“If the meal consists entirely of cooked foods, then a lacto-fermented condiment is a must.”-S.Fallon
Why you should eat fermented vegetables?
Shield the body against infection by accelerating the ability of the immune system.
Improve digestion and help break down proteins and carbohydrates, thus requiring less insulin in the process of digestion.
- Providing excellent source of antioxidants.
- Help in combating candida and other yeast overgrowth.
- Helps maintain balanced flora along the digestive tract through a normal diet.
- Increased bioavailability of vitamins and minerals.
- Reduction of blood glucose levels.
What are fermented vegetables and how are they made?
Vegetables, especially cabbage, have in them naturally lactic acid bacteria. The vegetables are cut or crushed, to expose more surfaces and often beat their cell walls break, allowing a release of their juice.
Salt is added to the vegetables in the course of this process, because it aids them in releasing juices. After storage in jars, the vegetables are fermented at room temperature before they are stored in the refrigerator, for about 2-6 months or more.
In the process of fermentation, lactobacillus bacteria convert starches and sugars into lactic acid. The salt present in the mixture aids in maintaining decay until the important acids and enzymes are developed to continue in the preservation process. Due to the anaerobic nature of bacteria all air must be pressed out of clay when undergoing the fermentation process. It is advisable to use warmer home, which has a temperature of 70 degrees or more, because it accelerate the fermentation process. It is vice versa for the cooler home
I have added some favorite tips below. One thing I love about fermentation process is its freewill of allowing creativity, so far you follow normal principle, You will surely get the same result. Any unsuccessful turnaround of this process gives you another idea of what is not working.
You will need the following supplies:
- Sea salt(don’t use table)
- Non-chlorinated water
- A good mud without defects or clean jars with two-piece lids; or the fermentation vessel Korea
- Well washed organic vegetables (and other optional food ingredients listed below), the ideal room temperature
- Additional items are plastic re-sealable bags, tea towels, and a wood matrix.
- A two-gallon plastic bucket without scratches, stainless steel bucket or deep wooden bowl (large clay pot can substitute this stated material)
1) For each quarter striped vegetables, you will require 1 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt, its best to learning how to make vegetables without taking measurement; it helps in your accuracy. Use more or less sea salt depending on how you want it. You can also use the fruit, especially apples, organic-waxed lemons, quinces and even berries. If you need to combine fun with nutrient additions (iodine and other minerals), then you can add Seaweeds like dulse, kelp and wakame.
2) Using your hand, measure two big hand-full of vegetable in your jug or bucket. Add about one teaspoon sea salt. Then stir the mixture of vegetable and salt together with either your hand or wooden mallet, you can also choose to squeeze the vegetable. This process can be slow, but worth it.
3) When the juices begin to pop up, add two handfuls of vegetables and salt to it. Then stamp as usual.
4) Depending on your quantity, continue this process until all the vegetables are sealed and they are swimming in a generous amount of salt water brine. It takes about 10-30mins for the process of compression or stamping to complete, depending on the quantity of your batch.
5) At this stage, depending on your preference, you can decide to add an additional spice such as: juniper berries, turmeric, spirulina, mustard seeds, pickling spices, fresh ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, etc. just to enhance its nutritional level.
6) Fresh herbs, chopped nuts or raisins, lemon juice, or bark-waxed, whey and dried seafood can also be added if you wish to.
7) After packing all the vegetables and their juices in bottles or mud, using your fist, fingers, or very useful to press down firmly on the content as it moves stamper, the release of all the air.
8) At the point you’ve finished packing their vegetables to the top, the juice should rise above them and still leave an inch to two inches of headspace in the bottle (if this is your storage container).
9) For some people, the last step is the hardest, keep down vegetables. Here, you need some piece of creativity: using folded outer cabbage leaves or vine leaves submerged in brine; nuts used; They use the carrots into thin slices lengthwise, so they are flat and long; use a small glass bottle that fits perfectly; use the optional zip lock bag full of salt abovementioned water; to act as a weight (1 tsp. of 2 cups water) or simply compacting the product so deeply that not even think about getting up in aerobic rebellion. (The bag can be used in a dish, whether in the mud, if you can find one that fits the inner diameter of the vessel. If in a bottle, the bag is pushed down directly into the bottle and a cloth kitchen covered, uncovered, until the fermentation process takes place. In-case the bag break, we use the sea water.) If you’re using jars control with two caps, ensure they are secure, but not hard.
10) Now the vegetables are prepared. Keep them in a dark environment, hot, about 70 degrees for about a week, until bubbles start showing on its surface. It might take this much longer process than a week if your house is cold or if it’s cold every night and reheated in the morning. Usually, it is better for a fermentation process to be lengthy. Be sure to maintain control of the vegetables under the brine and correct the situation if not (do not worry!). This is an obvious challenge. One batch took about 4 weeks for the fermentation process to complete because the house was so cold every night. But I still had a great result. Just ensure that the bubbles have stopped rising and the action of fermentation is stopped before moving the product to refrigeration. If the fermentation is short in duration, the bubble will continue in the stomach.
11) Finally, move the kraunt to the refrigerator when done. It is mostly encouraged to wait for 3 weeks before consumption though it is not compulsory. Note that each new prescription will knock-your-socks-off, the taste is concerned. Feel adventurous before you take your first bite!
Note- Spoilage is not common. If your vegetables turn brown on the top it means they’ve been exposed to the air. Remove the bit spoiled and rinse inside liquid so they won’t float again. A bad batch smells awful. A change in its color is not something to worry about, it is normal.. Even a little bit of mold on the top can be removed with what is moving. Nothing bad can survive in its lactic acid brine if it is generally going in the right direction. Things like Clean products, knives and work surfaces as well as non-chlorinated water will aid you getting their items off on the right foot.
There are endencies that the white east known as kahm yast can show on the surface, although harmless, it lacks taste, giving us no reason to be left on the surface. Search for information about kahm yeast if you got confused at a point. Several photos, information and idea are available to set your mind at ease or give clue. Again, with the fermentation, the rule is, if it looks and smells bad, throw it away; otherwise, remove and add more brine or re-dip the vegetables. If there is a need to stem a yeast or mold, disinfect the top of the vial with a small amount of food-grade alcohol around, even real vanilla extract, or apple cider vinegar; this gets around the outside of the second container set right again. The result is a pleasant sour smell.
Fermented Vegetable Recipes
Traditional Sauerkraut Ingredientssauerkraut
1 big head cabbage
2 tablespoons sea salt
Caraway seeds, 1 T. (opt.)
1) Wash the cabbage. Shred it by hand with a knife or using a food processor.
2) Place in bucket with sea salt and mix well. Leave for 15 minutes (optional), to allow juices to begin to exude.
3) Use stamper or clenched fist to pound and press the cabbage. This may take a full 5-10 minutes, until the juices are flowing well.
4) Pack the cabbage into your jar/jars, layering caraway seeds or other spices you may like (mustard, celery seed, coriander, bay leaf etc.).
5) Pack the cabbage down tightly so that all the air is pressed out and the brine rises above the vegetable.
6) Put the lid on and screw down loosely, allowing natural gases to escape.
7) Place the jar/jars on a plate or pan, lined with a dishtowel or rag. Keep in a dark cupboard, preferably somewhat warm, or on top of a warm fridge, covered loosely with a dishtowel for darkness, for one week.
8) Assuming the fermentation bubbles have stopped rising to the surface, transfer the jar/jars to your fridge. But if the bubbles are still active, wait, as this stage will cause gas in your gut. Once refrigerated, wait 3-4 weeks before dipping in. I have had my fruit and vegetable concoctions take as long as one month to complete their fermentation because of our cold home temperatures during the nights; so be patient if necessary.
Variation- Russian Sauerkraut Ingredients
Use the head of cabbage, sea salt and caraway shown in the master recipe (above). But also add 3 carrots, 1 grated beet, & fresh or dried dill.
Follow the master sauerkraut recipe, stamping the carrots and beets at the same time as the cabbage and adding the dill, to taste, with the caraway.
Great-with-Chicken Sauerkraut Ingredients
1 big head cabbage, grated
1-2 apples, sliced thinly or chopped
½ onion, sliced
fresh lemon juice from one whole lemon and/or grated rind of 1 organic lemon or thin slices of 1 whole lemon
1 T. dried thyme or a sprig of fresh thyme into each jar
1 t. allspice
Follow the master sauerkraut recipe, stamping the apples and onions with the cabbage. Add the allspice to the brined vegetables and mix. Layer the lemon slices, if using, with the thyme. Alternately, mix the lemon juice or rind with the cabbage mixture and allspice before packing it into jars.
Note- I love lemon in the krauts, salty lemon…it’s a new flavor experience; so be open-taste-budded and let yourself acquire a taste for this sophisticated treat!