Cultured Vegs Recipes

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A Cooking Adventure with Thom


I am still working these recipes.  I will post them as I have them completed.

Cultured Vegetables

Thom's Recipe File

Cultured vegetables are made by shredding cabbage or a combination of cabbage and other vegetables and then packing them tightly into an airtight container.  They are left to ferment at room temperature for several days or longer.  Friendly bacteria naturally present in the vegetables quickly lower the pH, making a more acidic environment so the bacteria can reproduce.  The vegetables become soft, delicious, and somewhat "pickled."

The airtight container can be glass or stainless steel.  Use a 1 to 1 quart container that seals with a rubber or plastic ring and a clamp down lid.  Room temperature means 72 degrees Fahrenheit, for at least 3 days.  We prefer to let ours sit for six or seven days.  You can taste them at different stages and decide for yourself.

In the winter months if your kitchen temperature falls below 70 degrees, wrap the container in a towel and place it inside an insulated or thermal chest.  In the summer months the veggies culture faster.  They may be ready in just three or four days.

During this fermentation period, the friendly bacteria are having a heyday, reproducing and converting sugars and starches to lactic acid.  Once the initial process is over, it is time to slow down the bacterial activity by putting the cultured veggies in the refrigerator.  The cold greatly slows the fermentation, but does not stop it completely.  Even if the veggies sit in your refrigerator for months, they will not spoil; instead they become more like fine wine, more delicious with time.  Properly made, cultured vegetables have at least an eight month shelf life.

Once you master the basic technique, be creative.  Try different vegetable combinations, and include dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards.  Soak, drain, and chop up some ocean vegetables like dulse, wakame, hijiki, and arame.  Add your favorite herbs (dried or fresh), seeds (dill or caraway), and juniper berries.  Even lemon juice can be added to the "brine."  Try leaving out the cabbage all together and making a batch of cultured daikon.


Simple Kimchi
Naturally Cultured Pickles
Naturally Cultured Beets
Naturally Fermented Carrot Sticks
How To Make Sauer Kraut
Lacto-Fermented Blueberry Jam
Lacto-Fermented Corn and Onion Relish


Lactic Fermentation?
Lactic fermentation is a proven traditional of preserving foods.  This kind of preservation is the only one that preserves all the natural substances of the vegetable.  By lactic fermentation you preserve the food and at the same time improve its quality.  It allows the flavors to fully develop.

Nutritionists recommend this kind of fermented vegetable.  Thanks to fermentation it cannot only be preserved for a long time and has a delicious taste, but it also prevents a number of illnesses typical of an industrialized society.

Fermented vegetables are essential for a healthy diet.  Natural fermentation is one of the oldest known preservation methods.  Lactic acid bacteria ferment the vegetables and they preserve longer, have a pleasant acidic taste and a rich contents of vitamins and minerals.

Sauerkraut is probably one of the healthiest foods, "writes vicar Sebastian Kneipp.  James Cook introduced sauerkraut for ship crews.  Thanks to its high contents of vitamin C, this fermented vegetable protected quite a number of sailors against the plague of the seas--scurvy.

The latest scientific studies confirm the age-old experience of natural and popular medicine fibers keep a healthy digestion going and lower the cholesterol level.  Lactic bacteria are important for the build-up and maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora.  Secondary plant substances prevent cancer, protect the body against infection and inhibit the growth and reproduction of fungi.  The anti-ulcer factor protects the digestive system against stomach and intestinal ulcers.  And then there is also a natural anti-depressant named acetylcholine.
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