Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions (2024)

Fermented cabbage and salt, or sauerkraut is one of the most popular foods today! A traditional sauerkraut recipe can be tweaked in a variety of ways with the addition of flavorings, spices or other vegetables. Here are our ten favorite sauerkraut additions that you can add to make some delicious sauerkraut with your own unique twist. You can also check out more of our sauerkraut posts and recipes in the pickling and fermentation section of our Homestead Library.Hope you enjoy these kraut additions, and don't forget to play with your food!

Note: For best results, maintain a ratioof at least 75% cabbage when you're adding extra ingredients to your kraut creations!

Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions (1)

Ten Delicious Kraut Additions

1. Juniper Berries

Small and dark, these little raisin-sized berries pack a flavor punch. A classic kraut addition, and visually pleasing, too - the purple-black berries studded among the green kraut.

2. Beets

Peeled and grated or thinly sliced, even a tiny bit of beet stains the whole ferment fuchsia. Or golden, if you use a yellow beet. Sweet earthy flavor complements the acidic tang of kraut. Because they contain so much sugar, they can skew a ferment that is not salty enough if used in too large a proportion. A good rule of thumb is to use at least 75% cabbage and the rest can be other ingredients, like beet.

3. Ginger

There's a special magic to ginger, the way it warms and spices anything it touches. Ginger and beet is an especially unique combination that we love in kraut.

4. Lemon Peel

The peel of a single Meyer lemon, cut into thin strips, blended with Garlic and Dill in a quart of green cabbage kraut--bliss. Notable for it's texture, dense and firm and much unlike the crunch of cabbage.

5. Dill

Dill greens can be chopped and added to the kraut in season. When fresh dill is not available, use dill seed. The seed has a more concentrated flavor, so use less of it than you would the greens.

6. Caraway Seed

A classic addition. Think Russia, think rye bread. It stands alone.

7. Fennel

Fennel bulb, grated or thinly sliced. Fennel stalk, a crunch like celery, but sweeter. Notes of anise in the tangy kraut, hints of sweetness and licorice. Perfect blended with apple. (See how we slipped another ingredient onto the list?)

8. Celery Root (celeriac)

This underutilized root is making a comeback. Peel it and grate it into a kraut, along with apple and fennel for an unusual and delicious combination.

9. Carrot

Slice it thinly into coins, or grate it into shreds. Pair it with lemon and ginger, or with radish. (ha! We slipped another one in!) Treat is as you would a beet, as this vegetable too contains a fair amount of sweetness; use only up to 25% carrot in a cabbage-based kraut.

10. Garlic

Garlic can be added to so many ferments, to round out the flavor. It's a key ingredient in kimchi, along with carrots and radish and peppers, but it pairs nicely with dill and lemon as well.

Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions (2)

Go Ahead & Play with Your Food!

Remember, all of these delicious additions are intended to be just that--additions, not to make up more than 25% of the total kraut. Some, like juniper berries or caraway seeds, should be used far more sparingly, just a teaspoon or two per quart. Beets, fennel, apple, and the like should make up 25% or less of the total volume of the kraut. Cabbage has a certain magic--you could also say that it has a certain population of beneficial bacteria on its leaves--but however you phrase it, cabbage makes the best kraut.

The perfect balance of bacteria and nutrients thrive in a cabbage-based ferment. If too many other ingredients are added, the balance can be upset, and other, less desirable, less delicious kinds of fermentation may take over.

Over to You

Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions (3)Part of what makes our communityhere at Mountain Feed so great is that we’re all constantly finding the best ways to do things.If you want to learn more about the art and science of fermentation, there are a lot of good resources out there.

Head over to the . Or you can simply find everything you need to get startedin our Pickling & Fermentation Department. Check out ourSauerkraut Video Workshop, our delicious Kraut Chi Recipe, or our how to make sauerkraut in a classic Ohio Stoneware Crock.As always, remember to just have fun and play with your food.

It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often.Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram orPinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.

Keeping agreat journal leads to delicious results! Get inspired by new recipes, expert articles and homemade food adventures inourMonthly Journal.

Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions (2024)


Our Top Ten Favorite Kraut Additions? ›

I went with shredded carrots and beets, which provide a vibrant orange-magenta hue. Next come fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger and turmeric for big flavor. The result is a perfectly salted fresh vegetable sauerkraut infused with zesty garlic and ginger and earthy turmeric. Swoon!

What should I add to my sauerkraut? ›

I went with shredded carrots and beets, which provide a vibrant orange-magenta hue. Next come fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger and turmeric for big flavor. The result is a perfectly salted fresh vegetable sauerkraut infused with zesty garlic and ginger and earthy turmeric. Swoon!

What herbs to add to sauerkraut? ›

Some people like to flavor their sauerkraut with herbs such as dill or caraway seeds. You can also add other veggies such as carrots, garlic, or ginger.

How much caraway seeds to add to sauerkraut? ›

You should always add caraway seeds to sauerkraut before fermentation so the seeds can release and impart more flavor throughout the sauerkraut as it ferments. You can adjust the amount of caraway seeds you add to the kraut depending on your flavor preference. For a lighter flavor start with just 5 grams per quart.

What to add to sauerkraut to make it less sour? ›

Another way to balance out the tartness in sauerkraut is to add spices and herbs. Garlic, dill, caraway seeds, and juniper berries are all popular spices for sauerkraut. These ingredients can help mask the sour flavor and add complexity to the dish, making it more enjoyable to eat.

What is the tastiest way to eat sauerkraut? ›

Sauerkraut can be added to soups and stews; cooked with stock, beer or wine; served with sausages or salted meats, and is especially good with smoked fish, like hot-smoked salmon.

Can you make sauerkraut taste better? ›

Sprinkle in spices and aromatics

When we're talking about sauerkraut, the most traditional spices and aromatics come from anise-like caraway seeds, bay leaves, and the distinctive spicily earthy juniper berries. Those are all good options, and a lot of recipes call for them.

What does sauerkraut do for your bowels? ›

Sauerkraut also has a high fiber content that helps with constipation by making stools softer, and simultaneously increasing its mass and volume. This bulkiness makes for easier passage through the digestive tract and quicker elimination.

Should I add vinegar to my sauerkraut? ›

No need to add any vinegar! Salt alone preserves sour cabbage very well. I add 1/4 cup of shredded carrot for colour. Sometimes, I add a laurel leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds.

Can you put basil in sauerkraut? ›

Optional additions: Smoked Salt or Liquid Smoke Lemon or Other Citrus Juice Dried or Fresh Herbs- Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Bay Leaf Paprika Celery Seed Turmeric- adds color as well as anti-inflammatory properties Worcestershire Ginger Marination times: Veggies 15 to 30 minutes Seafood 15 minutes to 1 hour ...

Do you put caraway or fennel seeds in sauerkraut? ›

All you need to make your own sauerkraut is:
  1. Cabbage.
  2. Carrot.
  3. Seeds like caraway, cumin or fennel (optional)
  4. Salt.
  5. Large jar.
  6. Rolling pin or something to squash the veg into the jar.
  7. Muslin cloth, cheesecloth or thin tea towel.
  8. Time!
May 26, 2020

Why put juniper berries in sauerkraut? ›

This recipe is particularly fool-proof, since both juniper berries and caraway seeds are natural mold inhibitors and will help keep your fermentation on track (as well as adding a delicious flavor.)

What can I use instead of caraway seeds in sauerkraut? ›

In sauerkraut, the best substitute for caraway is fennel seeds, however dill or anise will also work, but are more pungent than fennel, so should be used more sparingly.

Why doesn't my sauerkraut taste sour? ›

This won't be bad, as in make you sick, it just won't be probiotic or as tasty. My guess is the lack of pizzazz and sour is likely from the cabbage itself. Depending on the cultivar and time of year cabbages can have very little sugar and starch to break down. It is the sugar that turns into that lovely sour.

Should you add sugar to sauerkraut? ›

Cabbage, salt, and sugar (plus some time) are all that's required to make a standout homemade sauerkraut recipe.

How do you make sauerkraut more tangy? ›

The longer it ferments, the tangier it becomes. Once you get your custom-made sauerkraut to the level of fermentation that you like the best, transfer into glass jars, drain off the brine, and move it into the refrigerator. And by all means, save the brine!

Why do you put vinegar in sauerkraut? ›

To Speed Up The Ferment

For example, sauerkraut starts out with a ton of different bacterial cultures, but by day 5, the acid-loving lactic bacteria have taken over. By adding a bit of vinegar to a ferment, it creates an environment that is ideal for acid-loving bacteria, thus speeding up fermentation time.

Should you rinse sauerkraut before eating? ›

It's not necessary to rinse, unless you prefer it that way

It's this very potency that makes sauerkraut what it is, which is why LiveStrong explains that you probably shouldn't rinse the canned cabbage condiment if you want to maintain its characteristic flavor.

What does sauerkraut do on an empty stomach? ›

As per experts at Fermenters Kitchen, the early morning is the golden hour for sauerkraut. Why? On an empty stomach, the gut-friendly microbes in sauerkraut have a clear path to colonize your gut microbiome. They can thus foster a balanced digestive system and set a positive tone throughout the day.

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