Fermenting vegetables is not only easy, it’s affordable and quite possibly the most nutritious and probiotic rich of all the ferments to choose from. If you want to make your own ferments, I would suggest starting with sauerkraut because you will most likely be successful. Cabbage, the base, ferments nicely and you can add in other vegetables to compliment it with added benefit. The more diversity you add in terms of vegetables, fruits or herbs, the more diversity of probiotics will thrive You will learn over time, how to add different ingredients at quantities that will add flavor and promote diversity of probiotics. Here’s how to get started.
Fermenting Sauerkraut for Beginners:
For your ferment to thrive, you need the right pH (salt ratio), the right temp-55-65’, no
direct sunlight and an anaerobic environment (no oxygen)
- 1 Cabbage
- 2 Tablespoons non-iodized sea salt
- 32 ounce mason jar (lid can be an airlock or loose fitting lid)
- cutting board
- large mixing bowl
Step by Step Directions:
- Core the cabbage and cut into even pieces
- Add cabbage and salt a into mixing bowl. Gently massage the salt into the vegetables to draw out the water, which makes the brine.
- Push down fist fulls at a time into the vessel, eliminating air to make an anaerobic environment where the lactic acid bacteria can thrive.
- Once you fill the vessel, punch down the cabbage so the brine covers the vegetables. There are glass weights to help keep it below the brine, but you can also check it daily and push it down if you need to.
- To close the vessel, apply a loose fitting lid so CO2 can escape, or use an airlock which allows CO2 to escape but prevents O2 from getting into the vessel.
- Check daily that the vegetables are submerged under the brine and no direct sunlight.
- Leave for 2-10 weeks. Taste it along the way to see what flavors you like. When you like the flavor, jar it and put it in the refrigerator. Beneficial bacteria will continue to grow, even in the refrigerator, just at a much slower pace. You can easily leave it there for 6 months and likely much longer.