Prior to the invention of freezers or canning machines, people knew how to preserve their vegetables for long periods of time by fermenting. The process of lacto-fermentation converts the sugars and starches in the vegetable or fruit to lactic acid by lactobacilli which are bacteria present on the surface of almost all plants.
Not only does the fermentation preserve the vegetables for long periods of time, the lactobacilli enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels by producing enzymes, antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances.
For the fermentation process to work optimally, use organic vegetables, either sea salt or Real Salt(1), and your own home made whey from a known good source, preferably from grass-fed beef. (We get our whey from our own home made yogurt which we make from raw milk, see Dripping Whey at the bottom of this blog)
If you do not have a good source of whey, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of salt for the 4 tablespoons of whey and allow the ferment to sit for 5-7 days, instead of 2-4 days if you use whey.
Lactic acid fermented vegetables are not meant to be eaten in large quantities, but as condiments. We find eating a spoonful prior to or along with each meal significantly enhances digestion.
1 head cabbage
2 tables. caraway seeds
4 tbl of whey
2 1/2 tsp sea salt or Real Salt
(do not use iodized salt)
tip: the pictures are of Sauerkraut
I made with garlic and dill but I like
it better with just caraway seeds.The
point is that you can play with the
veggies you use.
|1. Wash the head of cabbage and cucumber removing any bad spots
2. Prepare the salad shooter with the correct blade for small shred's
|3. Shred the cabbage, cucumber and garlic using the shredder, or use a knife and cut into fine shreds
4. Cut in approximately 2 tablespoons of dill
|5. Add 4 tablespoons of whey (see below how to make whey) and 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Or if you aren't using whey, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt
6. Put on food safe gloves, mix all the ingredients, then start to pound and squeeze the vegetables. Your goal is to bruise the cabbage and cucumber so they give off liquid. It takes ~5 minutes of punching and squeezing to have enough liquid to cover the vegetables once they are in the glass jar. You can use a wooden pounder or wooden meat hammer instead of your hands
|7. Pack the vegetables tightly into a glass jar leaving a minimum of 1" of space on top for the ferment to grow
8. Pour enough juice over the vegetables to cover. If you don't have enough juice, take the veggies out and start punching and squeezing to make more juice
9. Cover tightly with a lid and set the ferment out at room temperature (72F) for 2-4 days, then move the ferment to the top shelf of your fridge. Ideal storage temperature for fermented vegetables is 40F
1. Put plain unsweetened yogurt into a clean dish cloth
2. Hang over a bowl for a few hours or until you have enough whey
3. Put any unused whey into a glass container and store in the fridge
4. Put the unused yogurt back into the fridge (note: this is how to make greek yogurt)
(1) Real Salt: A natural sea salt with more than 60 trace metals. http://www.realsalt.com