Lacto-Fermented Coleslaw

by Sarah Condiments, Fermented Foods, Gluten Free, Grain Free, RecipesComments: 29

lacto fermented coleslaw

I just love coleslaw, or slawwww as we say in the South.

Basic slaw, German slaw, Asian slaw – you name it.   It’s all yummy to me.

The primary ingredient of coleslaw is shredded raw cabbage. Unfortunately, as any woman who has breastfed knows, for those first few months, cabbage is a no-no for Mom to eat as it frequently produces a lot of gas in a breastfed infant particularly if the cabbage is raw.

Cabbage is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which also includes broccoli, cauliflower and bok choy among others.

I really missed eating coleslaw the first 6 months breastfeeding my first child.  Fortunately, after that, his digestion was mature enough to handle my consumption of crucifers, so I happily devoured my coleslaw from that point forward.

Then I discovered the wonders of Traditional Diet and fermented foods!

Knowledge is power isn’t it gals? With my next two children, I was able to consume traditionally prepared sauerkraut and kimchi in small amounts even during the first few months of lactation after the baby was born.

Something about the fermentation process seems to significantly reduce the gassiness of the raw cabbage at least to a point where I could consume it in small amounts without a problem for baby.

But I still missed my coleslaw!

As it turns out, I didn’t need to avoid my beloved coleslaw even while breastfeeding because it is so easy to make a fermented coleslaw yourself using traditionally prepared sauerkraut and healthy mayo.

These days when I’m eating coleslaw at home, it is always fermented coleslaw even though I’m no longer breastfeeding.  Why not add improved digestibility, enzymes and probiotics to the delicious mix?

This fermented coleslaw is ideal pared with homemade fish and chips, grassfed burgers or a simple grilled cheese sandwich (fried up in grassfed butter of course!).

Lacto Fermented Coleslaw

Makes about 1 cup

lactofermented coleslaw2ingredients

1 cup sauerkraut (make it yourself or buy a healthy brand in the refrigerated section of the healthfood store)

1/2 cup healthy mayo (basic mayo or egg free version)

20-30 organic raisins (sources)


If you choose to buy your sauerkraut, be sure that it is truly fermented.  No sauerkraut on a store shelf is fermented.  A healthy brand would be perishable and found in the refrigerated section.

I don’t know of a healthy brand of store mayo, even from the healthfood store, so it really is necessary to make your own. Fortunately, it’s super fast and easy and you will be happy you took the plunge to make it yourself!

Mix all the ingredients together and eat immediately.  Be sure to refrigerate any fermented coleslaw leftovers.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (29)

  • Rich L

    I think i wpuld put the coleslaw together. Minus yhe mayonnaise, then firment all the ingredients yhen add the mayo.
    If it works then a big batch could be made, and then pull out and add mayo to only the amount needed.

    February 10th, 2016 11:28 am Reply
  • Alison Lessley

    What do you think about Veganase made with Grapeseed oil from the store?

    January 6th, 2015 12:19 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Grapeseed oil is extremely high in polyunsaturated fats which most Westerners get far too much of already … skip the grapeseed oil!

      January 6th, 2015 7:51 am Reply
      • Jennifer Guptill

        I’ve been using Primal Kitchens avocado mayo, it’s expensive but excellent!

        March 18th, 2016 5:10 am Reply
  • Laura

    YOur suggestion that breastfeeding mothers need to avoid cabbage due to it causing gas for babies shows a complete lack of understanding about how human milk is made. Please, if you insist on offering information up that pertains to breasfeeding, educate yourself.

    April 2nd, 2013 7:11 pm Reply
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  • Krissy

    I’ll have to try this, it sounds really good. Wilderness Family Naturals has a great tasting mayo, it’s not homemade but the next best available.

    March 28th, 2013 10:05 pm Reply
  • Lacie

    I had used all of my homemade mayo earlier to make some homemade ranch dressing so I just added that to my garlic kraut I had in the fridge plus the raisins. AMAZZINGGGGG. My new snacky treat.

    March 27th, 2013 3:09 pm Reply
  • josella

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for this recipe. How long will the home made mayo last ? Will it stay firm and not dissociate into liquid and solid after a week or two in the refrigerator ? I love your website and newsletters so much.

    March 27th, 2013 1:16 pm Reply
  • cc

    Thanks so much! Sounds wonderful!
    I was using a mayo that had no soy and supposed to not use non GMO canola, but after a few days of eating it I have severe nerve pain in my legs. Once I stopped eating it my pain went away in a few days. I eat a limited diet, very healthy fats and what you and Dr. Mercola advocate. Pretty much GAPS.
    I will now make my own mayo.
    We eat the fermented keifer I make already and love it!

    March 27th, 2013 12:46 pm Reply
  • Sarah Beth

    That is a shame about fermented cabbage and thyroid issues. Bummer.

    March 27th, 2013 12:24 pm Reply
  • Carli Lingafelter Cook via Facebook

    Made it for lunch today and it was delicious!!

    March 27th, 2013 11:58 am Reply
  • steph

    I used soaked and ground linseeds as I had no chia seeds. it worked perfectly and i just wizzed everything at once, without the drizzling. very quick and very tasty. thankyou)

    March 27th, 2013 11:48 am Reply
  • Taj

    I loved coleslaw as well. I have found that a little bit of coconut sugar sprinkled over a bowl of sauerkraut works as a great replacement.

    March 27th, 2013 11:33 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, this would work as well. I prefer no sugar and just adding raisins for the sweetness.

      March 27th, 2013 11:42 am Reply
  • Chris

    Hi Sarah, I have heard that some raw vegetables are not good for thyroid conditions or the adrenals. Would this still be the case if they are fermented, for example cabbage?

    March 27th, 2013 11:06 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      If your thyroid is in good shape and you have an adequate intake of iodine which you would if you consume grassfed butter, then cruciferous veggies are fine in small to moderate amounts. The goitrogenic aspect of crucifers is NOT alleviated by fermentation, so if you have thyroid issues, you may wish to tread lightly there or avoid crucifers entirely.

      March 27th, 2013 11:41 am Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        You are right though to avoid cruciferous veggies raw. They are always more healthful cooked in butter or fermented. Still, it is dicey for those with a thryoid issue. Your call on that one.

        March 27th, 2013 11:44 am Reply
  • Kathy

    Not intending to be a downer but wouldn’t this just taste like sauerkraut covered in mayo with rasins? I can’t imagine how that would taste like coleslaw. The cabbage in your photo doesn’t look like sauerkraut to me, it looks like raw cabbage. Is this more of a dish to have with fresh newly made sauerkraut not sauerkraut that’s been fermenting awhile?

    March 27th, 2013 10:56 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It tastes fantastic … not like sauerkraut at all. The raisins are crucial though to offset the sourness of the sauerkraut. Incredible blend of flavors!

      March 27th, 2013 11:40 am Reply
  • Isayra Morales via Facebook

    Thank you Sarah!!

    March 27th, 2013 10:31 am Reply
  • Isayra Morales via Facebook

    Omg my baby would love this but I’d have to trick him into trying it first because he still doesn’t believe in fermentation! lol It was amusing watching him go to work on some soaked nuts after he disapproved of soaking! Baby steps…

    March 27th, 2013 10:31 am Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Using Sauerkraut is a great solution to the problem with most coleslaw – raw, unfermented cabbage is not a good thing to eat.

    I like how you think, Sarah.

    March 27th, 2013 10:11 am Reply
    • Chris

      Why is raw cabbage not good to eat?

      March 27th, 2013 11:04 am Reply
      • Lori

        anti-nutrients: phytic acid, (or phytates), lignans, saponins, phytoestrogens, oxalates, phenolic compounds, and others. They reduce the body’s ability to absorb or use essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

        November 23rd, 2015 4:42 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    If you are going to buy your sauerkraut to make this dish, this is the best brand I’ve tasted to date:

    March 27th, 2013 8:54 am Reply
  • anotherfatchap

    My wife already thinks I’m a nut for trying a paleo diet (despite losing 20 pounds in four weeks) and I think she would blow a gasket if I started fermenting cabbage in our pantry. I’m definitely bookmarking this for a few months down the road after the shock of the diet has worn off…and I’m going to save myself the trouble of picking out the raisins later and not add them in the beginning.

    March 26th, 2013 5:26 pm Reply
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  • Elena Carlo


    Thanks for sharing that yummy recipe. I love the addition of raisins.

    I have to say, I consumed raw cabbage when I was BF my girls. I never experienced my girls having any “gassie” problems. Then again, I juiced them. Maybe that’s why?

    Nice blog BTW…
    Thanks for sharing!

    March 26th, 2013 3:01 pm Reply

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