Fermentation

    A FERMENTATION WORKSHOP WITH DELPHINE REMY

    A FERMENTATION WORKSHOP WITH DELPHINE REMY 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

    Before we get started on this fermentation workshop, let’s quickly go over the basics.

    What is fermentation? Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria or yeast. Today we are specifically going over Lactofermentation — which is type of fermentation. Lactofermentation is the process of using beneficial bacteria, and probiotics to break down and convert sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and preserves the vitamins and enzyme levels originally found in the food being fermented. Today we are going to use this process to turn cabbage into Sauerkraut.

    Sauerkraut? Yes. Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is the German word for “sour cabbage”.

    What’s so great about Sauerkraut? Homemade Sauerkraut is of the easiest and cost effective ways to add Probiotics to your diet. During the homemade fermentation process of Sauerkraut, billions of beneficial bacteria are produced and preserved for you to enjoy at a later time. This is not an exaggeration. Sauerkraut typically takes a week to ferment and can be stored in your fridge for up to a month. Take advantage of the long shelf live of fresh fermented Sauerkraut  and add it to a simple soup or sandwich recipe or with a braised pork for dinner.

    Let’s talk bacteria. Lactobacillus is a good bacteria that can be found in our digestive system and can also be found in fermented foods such as Sauerkraut. There are two major properties found in Lactobacillus that make them perfect for fermentation:

    1. Lactobacillus not only survives in oxygen-free environments, but thrives!
    2. Lactobacillus is salt friendly

    Many other types of bacteria not compatible with salt or a lack of oxygen and the lactic acid produced in fermentation process allows the good bacteria to flourish while preventing bad bacteria from growing in an oxygen-free environment.

    FermentationThe Check-List

    Sauerkraut is a budget friendly fermented food you can prepare at home. While there are several ways to prepare it, I will share a simple how-to for now.

    • Mason Jar
    • Fermentation Weights (or another fruit, such an apple or the core of the cabbage)
    • Silicone Fermentation Lids

    First things first, you’ll need a mason jar(s) or simple glass jar with sealable lid. You are welcome to use a quart-size mason jar if you would like to make more at once. Weights keep the cabbage under the water level of the brine which maintains the ideal fermentation environment. As an alternative, you can use a small glass jar filled with rocks or an apple or the core of the cabbage. You also want to make sure the lid for your glass jar is airtight. I recommend silicone fermentation lids. These can be found online or at local specialty markets.  

     

    Tips for Great Sauerkraut

    Use fresh cabbage. The fresher, the better. Any color cabbage will work, but the fresher it is, the more crisp the finished Sauerkraut will be.

    Clean it once, clean it twice. Since the process relies on a certain type of bacteria, it is important to remove as much unwanted bacteria as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly, rinse the mason jar with warm, soapy water and rinse the cabbage before getting started.

    Keep the air out. The beneficial bacteria(s) need an anaerobic environment to ferment correctly. Sauerkraut yields the best results when using tools such as fermentation weights and silicone fermentation lids. This measure is very important otherwise fermentation can be unsafe.

    Easy on the salt. This recipe requires the use of salt. It’s necessary for taste and safety. I recommend using 1 tablespoon per quart of Sauerkraut.

    Keep the temperature moderate. Sauerkraut is best when fermented at around 64-67 degrees, though the 60-70 degree range works as well. If it gets cooler than that, fermentation tends to take longer. Temperatures higher than 67, can cause the fermentation process to accelerate yielding a mushy finished product. Cabbage is often freshest in cooler months where it can ferment at a comfortable room temperature.  

    Don’t forget to refrigerate.  Once you’ve achieved the desired level of fermentation, it is important to move it to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. Sauerkraut can keep up to 6 months! if kept cold and below the brine.

    Ready to make homemade Sauerkraut ? Click here to view my homemade “Sauerkraut “ recipe.

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