By Chef: Callie England
Posted: March 9, 2011
Don’t be intimidated, making your own homemade sauerkraut is easier than it may seem and you’ll soon become an expert. A great way to consume fermented veggies is with fresh avocado and a bit of sea salt. So good, and, so good for you. Enjoy!
- 1 Large Stainless Bowl
- Glass jars with a good seal
- 1 Packet of Donna Gates veggie culture
- sea salt
- honey (or any sweetener – only if you aren’t using a sweet vegetable, again, see below)
- Blender (nothing fancy, just a standard blender should do)
- vegetables of choice
Gather vegetables of choice. For this sauerkraut, I’m including both white and red cabbage + beets.
Peel cabbage and save about 20 leaves. Trust me on this one, it’s better to have too many than not enough! Set outer leaves aside.
Set one cabbage aside… then proceed. Shred cabbage using mandoline or S blade in food processor depending on how you like the texture.
Peel beets. Slice using mandoline or S blade in food processor.
Set vegetables aside. In a blender combine: One cabbage (chopped), .5 onion (optional, but I really like the flavor it adds), 1 tsp of sea salt, about 5-6 cups water (maybe more), and a tsp of honey. Please note, that if you end up using beets, you will not need this additional sweetener. Donna Gates suggest using a sugar of some sort to give the bacteria something a little extra to feed off of. Blend all contents on high for a few minutes (until slightly warm, or around 90 degrees). Once warm, add veggie culture starter and blend on low for a few seconds (just enough to mix everything around).
Pour blender contents over shredded vegetables and mix well.
Pack your veggies. No really, pack them goooood! With clean hands (make sure to keep hands very clean during this process) fill jars and use fist and/or a wooden spoon (mouth of jar depending) to pack the vegetables as you fill each jar. Stop about 1″ shy from top of rim. Here is where those cabbage leaves come back in play. Fold one or two leaves and stuff in top of jar. You’ll find this provides enough pressure to keep the veggies down.
Seal veggies and store in a dark room temperature environment for 5 days (or longer). I use my hall closet, as it’s a convenient and dark place to keep them while fermenting.
Eat!! Open fermented vegetables carefully – there will be some pressure that has built up. Discard top cabbage leaves.
After about a week or two, place fermented veggies in refrigerator to slow down the fermentation. Refrigerated Fermented Veggies will keep for a long time once fermented. Seriously, I’ve had some kimchi (that’s still fresh) for about 5 months.
* Donna Gates veggie culture can be purchased here: https://shop.bodyecology.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BE011