I met up with some friends this morning to ferment some vegetables. I am quite a fan of Kimchi and Sauerkraut, but up until now I have been buying them to consume, until this morning that is. This was organized through our rising collective, as we realized that we needed to focus more on skill sharing and boosting our immune systems naturally.
And what better way to do that, than to improve our gut health by introducing more healthy probiotics. I have heard, that the gut is the second brain of our body and indeed when our gut is out of balance, the rest of our body will be too. A lot of the fermented products you buy in shops contain vinegar, but we wanted to make them without, so that they are naturally fermented, containing live bacteria. Once the fermenting process is complete they need to be placed in the fridge.
Today we made Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Pickled Veg. What you see above is the Kimchi.
You can use whatever vegetables you like and then you make a paste to coat it in.
Some of my friends wanted to use fish oil, instead I made a paste with Tamari, garlic, ginger, green chilli and onion. This was blended altogether and it smelled and tasted so good when it was finished. For vegetables, we choose cabbage, carrot and beetroot.
I chopped the cabbage first and mixed in about 2 tablespoons of salt, massaging it in. Then I added the carrot and beetroot. Then we mixed the paste in and voila it was ready to be jarred. I was far too busy enjoying this process, to take photos. But the end result is in the jars above. I must admit, it was hard to put the lids on as I could easily have ate it there and then. But now, it sits on my worktop, where I will burp it daily for a week and then put it into my fridge, ready to be eaten. Hmmm I can't wait.
Next, we made some Sauerkraut, we used 2 and half cabbages which we chopped into small shreds. I really did enjoy sitting around the table with my friends, chopping veg and sharing our stories. This is how we are meant to make our food, in a loving and supportive environment, putting that energy into the food we work with.
After that, it was time to massage the salt into the cabbage. This was one of my favourite things to do, it was so therapeutic. We used about 3 tablespoons and massaged the cabbage for about 15 minutes,drawing out the natural juices of the cabbage.
I was surprised by the amount of liquid that did come out. Making more than enough brine for it to be submerged in and that is what is most important, that the cabbage be submerged, so that it can ferment properly. We used glass weights to hold the cabbage down and it will be left like that on a shelf for 4 weeks. Once again, when it is fermented, you need to store it in the fridge.
Whilst all of that was taking place, we had some aubergines which we had sliced and marinated with salt and left draining in a colander and covered with a towel.So that we could make Lacto Fermented Aubergine. After 2 hours we put them in a bowl, where we added garlic 6 cloves, fresh basil and oregano. We mixed all of them together.
Then it was time to jar the aubergine, so that we could add the brine that had cooled down by now. The brine is simply salt and water. You heat the water until it is dissolved. We used 2 heaped tablespoons of salt to half a litre of water. Once it has cooled down we added it to our jars of aubergines as seen above. This will sit on my worktop for a week where I will burp it daily.
Next up we made some pickled veg. You can just choose one veg to pickle, or you can do a combination. Which we decided to do.
We chopped beetroot, carrot, green beans, pepper, full cloves of garlic and nice chunky slices of ginger. We also added coriander seeds to the mix. Then we divided it up into jars and added brine, making sure all of the vegetables are covered by liquid.
We had some red onion left over, so we decided to do a few jars of pickled onions as well. Again these jars will sit on my worktop for a week, where I will burp them daily (i.e open the lid and let the air out). I can't wait to eat them all and I know that I will continue to experiment with other vegetables. All in all it was a very productive day!