Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

SAUERKRAUT & SAUERRUBEN: fermented cabbage and fermented turnips

Posted Jul 28 2012 6:14pm

POST #768

I’m being good this week. I said I was going to make sauerkraut and sauerruben (fermented turnips), and, indeed, I am doing it.  I think it took me about 4 hours last night to do all the work, but I did.   Part of my impetus was that my half-full jar of sauerkraut (made about 4 weeks ago) fell out of the refrigerator and shattered  — big mess, dead jar, no sauerkraut this week!

Some raw foodists are concerned about fermented foods.  I am on the side of people like Ann Wigmore (pretty much the “mother” of raw food), and others, who think that it is useful to supplement pro-biotics (yes, you could go and buy capsules or powders, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could get the same benefit through your food?)  I use New Life All-Flora probiotics to jumpstart my ferments.  Some people object to fermented foods as “rotten”, but I don’t happen to be one of them.  I understand that, when you ferment raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you create a food product that is rich in probiotics and good for you.

I had 2 small-ish heads of cabbage in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  When I dug them out and cut them in half, I found, interestingly, that the center of each was going bad, while the outside (about 3 inches worth all around the center) was perfectly fine.   I cut away and discarded the centers, and shredded the rest.

STEP BY STEP SAUERKRAUT (no video, just do it)

  • I shredded the cabbage in my wonderful Cuisinart Food Processor .
  • I put all the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, mixed in 1 tablespoon sea salt, and then mooshed/squeezed it all around with my hands, until the cabbage gave up its juice and was reduced in volume by about 1/2.
  • Then I put all of the shredded cabbage and juice into a quart mason jar (I used the wide-mouth funnel of my Champion juicer to get it in neatly), and smooshed it down until there was about 1/2 inch of space above the juice on top of the cabbage.  (The idea is that you want to pack the cabbage very firmly into the jar.  I do it with my fingers — my fist is a little too large to fit inside a quart jar.  The juice rises above the cabbage.  I do this in the sink, because some of the juice -and a little of the cabbage– might seep out.)
  • After I had the cabbage packed into the jar, I emptied 2 capsules of New Chapter All Flora Probiotic Capsules
    into @1 tablespoon of water and mixed well.  Then I poured the probiotic/water mix into the jar, and used a chopstick to make holes down into the cabbage so the probiotics would go down into the cabbage (I don’t know if this is necessary, but it seems logical, so I do it).
  • Then I put the jar in a bowl and set it in a cool corner of my kitchen (cool? ha ha! It is summer in New York City, and we don’t have air-conditioning. Suffice it to say that I put it in the corner of the stove top — we don’t use the stove, anyway.  That is probably the coolest place in the kitchen).  That was about 7  pm last night.

SAUERRUBEN (fermented turnips)

While I was gearing up to make the sauerkraut, I decided to read through Sandor Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation again.  This time, since I had a slew of turnips in the refrigerator, I noticed the “sauerruben” recipe for fermented turnips.  I held back from my irresistible desire to add stuff to a recipe since I’ve never tried to ferment turnips, and since Sandor says that plain fermented turnips are delicious, and I made the straight recipe with just one addition – I added probiotics, which I always add to fermented foods because, when I do,  my product never ever fails.

STEP BY STEP FERMENTED TURNIPS (SAUERRUBEN)  (no video, just do it)

I honestly can’t tell you how many turnips I used.  They were the “Japanese salad turnips” (smallish, all white).  These were medium-sized turnips – large enough to make it worthwhile to peel them.

  • I peeled then chopped the turnips.
  • I shredded the turnips in my food processor
    (with the S blade) (normally when I do turnips, I grind them to a fine texture somewhat similar to applesauce, but this time, I shredded them a little less, to a chunkier texture — but not by much — I hate to chew)
  • I placed the shredded turnips in a large bowl and added 1 tablespoon of sea salt.  I mixed it all around, then squished/mooshed/squeezed all of the turnip/salt mixture, until it yielded a lot of juice and reduced in volume by about half.
  • Then, I placed the turnips in a 1 pint jar.  At first it seemed the turnips would not all fit in, but, after a lot of mooshing/pressing (which I did in the sink, in case of overflow, of which there was some), I got all of the turnips into the 1-pt jar, with a little space at the top.
  • I emptied 2 capsules of New Chapter All-Flora Probiotic
    into @1 tablespoon of water and mixed well.  Then I poured the probiotic/water mix into the jar, and used a chopstick to make holes down into the turnip mix,  so the probiotics would go down into the turnips.
  • Then I put the the 2-part lid  onto the mason jar (I’ve used recycled jars with plain lids, but the two-part lids of the mason jars are traditional, and you do get some feedback if you use them — as the vegetables ferment, some juice seeps out, which lets you know that your product is successful), and I put the jar in a bowl in the coolest corner of the kitchen, beside the sauerkraut jar.

This afternoon, when I came home about 4 pm, I checked the jars, and I was happy to see in that a little less than 24 hours, they had bubbled out about half a bowl-ful of liquid each.  That is a good sign. Actually, I have never seen so much liquid bubble out in one day before — it could be because I used 2 caps of probiotics instead of just one — whatever the cause, I am happy, and I am excited.

I know that my sauerkraut will be ready in 3 days (although I can leave it for longer — I’ve left it for up to 2 weeks.  I suppose I could leave it for longer, but I like the 3-day flavor).

Since this is my first time with fermented turnips, I will go with Sandor’s suggestion of one week of fermentation (although he ferments without probiotics).  I’m sure it will be fine.  (After my first batch, I will understand what I want to do, i.e., what I might like to add, and how long I will need to ferment it.)

After I finish the turnips, I am going to ferment the beets I have in my refrigerator.  I am sure they will work like the turnips, so I will already have something to go on at that time  (I am imagining that I will add garlic and/or something else to beets)  I’m imagining that the beets will turn out to be really delicious.  I can’t wait.


Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches