Many vegetables are inclined towards an acid pH and so lend themselves to the process of lacto-fermentation. Cabbage, beetroot, carrot, onion, capsicum, etc., may be combined with various herbs and spices (garlic, ginger, chillie, fish paste etc.,) to produce delicious condiments. Those people who turn their nose up at the mention of sauerkraut have probably never tasted genuine sauerkraut, complete with enzymes and antioxidants.
Supermarket sauerkraut, pickles and marinades are rarely produced with a genuine lacto-fermentation process. Instead, they may rely upon cooking and the addition of salt, sugar and vinegar to produce an imitation product.
Most recipes for sauerkraut call for pounding the vegetables with a mortar to bruise the cell walls to allow the microorganisms to enter the cells. I find that a hand grater works well for root vegetables like carrot and beetroot. Cabbage is a little difficult to grate by hand but may be shredded in a food processor.
Home made auerkraut can be eaten after a few days but exquisite flavours will improve with age. Sauerkraut should be stored in a cool place, in hot climates it will require refrigeration.
Makes enough to fill a 2 litre mason jar. The beetroot will make this saurkraut quite sweet tasting, and the parsley should provide a source of addtional antioxidants. See also kimchi
1. Estimate the quantity of ingredients required to fill the jar.
2. Process the parsley in the food processor with the small blade, then mix with the salt in a large bowl.
3. Grate the beetroot by hand, as finely as possible then mix with the parsley. Mix in the Kefir whey. Process the onions and cabbage in a food processor with a grating blade and mix with the other ingredients.
4. Transfer the mixture to the jar with tongs. Use the back of a wooden spoon to push the mixture to the bottom of the jar and remove all air pockets. The mixture should be quite wet. Keep forcing the mixture into the container until it is about 2 inch from the top. This space is necessary for the expansion that will take place.
5. Wipe the inside of the neck clean with a paper towel. Screw on a plastic lid firmly to prevent any liquid spilling over. If you have concerns about pressure build up in the jar you may wish to leave the lid slightly loose.
6. Store the jar on a saucer, in a cupboard at room temperature (20 Celsius), and leave to ferment for 3-4 days, or up to a week if the weather is cold, before transferring the jar to a refrigerator.
You may eat the sauerkraut after one week but it it will improve if you leave it to mature for a few weeks in a refrigerator. Good sauerkraut should have a fresh and acidic aroma, with the best tasting sauerkraut about 2 inches below the surface.
Wipe the inside of the top of the jar with a paper towel to prevent mould and bacteria growing. In the event that any mould forms on the surface then you will need to make a decision as to whether to remove it or discard the sauerkraut. If the sauerkraut should go bad then discard it and start again.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32
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