Beautify your sauerkraut with the vibrant, happy hue of marigold flowers!

Beautify your sauerkraut with the vibrant, happy hue of marigold flowers!

Marigold Sauerkraut

We already know that lacto-fermented sauerkraut confers a gamut of health benefits. Now, let's make it even better by adding in an edible flower that is not only pretty, but has been used traditionally for its healing properties. Behold the marigold, or also known as calendula officinalis.
Benefits of marigold:

  • Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene - these antioxidants are needed for maintaining good vision.
  • Vitamin C - Marigold contains plenty of Vitamin C;
    which is a powerful agent to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, and strengthens the immune system.
  • Anti-inflammation - calendula officinalis has been used topically to treat eczema, psoriasis, burns, stings, and other skin related issues.

Marigolds are also known to relieve hiccups and buffer the negative effects of being struck by lightning (although I would highly recommend that you call an ambulance if that should happen).
Historically, it was the Aztecs who introduced marigolds to Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The indigenous peoples of Mexico revered marigolds and used them in religious ceremonies, as well as a medicinal plant.

Since marigolds are in bloom from Spring until Fall (the best time to pick is in August).
there's little excuse not to get yourself a few blossoms and make this easy recipe.

1.5 pounds green cabbage, shredded
1 Tablespoon sea salt
2 - 3 marigolds*, petals
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
additional brine**, if needed
* Be sure that the marigold flowers are not sprayed with pesticides.
**Brine ratio = 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup water

1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, and add in salt.
   Massage the mixture for about 5 - 6 minutes.
2. Allow the salted, well-massaged cabbage to relax in the bowl for about 30 - 45 minutes.
   This gives time for juice to be release from the cabbage.
3. After the rest, toss in the marigold petals and caraway seeds.
4. Place the mixture into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar. Pack it in tightly to the shoulder of the jar.
    (Note: It is best to pack in the ingredients compactly with a wooden pounder, or you can use a wooden spoon.)
5. Place your Kraut Source unit onto the jar as directed.
6. After 24 - 48 hours, check the level of liquid in the jar.  If there isn't enough to cover the top of the cabbage by one inch,
    add in enough brine to facility that 1" level.
7. Allow the flower and cabbage combo to transform into your very own handmade superfood sauerkraut in 10 to 14 days. 
    Keep in a cool place on your kitchen counter, away from sunlight
6.When the fermentation is done, remove the Kraut Source unit.  Place the standard mason jar lid + ring on, and store in the fridge.

Serving suggestion:  Cooked ham mixed with Marigold Sauerkraut       


Vidal-Ollivier E, Elias R, Faure F, and et al. Flavonol glycosides from Calendula officinalis flowers. Planta Med 1989;55:73-74.