How to Fix Salty Sauerkraut – 4 Easy Fixes

Fermenting sauerkraut is a great way to preserve the flavor of this delicious dish while adding healthy probiotics to your diet. It is a simple process that can be done at home with just a few basic supplies. However, some errors can be made along the way, resulting in overly-salted sauerkraut. Here are some steps you can take to fix your sauerkraut.

Rinse and soak the sauerkraut

Rinsing the sauerkraut with water is the quickest way to fix the salty sauerkraut. Simply place the sauerkraut in a colander and rinse it under cool water. You may need to rinse several times to get your salt preference. If rinsing doesn’t reduce the saltiness enough, you can try soaking the sauerkraut in a bowl of cold water and let it sit for 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse it again before serving.

Dilute the brine in 3 easy steps

Diluting the fermentation brine with fresh water is probably the most common method to reduce the saltiness of the sauerkraut.

1. Remove the brine

First, remove some brine from the jar, depending on how salty the sauerkraut is. You might need a large spoon or a ladle, as it can be messy if you directly pour it out. Repeat the process if necessary.

2. Add freshwater

Once the brine is removed, fill up the fermented jar with water. It’s best to use filtered drinking water, as regular tap water can contain unwanted minerals that can negatively affect the fermentation process. 

3. Let it rest

Ensure the sauerkraut is entirely submerged in the brine, and let it rest for a couple more days.

Add unsalted ingredients

Adding unsalted or less salty ingredients can help neutralize the salty flavor of sauerkraut. For example, add fresh fruits or vegetables, like apples, pears, or carrots. You can also add unsalted kraut juice, water, or white vinegar. Stir well and taste before serving.

Add in another dish

This is a quick and effective way to enjoy your salty batch of sauerkraut. Try adding your over-salted sauerkraut to your low-sodium dishes such as pasta, soups, stir-fries, or broths to end up with a savory meal.

How to prevent salty sauerkraut?

Salty sauerkraut can be easily avoided by following these tips:

Weigh your ingredients

Use a food scale to weigh the amount of salt you’ll need for your recipe. It helps measure the right amount of salt to prevent salty sauerkraut.

Taste as you go

When making sauerkraut, it’s essential to taste the mixture as you go. It helps you gauge the level of saltiness and make adjustments accordingly.

Start with less salt

It’s always better to start with less salt and add more if needed. Of course, you can always add more salt, but you can’t remove it once it’s added. 

Don’t forget to rinse your cabbage

Rinse your cabbage thoroughly before adding it to the fermentation mixture. Any residual dirt or pesticides can contribute to a salty flavor.

Can you make Sauerkraut without any salt?

Sauerkraut is a fermented food, and salt is necessary for fermentation. However, fermentation doesn’t only rely on salt, and many recipes are showing successful results in making salt-free sauerkraut. That being said, making sauerkraut without any salt is possible, even though this type of sauerkraut might have a different flavor and texture than traditional sauerkraut.

Which salt to use for Sauerkraut?

Many types of salt can be used for sauerkraut, but the most common is Himalayan pink salt. It is rich in minerals, reasonably inexpensive, and is a good salt for fermentation. Non-iodized salt is also a good choice, as iodine can sometimes give sauerkraut a weird taste.

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