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Lizzard77

Fermenting Fun

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Calling all fermenters!  I love to ferment veggies at home, I can control the brine, play with herbs and spices and vegetable mixes, and it's really cheap!  I would love to see what all of you out there like to ferment and how you do it.  Here is my super easy sauerkraut recipe.

 

Shred or thinly slice 1/2 head of cabbage approx 1 lb.  Can be green, purple, or mixed.  Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle in 2 Tbsp or 20 gms salt.  I use 2 Tbsp Kosher salt, if using a different type of salt you may want to go by weight.  This would make a 2% brine if dissolved in a quart of water.  I digress, sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and with clean hands, begin squashing the salt into the cabbage, really work it in there.  Once the cabbage has become limp and the salt is all worked in, leave covered for about an hour. 

 

After an hour, squash the cabbage around a bit more then load into a very clean, quart sized mason jar.  Squash the cabbage down hard into the bottom of the jar, liquids will release more and rise above the cabbage line.  Top off the jar with filtered water and weigh down the cabbage to keep it under water.  I use a small glass tealight from Target.  Close with a clean lid and place in a spot out of the way.  You can top it with a Pickl-Pro lid and leave for a few weeks.  If you do not have a one of these lids simply burp your jar every few days to release the pressure.  Make sure your cabbage stays under the liquid.  Leave the cabbage for 2-3 weeks, beginning to taste it after 2.  When it has gotten to your liking, move to the refrigerator for 1-2 more weeks.  You'll want it to be slightly salty and sour tasting. 

 

This is so good on it's own, with eggs or hot dogs, with pork chops or chicken, the possibilities are endless and it is so good for your gut!  Enjoy!

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You know I've been spending a lot of money on kraut and raw fermented carrots. I really should just get over myself and try making it. I eat a little with my breakfast every day. 

 

Does it work the same with carrots? The ones I buy have ginger in them.

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For my carrots I make a 2% brine, 20 gms of salt dissolved in 1 quart boiled and cooled water.  Then I julienne enough carrots to fill my mason jar 3/4 way to the top, weigh down, and pour the cooled brine over top.  They ferment more quickly, approx 1 week, less in warmer weather.  Begin tasting after a few days.  The liquid leftover in carrots, beets, and sauerkraut is really good for you too, called kvass, it's delicious to drink on a hot day.

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I have never fermented anything,either, but with the year round farmers market I go to every two weeks- I have little excuse. Thanks for the instructions with the cabbage. I may definitely look into this... Thanks !

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I made fermented kohlrabi today.  I brought in about 8 large guys from the garden and wanted to give it a try as I have read it is akin to sauerkraut in flavor.  I julienned it and covered it with a 2% brine.  Gonna give it a few days and will let you all know how it comes out.  Have not been having much luck with my full sour pickles, too salty.  Will keep playing with that one, at least they are staying crisp now that I discovered a wild grape I can steal leaves from!

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Thanks for this thread. It's been over 30 years since I made kraut. You made me remember how delightful it is to make at home. Now all I need is to get it together! I will be watching for your updates. This seems much more manageable than booch in my small kitchen.

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The kohlrabi turned out great, a touch salty so I may do a 1.5% brine next time but delicious none the less.  I'm starting a batch of curtido this week.  Sort of like a latin style kimchee, I love it on taco salad and over thin sliced steak.  This one is hard to wait for, it's so tasty!

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Just throwing some notes from the kitchen:

 

Cabbage is really nice if you add: apples/foxberry/cranberry/thyme/bay leaf/boiled prune water (yes, weird, I know)/cloves. 

Bell pepper is very tasty and looks great when you mix all the colors. Brine has to be pretty strong. Approximately 80 grams (2,8 oz) per 1 litre (1 quart). They also need to be fermented for long time - 2 weeks maybe. 

You can also ferment garlic (with dill!). Salt+vinegar for two weeks.

Eggplants (my AIP self is crying), tomatoes (obviously), courgette, scallop squashes (surprise your guests hehe),, green beans, lemons (Maroccan dish? MUST) and even watermelons rinds. Oh those are so so good!  

 

I can post exact proportions if interested. 

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Ooh, I spotted kohlrabi at the market last week.  I don't have mason jars though, and kitchen is kind of cramped with all the booch production we have going on.

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Sophie, I think you could use any sturdy glass jar with a well fitting lid.  And you really only need one out for a few days/weeks (depending on what you're fermenting) then into the fridge.  Not too much space taken up!

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Granny and Mom do them like this: 

 

Watermelon cut 1 inch thick 

Parsley (1 bunch)

Garlic (2 cloves)

Horseradish (optional)

Peppercorns (10)

Water 1 quart (liter) 

Salt (30 gr = 1 oz?)

Sugar (I know, but that's the original recipe, watermelon will take how much is needed) (30 gr = 1oz?)

 

Place in layers - parsley/garlic - watermelon - parsley/garlic and so on to the top. Cover with brine. Place a weight and leave for couple days. Then transfer to a cooler place for 3-4 days. Then start tasting. 

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Great thread! I'm so glad you started it, Liz. My head was starting to spin with everything online, so I appreciate the simplification.

 

Has anyone here fermented beets? And, if so, how do you do it. Cook first?

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D, here how we are usually doing it. Conversion to US units might not be accurate, sorry. 

 

Beets - 1,3 lb (500-600 gr)

Water - 2 cups (500 ml)

Salt - 1 tBsp (15-20 gr)

Bay leaf - 1-2

Dill and peppercorns

Garlic - 2 cloves

Chili pepper (optional to your liking blahblah)

 

Make brine and cool it down. With beets it's crucial! Boil beets (1 hour app). Put spices and beets into the jar, fill with brine and leave in warm place for 2-3 days. Transfer to the fridge after. Voila!  

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Fantastic, Nadia, thank you :wub:.

 

So, to clarify, boil the beets with the water and salt for 1 hour to make the brine.

Do I chop the beets before or after cooking? What about peeling?

Let brine and beets cool fully before jarring, right? 

 

This seems so easy!! I am excited (that's right, folks, it doesn't take much)!

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Not exactly, but close :) Make brine separately and let cool. Boil beets separately. Peeling and chopping beets after boiling seems a bit easier. I cut them into round slices, but you can ferment them whole if they are tiny.

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dukunbayi -I have not cooked my beets before fermenting but the quantities pretty much match up with what I would do.  I have read some recipes that do have you cook them before hand.  I think it's a matter of taste, they are very crunchy if you do not cook them.  My suggestion, should you go down the cooking route,  would be to cook them whole allow to cool, remove skins and chop, I like to slice mine in thin discs but that's just cause it's pretty, cubed is fine.  Meanwhile you would want to make the brine with water and salt then allow to cool.  Once everything is cooled and prepped, combine the brine, beets, and seasonings in a very clean mason jar.

 

Nadia may jump in here and suggest changes per her recipe, my notes are simply from my personal fermenting experience and reading :)

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Lol, Liz. You had Slavic roots Granny somewhere in the family tree? Have you tried golden beets? This is on my list next. They should be so sweet and delicate. 

 

D, make two jars and decide which one you like more crunchy or softer and sweeter ones. I think baking them will work just alright too. 

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