all 13 comments

[–]matthewcs 1 point2 points  (2 children)

well, it's the lactic acid that pickles the sauerkraut. so, if you could replace that acid with another one, you'd be on the right path.

[–]abenz419[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

yes but the salt isn't what creates the lactic acid. It's the lactobasicillus (the good bacteria) eating the natural sugars in the cabbage juice. The salt is used to draw out the liquid and it creates a healthy environment for the good bacteria to survive that the bad bacteria can't thrive in.

From what I've seen, there are recipes that just omit the salt and say you have to be more concerned about bad bacteria, mold, etc. and keep a good eye on it. I've also seen others that say you need to use either whey, a starter culture, brine from a previous batch with healthy bacteria in it, or even celery juice to make sure that the good bacteria takes off early and can push out the bad bacteria. But like I said, there is very little information about this. So, I don't know if one is more feasible than the other, if one doesn't actually work, or anything more that you'd want to know before trying it because I've also seen things that say don't omit or reduce the salt because of how beneficial it is for creating a good environment for the good bacteria to thrive in.

[–]matthewcs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was gonna write something else about choosing a different acid to pickle, but alternativly, you can also see how other cultures preserve cabbage, see if they have one that doesn't use salt, and adapt their method. Might be another line of research.

[–]imnotgrownupyet 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I only do refrigerator pickles, so maybe not what you’re looking for, but half the time I forget to put salt in or just don’t and.. whatever. It’s a pickle and it tastes great.

[–]abenz419[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

yes, the very few recipes I've seen about making salt free pickles were refrigerator pickles (pickling method). Maybe that's what I'll have to do, pickle them instead of fermenting them. At least I know it's come out ok before, even if it was by accident. I'm thinking as long as I use the right seasoning and proper amounts I can make up for the lack of salt in flavor.

[–]imnotgrownupyet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Totally. Lots of garlic, dill, mustard seed. And the vinegar really is my favorite part. It’ll be great!

[–]Cherry_Mash 1 point2 points  (2 children)

The salt suppresses bad bacteria while the lactic acid producing bacteria gets off the ground and acidifies the environment, preventing growth from bad bacteria. It also keeps the veg firm. I think a natural ferment might be out but I bet you could pickle with vinegar and see about using a product like pickle crisp to keep the veg firm.

[–]abenz419[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I've seen quick pickling methods for pickles (typically called refrigerator pickles) but haven't seen anything about pickling cabbage in the same way. Probably because fermenting it is such a simple process. I would assume you could pickle cabbage using vinegar and other seasonings though. I've read that most commercial brands aren't actually fermented because they use vinegar in them, so it could be a similar flavor to that. Do you think pickling the cabbage instead of fermenting it would have a similar flavor or will it be drastically different than if it was fermented?

[–]Cherry_Mash 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I believe that, yes, most commercial sauerkraut is pickled with vinegar, not fermented, especially if you buy the cheap canned stuff. I think the taste will hit all the right buttons without adding too much salt to your diet.

[–]useless_aether 1 point2 points  (3 children)

just sweat more (eg sauna). you will have a salt deficit. then you can have a snack.

[–]abenz419[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

haha, if only that's how it worked.

[–]ptanaka 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I have a bread and butter fridge pickle recipe that's sweet. You want?

[–]abenz419[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i've never been a fan of sweet pickles like bread and butter pickles. I've always been more of a garlic dill kind of person. Thanks for offering, I just don't think I'd make use of it unless I was making them for someone else.