Yes, that’s right. This recipe won the award for best tasting cultured (fermented) veggies at the AgFest 2011 here on Maui. I like to call them Cultured Superfoods!
10 cups cabbage – 3 small heads chopped or grated(save outer leaves for canopy)
5 cups red cabbage – 1 head chopped or grated (save outer leaves for canopy)
6 jalapenos – cut open and clean out seeds, then chop fine
2 onions – chopped fine
3 carrots – finely grated
1 bunch kale – finely chopped
2 tbsp sea vegetables – blended to make a powder (or use dulce or kelp)
1/4 cup sugar or local honey
1/4 to 1/3 cup sea salt for veggies
1/8 cup sea salt for salty brine to top
1/2 to 3/4 cup sprint or filtered water for brine
Use a Cuizinart or food processor to chop/grate all ingredients, except sugar, honey and salt.
Mix all ingredients together (except salt water mixture for brine) in a glass bowl or pickling crock. Cover with large leaves of cabbage to create a canopy cover to protect the foods being pickled.
Place a plate on the top of the canopy – one large enough to cover as much as the surface of the canopy as possible. Place rock on top of the plate to create some pressure on top of the vegetable mix and canopy. Do not use a rock so heavy that it pushes too much of the liquid juice of the vegetables over the top of the plate. Use a rock that gives medium pressure to the mixture and that forces some liquid juice from the vegetables over the top after a bit of time.
A good way to tell if the pressure is enough is to check on the mixture 8 to 12 hours later to determine how much liquid is being forced up above the plate. Some liquid should come up, but not too much. When this is determined it is a good time to mix the salty brine (last two ingredients above) and pour over the top of the plate. This salty brine will insure that no bacteria or mold will get into the mixture. It is your protection.
Cover bowl of veggies, plate, rocks and all with a clean cloth and place in a dark closet or corner of the room and let sit for a minimum of four days. Seven days is best, and it is fine to let it sit for 10 to 14 days. The vegetables will soften over time, create more probiotic bacteria (friendly flora) and enhance flavors.
You can also use a crock made for fermenting vegetables. The porcelain crocks come with stones for weight and air tight lids. Vegetable starters can also be used to stimulate fermentation process and enhance friendly flora.
Remember, all cultures where people live to be a healthy 100 years old have a naturally fermenting food in their daily diet. Using our precious organic veggies is a great way to make Cultured Superfoods, taking the idea of KimChee and Sauerkraut a lot further. What a great new way to get a variety of superfoods into your daily diet. They will aide in digestion and are the perfect compliment to every meal. You can make them spicy or flavor with many herbs.
Harvest by removing the canopy and discarding it. Keep all the valuable juice. Place fermented veggies in glass jars and refrigerate. They will last for months in the fridge!
Note: Vegetable mixture will certainly take on an interesting aroma. They may foam up a bit and even attract a little mold on the side of the bowl over time. Do not worry unless mold gets into the mixture. Smelly and foamy is a good sign. Experiment and feel free to give me a call or email me with your questions: