Crocks are a delight
Another recipe to address eating in-season. Cabbage, carrots, garlic and some spices are all you need to start playing with fermentation! Luckily if you’re North of the 49th, these ingredients are available to you at any time.
You may NOT have a crock but do not fear, if you have some glass vessels you can start out fermenting in smaller batches to see how much you enjoy it and how much you will be consuming before you put out the cash for a crock.
Please do not use metal or plastic – ever.
My suggestion is to check second hand shops and online bargains like Kijiji or Craigslist instead of buying new. This way you can up-cycle and save cash.
This is a larger batch recipe, halve or quarter depending on your brewing vessel. Note: your cabbage volume will decrease by about half by the time you’re ready to ferment.
3 heads cabbage
5 large carrots
6 large cloves garlic
2 tbsp celery seed
1/4 cup vinegar (if needed)
1/4 cup water (if needed)
1/4 cup salt (or to taste)
Slice up veggies thinly as shown below.
Next, start massaging your salt (slowly) into the veggies to pull the water out of the cabbage and carrots. This will take some time if you do not have some sort of a tamper to do this for you. Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until you start to see a lot of water appearing.
Taste a little bit of the mixture to see how salty it is while you are adding salt slowly. Remember, your fermentation process will not remove all salt SO if you over salt, add more veggies.
Wet & ready
You should start to notice that when you push down on the veggies your water starts to come up over the top of them. This is great. You will need to keep the ferment covered in water for the duration of its souring.
You will need to add some water/vinegar mixture to add more water if you cannot draw enough from your vegetables.
My secret ingredient is celery seed. I add this at the very end and stir throughout the mixture.
Once your mix is covered with liquid, place a loose towel over the opening of your vessel to allow air to access your new batch of ferment. I like to secure this with an elastic band.
You will need to check on this daily to ensure mold does not appear. Unlike Kombucha, you can scrape mold off of the top of a kraut ferment. Like Kombucha, the length of fermentation is all up to your own personal taste AND the time of year.
The warmer your kitchen the quicker your ferment. Taste in about 2-3 days to see your progress. Allow the ferment to continue until you have the desired level of sourness you like. After this, place a lid on your kraut and refrigerate to stop the fermentation process. Hit up my Kombucha post for fermenting tips.
Remember, you can start to make ferments your own. Add nettle for food medicine, hot peppers for spicy kraut, use purple cabbage for more colour or just stay straight up plain with green cabbage.
Your kraut is resting nicely and soon you will be able to use this delicious food to balance your gut, clear your skin and bring shine to your hair!
Sleeping & souring