Recipes - Pickles & Dips

Homemade sauerkraut (& spice mixes)

I’ve talked before about the wonders of sauerkraut as a fermented food and detailed my husband’s method of making it. With just a few simple ingredients and tools it’s very easy to turn ordinary cabbage into extraordinary sauerkraut. And for a heavy hit of good bacteria (probiotics) homemade is the only way to go.Homemade sauerkraut & spice mixesHomemade versus store-bought sauerkraut

Being increasingly curious about the gut and digestive health Michael Mosley, the British doctor and TV presenter, recently explored the good bacteria in sauerkraut. His findings suggest that homemade and store-bought sauerkraut are far from comparable. In a nutshell he compared the probiotic count in the two types of sauerkraut, and found the homemade variety to contain much more good bacteria. Why? Because store-bought sauerkraut is typically pasteurised (heat treated) to be shelf-stable – and this process kills bacteria.

When it comes to the probiotic count of homemade sauerkraut the numbers are staggering. In writing this post I discovered that every mouthful of homemade sauerkraut contains billions of beneficial microbes. And as little as 100g (around 4 ounces) contains trillions (!). So it really is worth getting stuck in and making your own.

Homemade sauerkraut & spice mixesSauerkraut Spice Mixes

I can’t take any credit for the monthly batch of sauerkraut that comes out of my kitchen. My husband does all of the hard work and, even after a couple of years of making it, he continues to refine and improve his technique. His most recent sauerkraut making morning was a spice mix experiment – the results of which I’m sharing here.

Use these spice mixes in conjunction with my earlier post that explains in detail how to make sauerkraut.

Mexican Spice Mix (quantities for half a large cabbage)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1-3 fresh red chillies
  • Small bunch of coriander / cilantro
Indian Spice Mix (quantities for half a large cabbage)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies


  1. In a pestle and mortar add all of the spice mix ingredients. Grind to create a paste.
  2. Prepare your base cabbage and salt mixture (steps 1 and 2 in the method here) but deduct 1 tbsp of salt (to allow for the salt used in the spice mix).
  3. Mix your prepared spice mix through the cabbage and salt base.
  4. Follow steps 4 to 9 in my earlier post here to get to your finished product.

Homemade sauerkraut & spice mixesI hope this post inspires you to grab a cabbage and give homemade sauerkraut a go! In the meantime I almost forgot to mention that I’m sharing this post as part of Fiesta Friday #179. I’m lucky enough to be hosting this week alongside Angie and also the lovely Petra from Food Eat Love. If you’re keen to bring your post to the party then be sure to check out the rules and guidelines here.


Other fermented / pickle recipe posts:




43 thoughts on “Homemade sauerkraut (& spice mixes)

  1. This looks so good, Laura. So much better than any store bought. I am definitely making this. I adore cabbage and this would be so versatile. Think I’ll start with the Mexican spice mix. Thank you!

    • Thank you for the lovely words Tracey – funny I haven’t even got round to trying the store bought variety because I was hooked on the homemade stuff after my husband’s first batch. Do let me know how your try goes – and any feedback on my method is always welcomed.

  2. I have a couple of cabbages that needs eating at the allotment and will absolutely give this a go! I have never made sauerkraut but it has been on my to do list for a long time, am inspired! And thank you for co hosting the lovely foodie Fiesta Friday with me 🙂

      • hi Laura
        I can’t stop thinking of vegetables to use, a whole new foodie project, I feel inspired 🙂 It was great to co host with you! x

  3. We had Reuben sandwiches tonite! Which I love because of the sauerkraut 😋😋 I’ve always wanted to make my own sauerkraut, and you’ve convinced me to actually take the plunge. Hopefully before I go back to work I can do it. Thanks for cohosting, Laura!

  4. I am Polish, so this is right up my alley–growing up we made sauerkraut from cabbage in our garden every year!

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  7. Another recipe I would like to try…so far I have eating store bought sauerkraut, but I agree that definitely home made would be much better for our gut health. Hoping to try your husband’s recipe very soon.

    • Thank you – I’m glad to have inspired you and yes home made is so much better because of the heat treatment used with commercial sauerkraut…..I’m lucky that my husband has perfected his sauerkraut and so we always have a few jars in our basement fermenting away!

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