Here’s the recipe for my latest fermented vegetable experiment which I slightly adapted from Baden:
Curried Carrot Sauerkraut
- 1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
- 1/2 head purple cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
- 6 – 7 carrots, shredded
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 – 2 T. curry
- 2 t. salt (I use coarse Celtic)
Mix all of the vegetables together, and then mix in the curry. Pack the mixture into glass jars. Add filtered water until the combined vegetable juices (if any) and water just cover the vegetables; add sea salt to the top. Make sure that all of the vegetables are covered with liquid. When there isn’t enough liquid, the vegetables on top will get moldy instead of fermenting. Leave about an inch between the top of the liquid and the jar to allow room for the juices to expand.
Cover with a tight lid or a cheesecloth and rubber band/ canning jar ring – the second option allows the gasses that build up to be released so you don’t find liquid leaking out all over your counter the next morning. Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions says that because lacto fermentation is an anaerobic process, once the fermentation has started the presence of oxygen will ruin the final product, but I’ve tried it both ways (with tightly fitting lids and with cheesecloth) and haven’t found that to be the case. Leave it on your counter to ferment for a few days or as long as it takes until the vegetables are all soft. If the cabbage kind of squeaks in your teeth when you eat it, it needs to ferment more.
There are a couple of things to be aware of in the summer. The first is that because of the heat, the liquid will evaporate more quickly from the jar, so if you don’t use a tightly fitting lid you need to check it daily to be sure that the vegetables are still covered. The other thing is that things ferment much more rapidly in the heat. The faster something ferments, the stronger the flavor will be. Cabbage needs to ferment longer than some vegetables; I like to let it ferment for 4 – 5 days on the counter, and then transfer it to the fridge to continue the fermenting. Since it continues fermenting in the fridge, but more slowly, it has a more mellow flavor. If you ferment it at room temperature in hot weather, the flavor will be stronger.
You don’t have to use a mixture of green and purple cabbage, but I think it looks pretty so that’s why I did it. It has a nice medium purplish color when it’s done. This is meant to be eaten as a relish or condiment to your meals; I enjoy it in small amounts but find the flavor gets to be too much if I have a large serving.