Fermented Cabbage and Carrot


Fermented Cabbage and Carrot, with a refreshing, crunchy and delicious taste, is a great way to get non-dairy probiotic food. This is a traditional Russian recipe which has been used in my family for generations. It is a healthy way to preserve food for the winter months.

Suitable: Vegetarian, Gaps, Primal, Paleo, SCD 

Allergies: No nuts, No seeds, No eggs, No dairy

Fermented Cabbage with Carrot works really well in Fresh Vegetable Salad, Cooked Vegetable Salad and in Soup with Fermented Vegetables.


3 medium-sized heads of White Cabbage

500gr/1.1 lb of Carrots

3 tbsp good quality sea salt


500gr/1.1lb winter,hard apple

You will need:

medium-sized glass dish, 4-5litres, with a lid

or medium-sized pot, 4-5liters with a lid

sharp knife


Preparation time: 20-30 min

Cooking time: ferment for min 5-7 days

Serves: 20-25 people

Preparation method:

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbages if necessary

Wash and cut cabbages in half

Wash and peel carrots if necessary

Grate about 20% of cabbage on the slicing side of the grater

Grate about 20% of the carrot on the large-holed side of the grater

Add salt and mix all ingredients together and put in saucepan

Squeeze mixture by hand firmly, but not fanatically, until juice from the cabbage just covers the mixture. 

Repeat with the rest of the mixture in 20% quantities

Wash the apples, cut in half, take the cores out and grate on the diagonal side of the grater and add to the total mixture 

Put a lid on and leave in a dark place for 2 days; the temperature should be from +20C to +23C. A kitchen cupboard is an ideal place

On the 3rd day mix it through and press down lightly with your knuckles

On the 5-6th day taste some of the mixture, it should be ready: reasonably sour, salty and a little sweet But if you are like me and like it very sour just leave it in the cupboard for 7 days.

Transfer into the glass jars and keep in the fridge

I usually use 0.5 litre jars as it feels more convenient for me. Back in Russia we used to keep fermented cabbage and carrot in 3 litre jars - we ate it a lot, especially during the winter months. The size of a jar does not affect the product qualities.


1 Quality of salt is very important. It must be not very salty and not refined otherwise the vegetables will be very salty and may not ferment.

2 The quality of cabbage is very important too. It should look like this, and the outer leaves should be sticking very close to the core otherwise it will either not ferment or be very tough and unpleasant to eat.

3 Do not over squeeze the vegetables otherwise they will become like old shoe leather. It should be crunchy and juicy. But if you have done it do not worry, the goodness will still be there. Just put it through the kitchen processor and have it as very fine chopped fermented vegetables or make juice from it.

4 If you are making fermented cabbage for the first time do not add apples.

5 If you are adding apples remember they are going to go brown or gray because they are oxidized, it is not a problem. It will just look a little bit untidy, but taste-wise it’s worth it for me.  Even if you don’t use apples the top layer of the cabbage will still go slightly brown – this is normal. 

6 If your kitchen’s temperature is lower than 20C, it will take longer to ferment. For example, if the temperature is 18C it will take 7-9 days to ferment. 

7 If you will see this white, gray or green stuff on the top of the fermented cabbage do not worry, it is nothing too bad.  Sometimes it may happen if the kitchen air is too wet, hot or cold and you do not turn it over in 2-3 days as recommended. Just take the first 2-3cm/1 inch of the cabbage ( and throw it away), until the fermented cabbage looks free from white and gray stuff.

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