Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sauerkraut with whey

There is an easier and less involved way to ferment your food. Enter, whey. In lacto-fermentation, the "lacto-" part is lactic acid, which is a preservative that prevents rotting bacteria from activating. (The presence of these lactobacilli increases the digestibility of the food, and increases vitamin levels as well!) The starches and sugars from the fruits or veggies you're fermenting convert into lactic acid. If you use whey, it will act as an innoculant, rich in lactic acid, so the time required to ferment is much less. You can reduce or eliminate the salt in these recipes as a result. As with all ferments, it is best to use organic produce, and filtered water.
Most vegetables and fruits follow a similar pattern, so feel free to experiment.

Ingredients and materials for Sauerkraut
a quart sized mason jar with a tight fitting lid, a meat hammer or wooden spoon,
4 T homemade whey,
1 head of green cabbage,
filtered water, and
1 T sea salt
optional: 1 T caraway seeds, shredded carrots, sliced apples, or any other fruit or vegetable you'd like

Here is the procedure for Sauerkraut

Shred cabbage thinly.

Add cabbage, 1 T sea salt, and optional 1 T caraway seeds to large ceramic or glass bowl.

Pound the mixture for 10 minutes, until the juices are released.

Pack tightly into mason jar, no more than 1" from the top of the jar. The juices should cover the cabbage. Pound more to make them rise, or add a bit of filtered water.

Cover tightly and leave at room temperature 2 - 4 days. Transfer to your fridge and eat at your leisure. It will improve with age though!

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