Garlic-y Sauerkraut

Crocks are a delight

Crocks are a delight


Another recipe to address eating in-season. Cabbage, carrots, garlic and some spices are all you need to start playing with fermentation! Luckily if you’re North of the 49th, these ingredients are available to you at any time.

You may NOT have a crock but do not fear, if you have some glass vessels you can start out fermenting in smaller batches to see how much you enjoy it and how much you will be consuming before you put out the cash for a crock.

Please do not use metal or plastic – ever.

My suggestion is to check second hand shops and online bargains like Kijiji or Craigslist instead of buying new. This way you can up-cycle and save cash.

This is a larger batch recipe, halve or quarter depending on your brewing vessel. Note: your cabbage volume will decrease by about half by the time you’re ready to ferment.


3 heads cabbage

5 large carrots

6 large cloves garlic

2 tbsp celery seed

1/4 cup vinegar (if needed)

1/4 cup water (if needed)

1/4 cup salt (or to taste)



Slice up veggies thinly as shown below.

In-season goodness

In-season goodness

Next, start massaging your salt (slowly) into the veggies to pull the water out of the cabbage and carrots. This will take some time if you do not have some sort of a tamper to do this for you. Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until you start to see a lot of water appearing.

Taste a little bit of the mixture to see how salty it is while you are adding salt slowly. Remember, your fermentation process will not remove all salt SO if you over salt, add more veggies.

Wet & ready

Wet & ready

You should start to notice that when you push down on the veggies your water starts to come up over the top of them. This is great. You will need to keep the ferment covered in water for the duration of its souring.

You will need to add some water/vinegar mixture to add more water if you cannot draw enough from your vegetables.

Secret ingredient

Secret ingredient

My secret ingredient is celery seed. I add this at the very end and stir throughout the mixture.

Once your mix is covered with liquid, place a loose towel over the opening of your vessel to allow air to access your new batch of ferment. I like to secure this with an elastic band.

You will need to check on this daily to ensure mold does not appear. Unlike Kombucha, you can scrape mold off of the top of a kraut ferment. Like Kombucha, the length of fermentation is all up to your own personal taste AND the time of year.

The warmer your kitchen the quicker your ferment. Taste in about 2-3 days to see your progress. Allow the ferment to continue until you have the desired level of sourness you like. After this, place a lid on your kraut and refrigerate to stop the fermentation process. Hit up my Kombucha post for fermenting tips.

Remember, you can start to make ferments your own. Add nettle for food medicine, hot peppers for spicy kraut, use purple cabbage for more colour or just stay straight up plain with green cabbage.

Your kraut is resting nicely and soon you will be able to use this delicious food to balance your gut, clear your skin and bring shine to your hair!

Sleeping & souring

Sleeping & souring

Fermentation – Why you need to get into it!

As I am turning a new leaf here in Calgary, I feel the need to bring some of my most “basic” nutritional classes to the masses. My favourite? Fermentation. From Kombucha to Pickles, Kimchi to Root Beer…this ancient tradition is the stuff healthy guts, skin and hair were made up of. 

Why you ask? Well heres a few cents and a closer look into fermentation and it’s benefits.

Fermenting means converting a food’s carbohydrates to alcohol (not the kind that gets you drunk). Examples include kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchee, vinegar, tempeh, miso, yogurt, kefir and pickles.
Fermented foods are rich in enzymes, which help speed up digestion and absorption in our system. They are also rich in good bacteria, specifically lactobacillus acidophilus, which is a beneficial flora found in the gut. Consuming the healthy bacteria found in fermented foods restores and balances the flora in your gut leading to better vitamin and nutrient absorption. Another plus is that fermented foods have a long shelf life, without containing harmful preservatives.

1. Kombucha (also known as mushroom tea, kvass, etc) is a fermented drink made from tea, sugar, live bacteria and yeast. It’s readily available at health food stores and even some grocery stores but at astronomical prices that I just cannot agree with. Benefits include improvement in digestion and liver function, as well as stimulation of the immune system. Kombucha does not have a high salt or sugar content and can be enjoyed daily.
2. Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It’s typically made with just two ingredients: salt and cabbage. Korea has a version of sauerkraut called kimchee, which is fermented spiced cabbage. Sauerkraut and kimchee contain beneficial bacteria that help with the digestive process and are a great way to naturally cure yeast infections. There’s also research linking kimchee with high antibiotic potency and longevity. 
3. Miso is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans that is a great source of manganese and zinc — two important mineral antioxidants. Miso contains healthy bacteria that supports intestinal microflora, the amino acid tryptophan which is important for sleep and is a great source of dietary fibre. During the soybean fermentation process, grains like barley, rice, or buckwheat may be added to achieve a certain flavour, but in most cases soybeans serve as the basis. Miso soup is also often prescribed to patients undergoing chemotherapy as it’s believed by some to aid in absorption of essential nutrients. Miso can be used to add flavour to soups, sauces, marinades, salad dressings or vegetables dishes, but is high in salt so use cautiously.
4. Coconut kefir (similar to milk kefir without the dairy) is fermented coconut milk. It contains a host of probiotic cultures that support your intestinal system that are not found in yogurt. Coconut kefir helps to minimize sugar cravings and, because it’s not made from animal milk, people with lactose intolerance can partake minus the nasty side effects. Enjoy it on its own or in a smoothie or make it into a dip similarly to how you’d use yogurt.

Sauerkraut the Great

Hello again everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged – for many reasons:

1) I was away on a kick ass trip to Europe and Africa
2) I have been teaching the HECK out of East Van
3) I have been creating new partnerships in the food movement that will benefit you all!
4) I’m working on a new RETREAT series with Whispering Falls Pilates.

So after this apology is taken in, get ready to take in another wonder of the fermentation universe: Sauerkraut.

I love this stuff, and it’s so simple to make! Green, purple, Savoy…..add carrots, garlic, onion, apple, celery seed…whatever – it’s a snap and it’s just as good for your gut as Kombucha or any type of dairy probiotic you may have been using to date!

Now, I teach classes on how to make this lovely stuff, so if you want some more hands on training – contact me.


Head of cabbage
1 Carrot
2 tbsp salt
Water handy if needed
Celery seed


Large crock or food-grade plastic container
Grater & sharp knife
Cutting board
Large mixing bowl
Plate that will fit into crock/container
Large jar full of water/large boiled rock to weigh down plate


Slice up or grate all ingredients into mixing bowl. Work/crush/squeez and add salt intermittently to draw water out of cabbage 5 – 10 mins.

Pack into crock or plastic container

Place plate over mixture, use weight to submerge until water level is OVER Kraut. MUST BE OVER THE KRAUT – if not, add a little filtered or spring water.

Will ferment in 5-8 days. Keeping at room temp. Check daily to find your desired taste. ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY GUT.

For tips or questions email me at: check out our website:, @humblerootswell on twitter “Humble Roots Wellness” on Facebook.