DIY Medicinals: Turmeric Onion Sauerkraut

DIY Medicinals: Turmeric Onion Sauerkraut

Naturally fermented raw sauerkraut is an excellent source of important probiotics that help to maintain healthy gut bacteria. Raw sauerkraut contains lactic acid and living probiotic organisms that are created through the fermentation process, and which are heat sensitive and are killed if the sauerkraut is heat processed. Many of the store-bought sauerkraut options are canned or heat-processed in some way, so while they may still taste good, they are no longer a living food and do not provide the beneficial bacteria that raw sauerkraut does. For this reason, it is preferably to buy raw sauerkraut, or make your own in small batches for maximum benefit.

What does sauerkraut do for you, exactly? 

Sauerkraut can be made of two simple ingredients: cabbage and salt. At the beginning of the fermentation process, the salt preserves the cabbage to prevent if from rotting, allowing the fermentation process to begin – a process that begins after only a couple of days. During the process of fermentation, starches and sugar in the vegetables are converted to lactic acid, or probiotic bacteria, a naturally occurring substance that prevents the formation of harmful bacteria and acts as a preservative.

These probiotic bacteria are extremely helpful in aiding human digestion and in helping our bodies detox. They have been used for centuries in traditional food cultures as a way of preserving the harvest and providing needed nutrients, and even by sailors to prevent scurvy.

A healthy body begins with a healthy gut, and probiotics are your gut’s best friend. Probiotics can also be found in yogurt, kefir, chocolates and probiotic tablets, all of which introduce important lactobacilli to our gut; however most of these contain dairy. For those people wishing to avoid dairy or with lactose sensitivities, raw sauerkraut is an excellent alternative.

Benefits of sauerkraut:

  • important source of probiotics for gut health
  • help the body detox
  • excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K
  • good source of iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, sodium and calcium
  • excellent for digestive, heart, eye and skin health
  • anti-inflammatory
  • boosts immune system (35% RDV of vitamin C)


About Turmeric

Turmeric is a root vegetable native to India and China, and has been long been used for its medicinal qualities. Bright yellow-orange in color, slightly peppery and bitter in flavor, it is most commonly seen in curry powder and as an ingredient in ball park mustard. But more important are the health benefits it provides.

Turmeric qualities:

  • it is anti-inflammatory
  • excellent source of iron and manganese
  • good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber and potassium
  • has been used effectively in cancer treatments
  • helps prevent gas when cooked together with legumes
  • used in treatment of a variety of health issues including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and high cholesterol


Are ready to make your own raw sauerkraut by now? You’re gonna love this stuff.

Turmeric Onion Sauerkraut

  • 1.5 lbs/700g green cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric

Note: You may want to use kitchen gloves when handling this sauerkraut. Turmeric tends to stain everything it touches, so your hands will stay yellow for days.

Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Using your hands, massage the cabbage for about 5 minutes to tenderize it. Allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes in order to let the salt draw the water out of the cabbage. Pack it into your Kraut Source jar or crock, pushing the cabbage down so that the liquid covers the vegetables. Secure the lid per the Kraut Source instructions; or if using a fermentation vessel, follow those instructions; or alternatively, check these instructions here.

Set the jar out of your way and out of direct sunlight to ferment for 3 weeks. You may want to place the jar in a shallow bowl or on a plate for the first week as it tends to bubble and sometimes spills over. After 3 weeks, taste the sauerkraut. If it tastes just the way you want it, transfer it to another glass jar with a lid and store in your refrigerator for up to several months. If you’d like it to be more sour, replace the lid and continue to ferment for several more days/week.

Makes 1 quart / 1 liter.

For additional recipes, try these:

Did you like this recipe? What are you fermenting in your kitchen right now? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you. 

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