How to Ferment Sauerkraut with Blueberries and Açaí

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Did you know that you can add nutritious fruits, like açaí and blueberries, to sauerkraut? Well, you can! In this blog, I’ll teach you how to easily make sauerkraut with blueberries and açaí!

Ingredients You’ll Need to make Sauerkraut with Blueberries and Açaí

  • Cabbage: I suggest purple cabbage for this recipe, but you can use green cabbage too. I just think the purple cabbage looks so beautiful! A small head of cabbage will make about two jars of sauerkraut using this recipe. Look for a cabbage that still has outer leaves at the store. Usually, if a cabbage still has its outer leaves it’s more hydrated and fresh, which means more brine! I like to use the brine for all sorts of things, and even other fermentation projects like this one.
  • Blueberries and Açaí: Adding fruits to this recipe was interesting and successful! I’m having a good time experimenting with small amounts of fruit added to my sauerkraut fermentation projects. For this recipe, I used fresh, organic blueberries and Açaí puree from trader joes.
  • Caraway Seeds: Caraway seeds add a nice herby flavor and crunch to sauerkraut.
  • Sea Salt: I like to use unrefined solar evaporated sea salt. Any pure sea salt will do. If you like to experiment with fancy sea salt in fermentation recipes, I suggest trying out French grey sea salt. 
  • Water: I add a bit of water to all of my cabbage fermentation recipes. Water is still drawn out of the cabbage when salt is added. However, having water as a part of this recipe accounts for seasonal changes in produce hydration levels. So no matter where you are in the world, or what your cabbage is like, or how long you had a cabbage sitting in the fridge, you should have success with this recipe.

How to Use Fruit in Fermented Vegetable Recipes

I write a lot about food safety and fermentation on our blog. Generally, the more simple sugar in the starting ingredients for fermentation, the less likely you’ll have successful lactic acid fermentation. Through extensive recipe development and testing, I’ve found that it’s best to only incorporate fruit into cabbage-based fermentation projects like sauerkraut. The first reason is that the cabbage microbiome is phenomenal for wild fermentation and seems to balance out any addition of fruit sugars. Secondly, I’ve found that if the fruit or fruit juice only makes up 1/4 of the ingredients (by mass) then the fermentation microbiome doesn’t vary by much from cabbage ferments without fruit. 

Supplies You’ll Need to Ferment Sauerkraut

How to Fermented Vegetables with Fruit

During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes, jars will become very full of liquid, and this liquid can seep out. Since this is a very colorful fermentation I suggest keeping the jar on a plate or pan to catch any liquid that seeps out. You don’t want it to stain your counter!

  • If using a standard mason jar lid: remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a gloved hand, tamper, or spoon. Make sure everything, including the weight, is still submerged below the brine.

Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour and like strong cabbage.  Never eat anything that smells repulsive or yeasty.

Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem. 

Taste test at three weeks: If you prefer the sauerkraut to be more tart and sour, you can let it ferment for four weeks. 

What Temperature Should I Keep My Sauerkraut at While it Ferments?

Keep your fermenting cabbage at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight

How Long Should I Ferment My Sauerkraut with Blueberries and Açaí?

After 3 weeks, remove the fermentation weight and smell and taste test. Your fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour. It should taste tart, lightly salty, and cabbagey.  The taste will be different from simple pickled foods because it’s mainly lactic acid and not acetic acid (vinegar) preserving the vegetables.

Do I Need to Refrigerate Sauerkraut?

After fermenting for 3 weeks, remove the weight and place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits

Sauerkraut with Blueberries and Açaí Timeline

We tracked this fruity and delicious kraut throughout the fermentation process. By checking the progress of microbial stages using microscopy we have provided you with this handy timeline! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline of sauerkraut fermentation should approximately match ours.

24 – 48 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time there are still Gram negative bacteria and possible pathogens present.

48 hours – 5 days: After 48 hours you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive and Gram negative organisms die off by day 5.

5 – 10 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease, as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The ferment will become cloudy, the color will change and a pleasant sour smell will develop. Lactobacillus species begin to thrive in this time period. Sometimes Leuconostoc bacteria can thrive and produce bubbles up to 14 days into fermentation. 

10 – 21 days: Lactobacillus make up majority or all of the microbial population. They produce copious amounts of lactic acid and make the fermented cabbage smell even more pleasantly sour. This is the time in which the vegetable mixture becomes sauerkraut and is preserved.

More Sauerkraut Recipes to Try

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How to Ferment Sauerkraut with Blueberries and Açaí

Did you know that you can add nutritious fruits, like açaí and blueberries, to sauerkraut? Well, you can! In this blog, I’ll teach you how to easily make sauerkraut with blueberries and açaí! 

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings 1x
  • Category: Fermented Foods
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 Grams Purple Cabbage
  • 50 Grams Blueberries
  • 50 Grams Açaí Berries (or açaí puree)
  • 200 Grams Water
  • 20 Grams Sea Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Caraway Seeds

Instructions

  1. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight, and lid). For this recipe, I suggest sterilizing the jar, lid, and weight with a little bit of vodka.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage and lightly rinse with cool water. Using a knife, chop the cabbage to your desired thickness.
  3. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  4. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.*
  5. Add the designated amounts of chopped cabbage, blueberries, Açaí, and caraway seeds into the bowl.
  6. Remove the bowl of cabbage from the scale and set aside. Place a small, empty bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. Weigh out 20 grams of salt.
  7. Add the 20 grams of salt into the bowl with the cabbage, and mix with your clean hands. I mixed for about two minutes until everything starts to feel wet.
  8. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 200 grams of filtered water to your mason jar.
  9. Add the water into the bowl with the cabbage. Mix everything well for about 2 minutes.
  10. Starting with the liquid, add the entire contents of the bowl into your mason jar, and pack everything down using a tamper, wooden spoon, or your hand.
  11. Place your glass fermentation weight in the jar, making sure to submerge the cabbage pieces and weight fully into the liquid. If you don’t have quite enough liquid, place your glass fermentation weight in the jar and submerge as much a possible. Over the next 12 hours, the cabbage should release more liquid and you can press down your fermentation weight below the brine.
  12. Secure the standard mason jar lid to the mason jar.
  13. Ferment for at least 21 days before storing it in the fridge for 6-12 months.

Notes

This recipe works best with a 32-ounce jar

*Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, it should read 0.0 with the container on it.

100 grams water = 100 mL water

Keywords: sauerkraut, fermentation

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3 comments

Divina October 18, 2021 - 3:08 am

I only have açaí powder. Can I use that?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 19, 2021 - 9:56 am

I haven’t tried it, but it should work. The only issue would be the powder absorbing too much liquid.

Reply
Laura July 25, 2022 - 9:26 pm

Hi Kaitlynn! I also plan to make this but only have açaí powder. Would you recommend I still do the same 50grams of it. Or do I do less since it’ll absorb water?

Reply