Gorgeous Purple Sauerkraut

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Let’s just all pause for a moment to admire that vibrant purple color.

That color came about by accident.  I went with my friend, Tara, (the one I met at sourdough bread class, remember?) to HEB the other day.  We were on the hunt for some green cabbage to make homemade sauerkraut.

I should probably back up a little bit and fill you guys in.  My hubby and I were actually camping for a few days in Georgetown, TX.  It’s really ideal, because he works in Georgetown, so after work he comes home to the camper.  That leaves me all day to myself, which I have to admit is quite a treat.  After one day of luxury to myself I decided I wanted some company.  I called Tara to see if she wanted to come down from Killeen and make a day of it.  We had a vague plan to make something together.

So there we are at HEB and wouldn’t you know- they are OUT of cabbage.  When is there a run on cabbage EVER, am I right?  The only kind they had left was some purple cabbage.  Tara said it would work fine, so we continued with our plan to make sauerkraut.  We nosed around and bought other things and returned to my camper to get to work.

The first step in making sauerkraut is to chop the cabbage and put it into a large container.  My slices were  a little thick, which makes the cabbage a little crunchier.  I love it, but my hubby likes it a little less crunchy, so I’ll try thin slices next time.  So, slice according to your taste!

Add about a teaspoon of salt.  Then, you essentially bash the shit out of it for 10 minutes.  Seriously.  The most appropriate tool I had while camping was a mason jar filled with water to add more heft.

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I love the color already!
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Take turns with a friend so your arm doesn’t get tired.

The smashing helps release the natural water inside the cabbage.  After a good ten minutes or so, it’s time to transfer the sauerkraut into a smaller container.  This part amazed me- Tara kept adding the cabbage to my empty yogurt container and pressing it down and adding more and pressing it down.  I thought several times that there was no way she’d get it all to fit in there, but she did!

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Here you can see the natural cabbage water rising to the top.

Press down super hard on the cabbage until the natural water covers the cabbage.  Leave the weighted jar on top of the cabbage and set it aside for 5-7 days.  There’s really no rule on how long to leave it, just leave it until it gets the taste you like!

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See the bubbles forming on the container and the jar?  That’s what you want.

I wiped the bubbles away from the edge of the container every few days.  Because my cabbage is purple, the bubbles were a little bit brown and gross looking.  If you look carefully on the edge of the container below, you can see some of the residue still on the edge.  But the bubbles are a good sign.  It means the magic of fermentation is happening!

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See the left side with brown residue- eww.  Totally normal and not a bad sign, though.

I let my sauerkraut sit for 6 days and I love it!  It has just enough tang and crunch, plus it looks so beautiful!  I think from now on, I’ll always make purple sauerkraut.  It’s just so gorgeous, I can’t resist. And the colors you see in the photo are true to life, I didn’t edit them or pump them up at all with photo software- nature at its best!


  • Servings: lots
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 head cabbage

1 teaspoon salt


Thinly slice your cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the salt on the cabbage and mix up. Smash the cabbage for 10 minutes using something that has weight. You can use a clean can of soup, or a meat mallet, or do what I did and use a mason jar filled with water. Press the cabbage and the resulting water into a smaller container and really pack it in tight. Using the jar, press down hard until the natural water rises to the top and the cabbage is submerged. Set aside for 5-7 days or more, wiping any excess foam from around the edges. Remove the jar, wipe down the container, and pop a lid on it. You can refrigerate and enjoy- no need to rinse or anything!

8 thoughts on “Gorgeous Purple Sauerkraut

  1. The purple color is really gorgeous!
    I’m pretty sure the reason the green cabbage was sold out was because of corned beef and cabbage for St Patrick’s Day.
    Always impressed by your blogs!

  2. Not only did it look great, it also tasted great…. just like your Grandmother used to make.

    Daddy Do Dee

  3. Your instructions are so easy to follow and understand. “Beat the shit out of it”. Clear, concise and I know exactly what I should do. Enjoyed it!

  4. How you do it, I just don’t know???
    Somehow, I am now a fan of sauerkraut! Of course, now I am a sauerkraut snob…freshly made only!
    Thanks for sharing,
    aka guinea 🐷

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