In my quest for gut health and affordable probiotics I decided to post about making your own ferments. Fermented vegetables were a part of most ancestral cultures diets. Some still have them today but he common U.S diet is void of these gut helping foods. In no way do I guarantee your child will eat ferments because mine would not but I used them.
I used glass bale wire canning jars with rubber seals for my ferments. They well in Nourishing Traditions’ evaluations for this process. I used homegrown, pesticide free cabbage but I have also used organic carrots.
Here is how I made it:
- Wash head of cabbage and remove outer damaged leaves
- Cut cabbage into quarters, remove the center stem/stalk
- Shred the cabbage in a food processor
- Put the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle sea salt over it.
- Kneed the cabbage and sea salt (don’t use table salt) together with your hands then use a wooden mallet to mash and crunch it together-the goal is to get it to release its liquids. You may need to let it set for 10 minutes so the juices start.
- Put the shredded salted cabbage into a clean,sterilized bale/wire jar but leave some head room.
- Press the cabbage down into the jars hard so that the liquid comes up and covers the cabbage. Some people use jar weights or a shot glass to weight down the cabbage.
- Make sure there are no loose cabbage pieces on the jar lid/seal or above the salt brine level.
- Close the jar.
- Label it with the date and contents and set it in a warm location for up to 23 days.
In several days you will begin to notice bubbling inside the jar and this means it’s working. I kept my jars on top of a plastic tray on the counter because they may leak a bit of liquid out of the top when the gasses escape. This is perfectly fine. You should check on the jars periodically to make sure there is still enough liquid in the jar to cover the cabbage. You can add a bit more salt brine if there isn’t. I didn’t have to do this.
I waited 23 days and then opened it and used my nose to test it for safety. I did not see any scum, mold or signs of putrification which means I did it properly. The sauerkraut smelled like sauerkraut but it did not smell rotten. If it has a terrible odor or grows mold, toss it. Now it’s time to move it to the fridge for use and storage.