Fermented foods are an ancient tradition and incredibly good for you, while surprisingly tasty.
I've been experimenting at home with my own production of various pro-biotic fermented foods as well as other digestive aids. I've made plenty of Ginger Kombucha as well as one successful batch of a Spicy Brown Mustard.
Fermented foods supply us with beneficial gut flora, supporting healthy digestion.
In Chinese medicine, we want the digestive track and Earth organs to be warm and healthy, with a natural balance between the dry and damp qualities found within the Stomach and the Spleen. We want enough digestive fire, warmth, and fluids to help process our foods, and enough healthy yang qi to transform this food into energy, to be distributed throughout the body.
Fermented foods support the proper functioning of our Earth organs: Stomach and Spleen.
I was given a large fermenting crock for the holidays, so I figured I would put it to use. Below, please find a basic recipe for making Homemade Sauerkraut.
It is rather simple, and any fermented vegetable has four basic steps:
- Chop or grate vegetables
- Lightly Salt the chopped veggies, pound or squeeze until nice and juicy
- Pack into a jar or other vessel (crock), tightly, so the veggies are below the liquid. - Add water if necessary to cover
- Wait for veggies to be and taste just right.
- 2 heads of cabbage, shredded (I used one red and one green)
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 Daikon radish, also shredded
- 1-2 T. kosher salt
- 1 T. caraway seeds or celery seeds
- Clean your jar/crock thoroughly to allow for a healthy fermentation of your veggies
- Shred/Chop the cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl
- Shred the carrots and Daikon and add to the bowl
- Add salt and caraway to the bowl, mix thoroughly
- Pound and Squeeze the veggies in the bowl, until they are soft and juicy.
- Pack the veggies into a jar/crock. The less air, the better
- Place a weight on top of the kraut, to keep the veggies at the bottom and under the water/juice. (you can use a zip-lock filled with water, or a ceramic weight, or a plate)
- Cover with a cheesecloth or papertowel and a rubberband / string.
- Wait for at least 10 days to a month. Taste throughout the process to achieve your preferred flavor.
What's your favorite fermented food or Kraut recipe?
Thanks for reading!