Red Cabbage Lacto-Fermented
When fermenting vegetables, I like as many probiotics as possible, that’s the point right? Fresh food that makes you feel great = probiotics! I use the whey extracted from a bottle of plain Kefir. Adding fresh whey will increase the speed and quality of the lacto-ferment, filling it with live probiotics and prebiotics from the vegetables
A good ferment will give you vibrant vegetables that taste fresh and delicious. To get the most probiotics from these foods it is best to eat them raw, especially at first when you may be trying to repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria. You can use the vegetables in soup and stir fry’s, the sweet, sour, crunchy texture is delicious, but you will be getting more probiotics not heating these fermented veggies.
Recipe – A cabbage ferment.
Ingredients -Based on your container size. I use a large jar.
Kefir whey – however much liquid fills approx 1 inch of your container.
Cabbage – as much as fills your container.
Salt – mineral salt such as Cornish sea salt or pink Himalayan. Not cheap refined sodium.
Water – filtering the water is important as there should be no chlorine present. Chlorine can kill the live bacteria.
CHOP – So…. Chop your cabbage, salt it liberally with a mineral rich salt such as a Cornish sea salt, or Pink Himalayan ( don’t use refined table salt). Pour a little whey into the glass jar – I normally fill about a centimeter, the amount isn’t critical.
JAR – Simply shove the cabbage in the glass, press it down if you want to fit more in, i sometimes compact it more if I have more veg but it is not imperative that it is squashed down. Loose or compact the choice is yours.
WATER – Top with filtered water – it is important it is filtered so that there is no chlorine present, chlorine can kill or reduce the probiotic content. If you don’t have a water filter, boiling the water first make sure its cold again before using in your jar will do but look to obtain a water filter for future batches.
Push the cabbage below the water, it will rise up as it ferments and you can get a white mould if the cabbage is above the water line. Using a small rock as a weight inside the jar can prevent this, or I just push it down every few days with my potato masher, this ‘burps’ the carbon dioxide from the jars preventing overspill or an exploding jar!
LEAVE ALONE – Leave an inch of air at the top of your glass. Put the lid on and leave it on the side for approx 7 days – the vegetables will rise, become a little bubbly – taste them and if you like how they taste, (they should be slightly fermented and zingy) then put them in the fridge. This will be trial and error for you, basically the veg cant go off, the lacto-ferment is a safe way of preserving. If you like crunchier vegetables the liberal use of salt is very important. The longer you leave at room temperature (especially if the weather is warmer) the quicker the veg will ferment.
REFRIGERATE – The fridge slows down the fermentation and you can use them from the fridge. They should keep up to a year at a cool temperature, however slowly they will continue to ferment. I normally get rid if they have lost their colour and become overly fermented, i prefer zingy bright vegetables that taste almost raw.
DONT BE SCARED – Just have a go, get out your cabbage and start chopping. It’s somewhat trial and error at first, if there are any questions as you go along feel free to message. How to make your fermented vegetables taste great!