No Waste Christmas: Sproutkraut (brussel sprout sauerkraut)

*Disclaimer, your kitchen will stink for the first 24 hours of making this…but just think of those smokey dawgs!

Whether you love them or hate them, sprouts play a key role on the Christmas dinner table. And every year my phone lights up with messages from panicked friends asking ‘how do I cook these again?!. FYI it’s butter, bacon, done! 😉

This year I’ve ended up with a lot of sprouts. 2kg of them to be precise and no, it wasn’t through lack of planning, but from generous people who handed them over with a smile and a comment of ‘you’ll know what to do with these!”.

Normally when it comes to food I wonder why it gets thrown away, but with sprouts I get it. These little green balls are the marmite of Christmas! But there’s so much more to them than you might think.

And so dear reader my no waste, brussel sprout sauerkraut has been born!

Being part of the cabbage family brussel sprouts lend themselves nicely to a twist on the traditional sauerkraut and by using boiling water to clean them, you take out some of that bitterness which tends to put people off.

Before we begin, as mentioned I’ve got A LOT of sprouts to use and personally I love pickles and sauerkraut so will be using 1kg of them for this recipe. As always, just adjust the quantities for what you need 🙂

You’ll need


  • 1kg brussel sprouts finely sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fine cooking salt
  • 1tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • A kettle of freshly boiled water

Equipment (please sterilise everything before use to prevent mould forming during the fermentation process.)

  • Mixing bowl
  • 945ml mason jar or equivalent (you’ll need a tub with a tight lid.)
  • Something weighty that will fit in the mason jar
  • Colander

This sproutkraut was put together listening to Kokopelli by Kosheen!

Let’s get fermenting!

  1. Put the finely sliced sprouts into your colander and pour over the kettle of boiling water. Let them drain and then transfer them to the mixing bowl with the salt, caraway seeds and pepper. Leave for a few minutes.
  2. Put the sprout mixture into the mason jar and weight it down. Cover with a cloth (I used and oversized lid and a squash haha!). Leave for 24 hours at room temperature and push down any sprouts that float to the top.
  3. After 24 hours place in a cool dark place and test the sproutkraut after 3 days and up to 10 days. Once it tastes how you want it to, put the lid on the jar and put it in the refrigerator. The sproutkraut will last up to 2months if not slightly more!

Hints & Tips

  • This recipe uses the more traditional herbs and spices to flavour everything, however it also works well with paprika, coriander seeds, fennel, cumin and turmeric.
  • It’s important to sterilise everything to prevent mould forming. Mould can form when the mixture has been exposed to the air too much, the salt to vegetable ratio is wrong, or if the vegetables and tools aren’t clean enough.
  • If you see little bubbles forming, don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal!
  • This sproutkraut works beautifully on smoked hot dogs, in sandwiches and for something a little different, with roasted pigeon.
  • Do not use a metal container as the acid will interact with it causing all sorts of issues!

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