams Spring to me – maybe it’s the color or the nod to eating more veggies. I think it will go on anything… but especially on sandwiches, salads, and maybe tacos? Or even as a side dish for a heavier meal. mmm the possibilities are endless!
This recipe is simple. Please don’t overthink it. It is made the exact same way plain sauerkraut is made. However, for every 1 head of cabbage, add 1-2 medium beets. Here are the deets: (see what I did there? ha)
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1-2 medium beets
- salt – preferrably not iodized. I like pink himalayan salt
- Shred your cabbage using a mandolin or a sharp knife. I like to quarter my cabbage and slowly chop away. As I finish each quarter I dump my shredded cabbage into a big bowl and add a little salt, then massage that salt in. Make that cabbage thin so it will let it’s water out when you add salt. After each quarter I repeat the process. You should start to see that cabbage releasing some liquid – this is your brine.
***My secret weapon: a potato masher! it gives me some leaverage so I can really mix and mush that cabbage.
- Peel and clean your beets. Then grate them. I used my food processor for this part, but if you’re feeling strong you can use a hand grater.
- Add your beets to your cabbage mixture and mix thoroughly. Continue massaging and mushing your veg and salt mixture until you have a good amount of brine. Mix not making much brine? Cover it and let it sit for half and hour and then continue massaging. Still doesn’t work? Taste it – would more salt be too much? If not, add a little and massage some more. Otherwise, continue this waiting and massaging process until you have enough brine to cover your mix when you press down.
- Add your mixture to your crock and pack down as you add. I use the potato peeler here so I can really press down. You will notice the brine coming to the top. This is perfect!
- Add a cabbage leaf or some shrink wrap to the top of your mix to keep the veg bit from coming up and out of the brine. Add your weights and press down so that brine completely covers the mix.
- Let your mix sit for 10-14 days, pressing down your weights daily to let CO2 escape and keep that mix under the brine. Taste after 10-14 days. I liked mine after 14 days – it took a bit longer to ferment than the original sauerkraut, but it was worth the wait! Also note: the edges of my kraut turned a sad brown on the very top of my mix in the crock. This happened due to oxidization because I didn’t keep up with pressing my weights down so my mix stayed under the brine. All I had to do was scrape off the brown kraut and toss it. Underneath was beautiful beet kraut. Have no fear if this happens to you too!
- Pack your kraut into jars and press down until brine pools on top. This will keep your kraut fresh longer. Refrigerate. The fermentation process will continue in the fridge, but much much slower. Many say their kraut gets better with time, but ours have never lasted very long. Krauts can last many months in the fridge, some even say years. They are preserved, afterall, but use your judgement – toss if you see mold, slime, or it just seems rotten. No need to risk it, you can always make more!
It requires a little work and a little waiting, but the beet ‘kraut is my favorite so far. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!
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