low sodium kraut?

topic posted Sat, April 16, 2005 - 12:33 PM by  Erin
Does anyone know of any low sodium brands of sauerkraut? Either that or recipes for making your own? The response I usually get is just to rinse before consuming, but does this really work that well?
posted by:
New Hampshire
  • Re: low sodium kraut?

    Tue, April 26, 2005 - 11:46 AM
    I wonder what would happen if you used Potassium Chloride insted of Sodium Chloride...definitely less sodium, though I don't know how it would taste.
    • Re: low sodium kraut?

      Tue, March 14, 2006 - 2:12 PM
      there is a receipe for salt less kraut in sandor katz wild fermentation book.
      it calls to add celery seeds and caraway seeds and other spices which i can't remember.
      good luck I really like the caraway seeds
    • Be careful about using salt substitutes!

      Tue, July 25, 2006 - 1:09 PM
      The salt is in sauerkraut not as a seasoning, but rather to control bacterial action until the lactic acid bacteria can establish a stronghold. Using potassium chloride may not have the same anti-bacterial effect as sodium chloride. This might result in rotten cabbage or, potentially, food poisoning. Research and caution is advised before trying this.

      That said, it is possible to make salt-free sauerkraut (see my other post). But that begs the question: Why not just make salt-free sauerkraut and add the potassium chloride if you don’t like the taste? (But i can assure you that salt-free sauerkraut tastes wonderful and needs no seasoning.)

  • Re: low sodium kraut?

    Sat, July 22, 2006 - 10:38 PM
    if you are interested in making your own kraut, try using a Harsch crock. I've read claims that you can make salt-free saurkraut in one, but i am not brave enough to try it.

    my latest batch was very low sodium and tastes great -- good acidity, deep flavor, crunchy, and oddly unsalty. no exact measurements of salt content, sorry. in addition to cabbage, water and salt, i had added a couple of shredded carrots, some black peppercorns, a few bay laurel leaves, and a few cloves of garlic. the garlic got there purely by accident, i discovered it were there while repacking the kraut into a smaller container for refrigiration.
  • I make salt-free kraut

    Tue, July 25, 2006 - 12:49 PM
    I’ve been making salt-free sauerkraut for a couple years now. Making sauerkraut is very easy to do with a Harsch fermenting crock pot. I use the 7.5 Liter size. I love the Harsch and highly recommend it. I’m thinking of buying a second one so i can always have sauerkraut available. I shopped around and bought my Harsch from here:

    The recipe i use is from Klaus Kaufmann’s excellent book: “Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home: Creative Recipes for Lactic-Fermented Food to Improve Your Health.” I bought my copy from Powells Books:

    The recipe calls for the use of whey (probably to act as a catalyst). I get whey for free from a goat farmer i know who makes organic goat cheese. It makes wonderfully tasting kraut.

    By the way, even regular salted sauerkraut is supposed to lower blood-pressure. Perhaps salt-free works better? Don’t know. Salt has a bad rap though (although Americans do get way too much salt in processed food, if you eat a lot of that.)

    Hope this helps.
    • Re: I make salt-free kraut

      Tue, December 19, 2006 - 4:32 PM
      i had finally tried making a salt-free kraut using my Harsch crock pot. it worked. but i am not pleased with the flavor. it didn't appeal to anyone else in my household, either, unlike my previous full and reduced salt batches. the salt-free kraut tastes washed out and diluted. it is keeping well refrigerated, there is obviously enough acidity to deter any mold or bacterial growth, and enough to carry the definite kraut flavor. but without the added kick of salinity it tastes _odd_ and underpowered to me and my family. as much as i liked the _idea_ of being able to make it, i am underwhelmed by the results and will not be making another salt-free batch unless someone in the household requires a salt-free diet.
  • Re: low sodium kraut?

    Thu, January 24, 2008 - 12:27 PM
    what about not using any salt before hand but adding salt in after about a week? and sterilizing everything before using it to control the bad bacteria?
  • Re: low sodium kraut?

    Fri, January 30, 2009 - 1:52 AM
    I would not suggest washing your kraut at all. If you're interested in making salt-free kraut, I suggest you get a plant-based culture from They have a culture there for vegetables as well as for kefir - I just love the coconut water kefir that I make with it. I have made kraut using their kraut culture on many occasions and actually preferred it without the salt, as it seems to be more potent and beneficial to my digestive system, as the salt impedes the growth of some beneficial organisms. I hope this is helpful to you.

    Happy Krauting!
    • Re: low sodium kraut?

      Tue, April 14, 2009 - 12:39 AM
      You can use whey from plain organic yogurt to reduce the needed amount of salt. Just put the yogurt in a cheese cloth and hang it over the original container or a bowl to collect the whey. The whey is full of good bacteria that will kickstart the fermentation process and protect the kraut from harmful bacteria. You can then add salt to flavor instead of preserve.
  • Re: low sodium kraut?

    Wed, November 11, 2009 - 7:54 PM
    Salt is the one and only thing that selects for the beneficial bacteria that do the fermenting. Salt is also the thing that excludes (kills) the pathogens that could kill or sicken you. If you stray very far from the standard recommended salt concentrations you run the very real risk of growing some unwanted inhabitants in the batch. If you want less sodium you would have to make the kraut in the usual manner, then pour off the juice and replace it with filtered water acidified to a ph below 4.2 with lactic acid (the acid that naturally forms in (saurkraut), lemon juice, citric acid or some other food-grade acid that will not screw up the flavor too bad. This way you have real and SAFE saurkraut flavor, you reduce the sodium by tossing the excess juice and you add back in the required acidity (without the salt) that preserves the flavor and protects the batch from food-born illness. Without the acidity it will not keep in the refrigerator any longer than any other unpreserved food.

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