Activity 55: Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut
Fermented foods are the rage now, they are healthy, simple to make and cheap. With its strong taste it might not be for you, but if you could even get any of your family members to eat it - they will benefit.
Fermented foods is simple cooking with a little bit of science. Science isn’t my strong, therefore I would suggest looking up a recipe and listening in to the bacterial information on fermented foods.
The writer of this blog continues to say:
"The first stage of sauerkraut fermentation involves anaerobic bacteria, which is why the shredded cabbage and salt need to be packed in an airtight container. At this stage the surrounding environment is not acidic, just cabbagey. The bacteria, mostly Leuconostoc species, produce carbon dioxide (replacing the last vestiges of oxygen in the jar) and lactic acid, which is a natural byproduct of anaerobic respiration. Eventually, the conditions within the jar become too acidic for these bacteria to survive and they die out, replaced with bacteria that can better handle the acidic conditions such as Lactobacillus species. The lactobacillus further ferment any sugars remaining in the cabbage, using anaerobic respiration. This produces more lactic acid, until the sauerkraut reaches a pH of about 3. These bacteria are inhibited by high salt concentrations (so most sauerkraut contains around 2-3% salt) and low temperatures, which is why the fermenting jars should be left at room temperature rather than in the fridge. At pH3 the lactobacillus stop fermenting and the sauerkraut can be stored until needed."
Netflix is also doing a show called “Cooked” by Michael Pollan - with one episode on fermented foods, worth a watch.
YOU WILL NEED:
A sealable glass jar. Air tight.
A big bowl to mix in.
WHAT TO DO:
Thinly slice your cabbage.
Measure it, as 2 % of the measurement of cabbage is the amount of salt you will need to add.
Pop the sliced cabbage into the bowl.
Add the 2% salt.
Start mixing it with your hands. No need to be delicate with the mixing.
Once you see a liquid in your mix, add the pepper if you wish.
Mix again and now pour it into your airtight glass jar. Leave it to stand for a week in your kitchen.
Taste it after a week, you could leave it if you would like it to be stronger in taste (more sour) or enjoy it if it is sour enough.
+++++ IF there is any fungal on it - do not eat it! It shouldn’t have that.
If you make this, please send us a photo - we would love to see!