Fermented foods can be a healthy addition to any diet. Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years. When fermenting was first introduced it was used as a preservation method for elongating the shelf life of foods. More specifically, fermenting was originally from the Middle East, where foods would spoil in the heat of the sun. Fermenting was very popular for centuries, but with the modern technologies of food preservation during the 20th century, it quickly became an ancient method.
In more recent years, fermented foods have become a growing food category. Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, soy sauce, and pickled vegetables can be purchased at every grocery store and market globally. When shopping for fermented foods, it’s important to look for “active cultures” or “fermented” right on the label. Foods such as cottage cheese, water kefir, and certain types of cheeses (such as Gorgonzola and Limburger) are making their way into the spotlight. Even foods such as beer, wine, and breads (made with yeast) are fermented.
Fermenting includes salt, whey or starter cultures, and water. With these and the main ingredient, it can take up to one week for the product to be fully fermented. There are plenty of recipes and cookbooks available to help you on your fermenting journey.
Fermented foods can help support the digestive system as they contain important vitamins and minerals. They also contain important enzymes and probiotics.
If you enjoy sauerkraut with a kick, try Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut – Leek Horseradish and Jalapeño.
Simple and delicious, this traditional German recipe has been passed down through generations in my family.
4-5 Heads of green cabbage, shredded
¼ Cup + 2 tablespoons sea salt
4 cups water
Create a brine of 2 tablespoons of salt and 4 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Tightly pack cabbage into the jar, adding salt as you go. Use a fork or spoon to push cabbage down. Pour in brine until there is 1 inch of space between top of cabbage and the top of the jar.
Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged. Cover with a clean towel.
Place jar in a warm area to ferment for 7-10 days.
Every day, check to make sure the brine covers the cabbage. If not, add brine. If there is mold on top, spoon out the portion affected and add more brine.
A good way to know if it’s ready is to taste it. If you’re satisfied with the taste, move it to the refrigerator.