Fermenting vegetables extends their shelf life and adds probiotics to the mix. It's delicious and so much easier than you think. This is also a great way to make sure Vitamin C is available in your meals. You read about Garlic in last week’s newsletter, now here is a way to work it into your daily diet alongside fresh ginger. If you are new to fermented foods, start with one tablespoons of the finished product added to your meal each day. Work up from there.
(pssst - these are just guidelines - ample room for experimentation here)
2 heads of cabbage - ideally one is purple and one is green so your finished product will be pink ;)
5 carrots (optional)
2 big radishes (optional)
1 onion (optional)
2 heads of garlic
1 hand of ginger
Salt (make sure there is nothing added to the salt that would arrest fermentation, like anti-caking agents)
Several 16-32 oz jars
Chop up the cabbage, carrots, radishes and onions - add them to the big bowl.
Mince the garlic and ginger. Add them to the bowl.
All the vegetable scraps? Put them in the small bowl and save them for making broth.
Weigh the contents of the big bowl containing all the kraut ingredients. Whatever 2% of that number is how much salt you should add.
(For me the veggies weighed 2,502 g this time around, so I added 2,502 x .02 = 50 g of salt.)
Now you are ready to massage that kraut! Really work it. Make sure your sleeves are rolled up high and your hair is out of your face. You’ll be here awhile, hopefully there is a nice song playing in the background. Once the veggies have been thoroughly massaged and are producing juice, you can begin to stuff them in jars. Begin by taking 1-2 fist fulls of kraut and stuffing it in the jar. Press it down until juices cover the vegetable. Keep adding kraut in layers until you fill up each jar. You must leave ample room at the job for the juice to rise, otherwise it will spill out of the jar in a few days. Cap the jars. Leave them on your kitchen counter or another place you’ll check on them daily. Put a tray under them in case you packed them too full, this will make clean up easier.
I check my kraut every few days to see how it’s going and push the veggies back below the liquid line (CO2 released by the lactobacillus push veggies up), and open and close each jar each day or more often to release any built up pressure. Once you have reached peak deliciousness (4-10 days depending on your climate) of fermented goodness, stick it in the fridge.
Let us know how your pink kraut turns out!