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Old 01-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
Greg Battaglia
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Default Fermented Vegetables

Does anyone ferment their veggies? I was thinking of trying it, as the health benefits (improved digestive health, immunity, etc) seem well worth it. I'm a simple guy, however, I just want to use a recipe or method that will be easy to prepare. Any ideas?
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:58 PM   #2
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Just follow this basic recipe, only use shredded cabbage and maybe some garlic & dried herbs the first time, and don't worry about adding any salt or the culture starter. Wash all your containers and utensils in hot water right beforehand.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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Can't get much more simple than that. Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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Greg,
I forgot one thing. I highly suggest you buy a batch of "professionally-made" cultured veggies at a health food store and try them first. That way you'll see how you like them, as well as learn what proper cultured veggies smell and taste like--mainly so you can tell if your batch goes bad. There's a huge difference in smell between bad and good cultured veggies, but without experience one doesn't know.
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Old 01-11-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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I make sauerkraut, same basic recipe as Dr. G. listed above. There's a photo tour of me making it the most recent time on my blog.

Dr. G,
Does botulism concern you at all putting garlic in an anaerobic environment? I haven't mustered the guts to do that yet, though I think it would be delicious.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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Thanks, will do. Scott, I don't know about purposeful fermentation, but I do know that if kept in oil (like olive oil and garlic mixes) for too long garlic will begin to harbor dangerous types and levels of bacteria. I was surprised when I read this, given garlic's antimicrobial properties. I'm not sure how accurate that claim is, but I do vaguely remember reading that somewhere when I was researching a lot about garlic. I'm interested to hear Dr. G's take on this.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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Garrett,
You don't use any salt? How do you make the brine, just add water or blend some cabbage in water? I've only made sauerkraut with salt but I'd like to eliminate that if possible.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Mark,
The only time I add salt to cultured veggies is right before I eat them if at all. My brine is made with a couple handfuls of the veggie mixture, some water, and whatever herbs are going into the mix (including most, if not all, of the onions and garlic).

Salt prevents bacteria from growing. Nearly all bacteria. IMO, making salt-heavy preparations is simply making "wilted aged veggies", as true culturing/fermenting doesn't take place without bacterial activity.

Never noticed any problem with garlic at all. The only time I had a batch go bad was when I made a "sweet" batch trying to get my wife into them, lots of carrots and beets. I also accidentally made them in a jar that had already been used for making kefir. The burning smell in my nose, along with the strange colors, made it TOO obvious they went bad--but only that one jar and not the other one.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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How does apple cider vinegar stand up to fermented veggies? I believe ACV does have some probiotic properties?
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:56 AM   #10
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Greg,
ACV is a cultured food, definitely. Very cultured. Specific types of yeast (typically found on the apple skin) play a prominent role in making ACV, that's why some yeast-sensitive folks can't have much vinegar at all.

Cultured veggies have many more strains of bacteria in them.
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