Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cultured Vegetables

As you know, I'm a huge fan of probiotics. And one of the the best ways to get 'em into your body is by eating homemade fermented foods. Sauerkraut and Kimchee are examples of fermented vegetables, but the flavors and possibilities are endless. Wild Fermentation,by Sandor Ellix Katz (aka Sandorkraut), is a phenomenal book on the subject. Their website is full of great information, like this excerpt from his other book,The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.

Here is my method, but have a look around the ol' internets (there are even some You Tube videos), and you will find lots of variations.

1. Combine shredded or chopped cabbage and other veggies (like kale, carrot, daikon... experiment!) in a large bowl (clean the bowl first with soap and water, then rinse a few times with boiling water to make sure it's super clean).
2. Remove several cups of this mixture and put into a blender.
3. Add filtered water (enough to make a "brine" which will cover the veggies once they're in your jars).
4. Add a couple of tsps of high quality Sea Salt.
5. Blend well and then add some of the brine back into the bowl of veggies. Stir well.
6. Pack mixture down into super clean glass containers or a fermenting crock if you have one! I don't have a crock yet, but I do have various sizes of this type of jar, which seem to work very well. Use your fist, a clean wooden dowel, or a potato masher to pack veggies tightly... packing down and adding more veg as you go...
7. Fill jar almost full, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand. Add enough brine to just cover the veggie mixture.
8. Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight "log" and place them on top to fill the remaining 2 inch space. Clamp jar closed.
9. Let veggies sit at about a 70 degree room temperature for at least three days to a couple of weeks. Refrigerate once you start a jar. Yum!

It's normal for there to be a little bit of mold on the top cabbage leaves. Just pull the rolled up leaves out, and discard. And spoon away any that might be just at the top. Then stir up the yumminess, and enjoy!!

Natural probiotic foods are great for your health, and help to keep the skin glowing and beautiful!

Do you make your own? What's your favorite recipe?


  1. Thanks for the info! Keep it up!

  2. give me some of those! yummy!

  3. Those look delicious. Your post coincides with a couple of articles in the New Yorker about fermentation right now. I LOVE fermenting veggies into sauerkraut and even fruit to make naturally bubbly drinks. I got a pickling crock a couple of years ago and it was worth every penny. My method differs from yours a little in that I massage the cabbage with salt to release its juice instead of making a brine, and let it ferment for 6 weeks to ensure time for the B vitamins to develop. My recent favorite flavors are daikon-parsnip-coriander, and fennel-leek-tarragon. So yummy! ~phoebe

  4. Thanks, Phoebe! Your combos sound amazing...
    I wish those were my veggies. They are beautiful. I do have a cabbage handy just waiting to massaged. Can't wait to try your method. I enjoy the taste of krauts more the longer they ferment, but I have to admit, I can never wait that long to open 'em up!! Now that I know about the Vit B, maybe I'll try harder ;)