Making Fermented Veggies

I thought I’d share again how to make fermented veggies. I can’t believe how easy it is and yet so many of us are intimidated by the process. For myself, I was scared to death to eat something that has sat at room temperature for days let alone weeks! But fear not. These foods have been made this way for probably millenniums. Just yesterday I was talking to my Mom and she said that she remembered her mother making sauerkraut this way. Why on earth wasn’t it passed down….I don’t know. Maybe with the age of processed foods it got lost. It’s truly mind boggling that the generation of the 40’s & 50″s thought it was the greatest invention to put something in a box and that it would keep forever. Oh my how far we’ve fallen. And how many “new” diseases have risen at the price of a can of peas. We continue to trade our health for convenience. We trade our breasts and our uterus’ for youth & beauty. We trade our heart for hydrogenated oils and corn syrup. We’ve traded it all for the drive threw window. Fast, and the faster the better.

The first step is to gather all the veggies you want to include in your ferment. For me it’s more than just cabbage, but cabbage is a good place to start.

I found this nice size solid head in my garden. It weighed some where around 5 lbs.

I like using a couple carrots, a couple stalks of celery and this time I used a bit of onion. Play around with the amounts and ingredients. It’s really up to you.

I grated it in my food processor more like a slaw rather than strips in sauerkraut. I added 3 Tbsp of coarse gray salt and 1 ice cube of whey. It’s not necessary to add both, but I do. The salt preserves as well as the whey. I just want to make really sure it’s going to be ok. See this on making whey. It’s at the end of the post.

Then I take a potato masher and start tapping it down. I mix it and tap it. This allows the salt to draw out the water from the veggies. You can see how condensed it’s become. I tap it until I have some liquid forming. Then I pack it into a 1/2 gallon jar.

I use my hand to pack it down, forcing out air bubbles. You can already see the brine rising to the top.

If I were using a crock, I’d use a plate to press down on top of the veggies and a cloth to cover it. I used a couple cabbage leaves to cover the top and then packed it down with a ziplock filled with brine water. (Brine is salt) The idea is to keep the brine over top of the veggies. If it starts to look like the brine is falling below the veggies go ahead and add a bit of brine to the top. But you should have plenty of brine forming.

Bag filled with brine pressing the veggies down.

Some good references are:  Wild Ferments by Sandor Katz, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Eat Fat Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.

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