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cultured vegetables
Posted by: mallow ()
Date: June 14, 2006 01:54AM

Recently I bought some cultured red cabbage and beets in a packet from the health food store. I loved it! I've had cultured daikon radish, cultured carrot/green cabbage mix, and cultured beets from the same company and only enjoyed the beets, but now that I've tried the red cabbage/beet mixture I am amazed! it tasted so good. I think that it was flavored with bay, caraway, garlic and sea salt. Problem is, a 7 oz packet costs almost five dollars. I'd love to make my own to cut the cost, but in every recipe I've found they say that green cabbage has to be the primary ingredient, and that you need a ton of salt. I can't afford that much celtic sea salt, I could use maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
Does anyone have any tried-and-true recipes for delicious cultured vegetables?

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Re: cultured vegetables
Posted by: sodoffsocks ()
Date: June 14, 2006 09:33AM

Hi Mallow,

I love cultured vegatables and have just started down the path of making my own. Previously I wasn't sure about it, then a friend bought me a copy of "wild fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katx.

To answer your question, you don't need green cabbage, red cabbage is fine. In fact red cabbage is my favourite! I've just finished making my second batch of saurkraut, my first was mainly red cabbage and a small green cabbage. I did use a fair amount of salt, but less that in the recipes in the book. In the book the gives low salt and no salt recipes as well, if the salt bothers you.

So here is my first saurkraut:
1 large red cabbage.
1 small green cabbage.
1 onion
1 carrot
4 cloves of garlic (halfed if big)
salt

More important than what is in it is how you make it and what you make it in. Book cover many cultured vegatables and fruits from different cultures. But many share this method of production:

Pots. You need two pots. A big crock type pot to hold the ingredience, and smaller pot which fits tightly inside the big pot.

1) shredd cabbages, carrot and onion
2) large garlic cloves sliced ~1mm thick
3) place a 1 inch layer of mixed ingreedeince in the crock pot.
4) sprinkle some salt over the ingreedience,
5) place a 1 inch layer of mixed ingreedience in the crock pit.
6) Push down really really really hard (without breaking the pot).
7) sprinkle some salt over the ingreedeince.
8) while you have ingreedience goto step 3.
9) Fill small pot full of water.
10) place small in big pot, so that the small pot of water is keeping the vegatables compressed.
11) Taste every few days (clear the mold off the top first), it should get better every day for about two or more weeks.
12) If it starts to taste worse, or you really like, put in a twist top jar in the fridge, it will keep for a while and while chilled won't ferment any more.

The resulting saurkraut was bright pink and tasted great.

For my second batch I used:

1 Large green cabbage
1 Large red cabbage
4 large onions
2 heads of garlic
2 large carrots shreded
2 large carrots sliced

The same method was used. This produced about twice as much saurkraut as the first recipe. It took a lot long to loose that green cabbage bitterness, but tasted pretty good in the end.

I think it will be fine if you make an all red cabbage saurkraut, but if you try let me know how it comes out.

Cheers,
Ian.

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Re: cultured vegetables
Posted by: mallow ()
Date: June 14, 2006 04:45PM

Ian- thanks so much! I will try this asap.

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Re: cultured vegetables
Posted by: sodoffsocks ()
Date: June 14, 2006 06:16PM

Your welcome.

I forgot one thing that's quite important. One of the reasons for the salt and pressing down hard part is to draw the juice out of the cabbage. If after 24hours your veggies are not complete covered in fluid, add some salt water until they are covered.

Other things I remember but didn't list above:
- cover the pot in a cloth secured so that bugs can't get in.
- putting a couple of whole leaf on the top (last) helps stop
any of the smaller bits from floating to the surface.
- when tasting I normal add salt water before removing the small
pot, this way I can let any surface mold (which does happen)
just wash/flow over the side.

Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.

It's about time for me start my next batch.

Ian.

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