We’ve now all heard everything there is to know about fermented foods but have we really?
Fermented foods are actually not all created equal. Different processes, bacteria used, foods chosen to ferment, all produce varying results of fermentation and medicinal properties.
Cabbage is used a lot in fermentation because Cabbage has a unique naturally occurring bacteria that when fermented only nature can produce. I use a cultured starter to ensure a powerful fermentation that goes beyond what happens naturally when fermenting. Cabbage also has an insane amount of Vitamin C which is so important especially now for our immune systems and even the treatment of viruses. The cultured vegetable starter is crucial to adding the right bacteria to make these medicinal nutrients and bacteria bio-available.
I have made a large batch of really simple fermented cabbage, just cabbage, salt and cultures. This is so I ensure the maximum medicinal benefit from this batch and can mix in with my much more exciting Aleppo Pepper Kimchi.
The process for just cabbage is identical to the recipe below just leaving out all the extra ingredients.
- All of your tools, jars and surfaces need to be extremely clean before starting. I run everything through the steam clean in my dishwasher (no soap) to ensure they have been sterilized.
- 3 heads green or napa cabbage Shredded in a food processor or chopped with a knife
- several cabbage leaves set aside
- 2 daikon radishes Chopped or shredded in a food processor
- 3 inch piece ginger Peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic Peeled and chopped
- aleppo pepper to taste Fermenting will bring out the spice so start with a pinch and work your way up from there.
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 packet of Body Ecology® Veggie Culture Starter
- ½ cup warm 90° water
- 2 apples
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 scoop of EcoBloom
- 2-3 droppers of Ancient Earth Mineral Liquid
- Dissolve 1 Veggie Culture Starter with warm water. Add EcoBloom to fuel the starter and droppers of mineral liquid.
- Let the starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes while the bacteria wake up and begin consuming the sugar. Put aside.
- Combine shredded cabbage, daikon, ginger, scallions and garlic in a large bowl.
- Add filtered water to the blender, about 2/3 full. Add apples chopped, salt, fish sauce and culture starter mixture from step 1. Blend well and then add brine back into the first mixture of chopped veggies. Stir well.
- Pack mixture down into a glass or stainless steel container. Use your fist, or a wooden spoon to pack veggies tightly.
- Fill the container almost full with packed veggies and remaining liquid, but leave about 2 inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
- Roll up several cabbage leaves into a tight “log” and place them on top to fill the remaining 2-inch space. Clamp jar closed. ( you can use fermentation weights which I prefer for a cleaner close)
- Make sure there is enough liquid in the jar to just cover the vegetable line. This is very important as any veggies exposed to the air will mold.
- Let veggies sit at about a 70-75° room temperature for at least 3 – 7 days. You will need to check them regularly as they start to ferment, if you don't use a gasket you will need to release the gasses daily to ensure it doesn't rupture. (I keep mine in a cooler with warm water bottles to ensure the exact controlled temperature)
- Refrigerate to slow down fermentation. Keeps for several months in the refrigerator.