Spinach Kraut

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Did you know you can ferment all manner of greens? Yes, you can — and it is a good idea because dark leafy greens are high in oxalic acid. Fermentation (and steaming) reduces this anti-nutrient which otherwise would interfere with mineral absorption.

Spinach kraut is a lemony fresh and salty take on regular old cabbage kraut. We love it. Love, love, love it. (My new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods and online fermenting class  include recipes for fermenting lemon and dill spinach sticks, too.)

Spinach Kraut

  • 15 cups tightly packed fresh spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced finely (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whey –or– leftover juice from another ferment –or– double the salt (here’s more info about whey and substitutions)
  • a quarter lemon wedge (optional)

Makes 1 quart. Chop up the spinach coarsely and toss it with all the other ingredients (except lemon) in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and just let it sit for about a half hour. During that time, the salt will begin to pull juices out of the spinach and the mixture will get juicy. You can mash it to help it along. Pack it all in a quart size fermenting container. Tuck the lemon wedge in, too. Leave 1″ space at the top of the jar. Cover the jar tightly with its lid or with airlock if you’re using that. Let ferment at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days, then transfer to cool storage.

MMMM…. I wish I had some of this now. We love taking this on picnics! Are you willing to give this a try? Let me know if you do!

I’m sharing this recipe in the Seasonal Recipe Round-Up featuring spinach, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Fight Back Friday.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Jenny says

    This is awesome. Do you think this would work with mustard greens? I planted two little mustard seeds and have mustard leaves the size of my two year old. I throw some to our chickens every morning (the mustard leaves, not my two year old), and am wondering if you think this might work or have ever tried it? Any other ideas for using mustard greens? I’m literally swimming in these things every time I walk out to my garden.

    • says

      Jenny — Yes! It will probably have a different flavor, because everything does. Whether or not you care for the end result, it will work. :)

      • Maryanne says

        This sounds fantastic! I never tried fermenting any greens (I figured they would practically melt after fermenting for so long). I absolutely love spinach! I think I’ll try throwing some herbs in there (parsley and dill), since I love those flavors together. Thanks for such a lovely idea!

  2. Martha says

    Thank you! I had been wondering whether or not you could ferment greens. We get so many with our two CSA shares this time of year. I’ll be starting a batch of this today or tomorrow and buying your book. :)

  3. Martha says

    I took my first bite today. It was pretty good. I’ll definitely be making more. My book arrived the other day and I’m enjoying it too. Thank you for writing it!

  4. says

    Wardee – I shared this on the CSH Facebook page and a reader left this comment – “Spinach is particularly alkaline and therefore more prone to grow clostridium botulinum if processed incorrectly.”


  5. Dianne says

    I just bought your book and saw this recipe in it. I tried it right away. I have left the spinach fermenting for 3 days not but it does not seem to be getting any action. There aren’t any visible bubbles and it does not seem to be getting tangy the way sauerkraut does. Should it be the same ferment as regular kraut i.e. bubbles and getting a more sour taste? I don’t want to leave this sit too long and get some unwanted bacteria in it. Right now it just tastes like garlic spinach.


    • says

      Dianne — This isn’t a very bubbly ferment, but it should get more sour. You can move it to the fridge to “age” it and develop the sour flavor. Thanks for purchasing my book!

      • Dianne says

        I have moved it to the fridge so will see if it gets a bit more tangy. Looking forward to reading the book cover to cover!!

  6. Carol G. says

    Does anyone know if the goiteroid properties of the cabbage family plants are neutralized in the fermentation process. I have Hashimoto’s (hypothyroid) and need to avoid any thyroid slowing agents, but so want to enjoy cultured sauerkraut and other cabbage family veggies. Any info of suggested reading is appreciated because I cannot find any info on this issue. Thanks!

    • Christina J says

      My functional medicine doctor told me if it’s fermented, steamed, or juiced, the goitrogenic effects are cancelled.

    • Lan says

      I just came across the page on fermenting greens on Culture For Health site and it said the goitrogenic effects are NOT cancelled with fermentation.

  7. says

    I just recieved a huge amount of spinach from my CSA. While washing it my hubinator said “I wonder if you can ferment leafy things?” He then did a quick search and came back to me that we could and it was called spinach kraut. I said “awesome, but let me just check some of my go to sites and see what they say”. I instantly checked your site and he came to look over my shoulder and said “that’s it! That’s the recipe I found!” So glad we were on the same page, no pun intended :) anyway that long story leads me to the fact that I am about to turn my massive spinach win into your lovely looking ferment, so excited!!!! I’ll let you know how it goes :) Thank you!

  8. Thomas says

    I’ve made sauerkraut (I like using red cabbage), fermented garlic (it took 16 bulbs to fill a quart jar), and carrots; but never thought of spinach. I may have to try this.

  9. Cary says

    Terrific idea and love the added lemon! I’ve been loving making kimchi from cabbages, bok choi, mustard greens, whatever nice looking leafy greens we can find at the grocery store. So much fun and makes a quick easy green veg a snap for snack or meal. My husband isn’t nuts about the taste of my kimchi so maybe this plain veg ferment with lemon will do the trick. Thanks for the great idea!

  10. Lynda Steinke says

    I’m going to give this a try today with a combination of green and red swiss chard. Lots in the garden and a great way to use up. Hope we like it!!
    Should the swiss chard, or kale be streamed slightly first? And then cooled off of course.
    Thanks for your good work!


  1. […] at GNOWFGLINS has a delicous recipe for “Spinach Kraut” that I CANNOT wait to try! I just planted a ton of spinach in the garden, so you can bet I […]

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