Friday, July 17, 2009

lacto-fermented sauerkraut- the smashing story!

and now to bring you the smashing story of lacto fermented sauerkraut
you will need
cabbages - i used two medium sized
whey - from organic whole milk is best
salt - i use kosher flaked salt
a smasher - i use my potato masher
a large food grade bin with an airtight cover
a large plastic bag

you will be slicing your cabbages into thin shreds. you can do this by hand or with the help of a processor. today, i'm using a processor fitted with a slicing blade.

remove the top four or five outside cabbage leaves and place to the side - you will be using several of these down the line. remove the cores from each cabbage and discard for compost. (worm food!) chop your cabbage into slivers or into sizes large enough to fit into your processor's shoot.

feed the cabbages through the shoot. it took me four rounds to get through the two cabbages. i placed the finished cabbage in a large bowl to the side as each bit was processed.

then you begin the smashing and mashing. place about 2" of cabbage into your bin, sprinkle just a bit of flaked salt over the top, pour in two tablespoons of whey on top (i eye all this) then start mashing and smashing with your potato masher until juice emerges from the cabbage. this is a workout folks!

repeat this layering process until you have smashed all cabbage into your food grade bin. the above is what it looks like once smashed. yup it's true all that cabbage smashed down to half the volume of this container.

once smashed, layer two or four clean cabbage leaves on top of your future sauerkraut. then place a large plastic bag on top of the leaves, wrapping the edges of the bag over the edge. make sure your bag does not have any leaks. fill the bag with water. this weights down the cabbage keeping the cabbage submerged in the juice created through the mashing.

once the bag is filled, fit the cover onto your container. you need an airtight seal. the water fills all the interior space and the cover ensures a good seal. leave your cabbage in this container in a dark location (away from direct sunlight) for 3-5 days, it may take longer if you live in a cooler climate. remove any scum that forms on the top daily by removing the cover, the water bag, skimming off and then replacing the water bag and cover.

you will see bubbles once the fermentation process begins - this is good! i will be back in a few days to show you the progress of this batch. and then again when i jar it up.
super easy easy easy

there you have it - a smashing story!

more to come...


AQ_CON said...

Good post, how creative do you get with different vegetables?

Also what does the whey do?

shellywoman said...

hello there!

so far i'm a cabbage only girl. i plan to experiment further this fall - it's a bit steamy here in texas at present and find that fully flavors are achieved when it's a bit cooler in these parts.

i will post all experiments so keep an eye out.

thanks so much for checking in.
best to you!