Anywho, fermented foods are traditional foods in many countries. Researchers have shown that in 3rd world countries, where fermented foods are regularly eaten, people have better dental health and healthier immune systems than people who eat a western/sugary diet. Here is a semi-boring video about it if you want to watch (and this lady smiles at odd times but it does show how to make whey which you will want for the recipe below).
You may remember that last year I made my first batch of fermented veggies and it was delicious. I kinda just made the recipe up at the time. Since then, I have tried make more fermented foods but I was nervous because I didn't really have a recipe that gave me specific instructions and when you are making raw food turn into something else using bacteria, it is slightly unnerving to eat it if you don't really know what you are doing. So, after I took this class, I had a nice list of recipes and I have been making sure I always have some fermented foods on hand. We have been eating them with most of our meals and I have to say that this winter I didn't get sick once...that is pretty good for me!
Currently, I have fermented beats, sauerkraut, carrots, and kimchee all waiting to be eaten.
If you would like to ferment something, you can pretty much do it with anything as long as you have some whey (or raw apple cider if you are making a brine), some veggies, and a quart size mason jar. But, if you would like to make some sauerkraut then you are in luck because here is the recipe (I'll do pickles later in the season):
makes 1 quart
adapted from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook ← effing good!
1 medium head cabbage (cored and shredded, a grater works well) *save an outside whole leaf
1T dill seeds
1. In a good sized bowl, mix together cabbage, dill, salt, and whey.
2. Now it is time to squeeze the livin' day lights out of it all. You can use your hands or you can find a wooden pounder to get all the juices out of the cabbage. It will take about 7-10 minutes. You should have about 1/2cup of juice at the bottom of the bowl.
3. Place everything in a quart sized mason jar and press down until juices come to the top of the cabbage. (If you need to add a little water, that is fine.)
4. Take that extra leaf you saved and fold it into the top of jar to press down the kraut and hopefully keep it covered.
5. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3-5 days before putting it in the fridge where it can hold for months. It will improve with age.
Eat with just about anything or by itself!