- Author: Tami Reece
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Tami Reece UCCE Master Food Preserver
I just harvested my cabbage. How do I make sauerkraut? Carol B. Atascadero
Sauerkraut is an easy process to make in your home kitchen. You mix sliced cabbage with an easy to make brine of salt and water and let it ferment for several weeks at room temperature. You will need to use some type of weight to hold the cabbage under the brine. You will know it's fermenting when bubbles begin rising throughout the jar. Fermentation inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and supports the right kind of bacteria producing the acid needed for fermentation (http://fyi.uwex.edu/safepreserving/2013/09/23/safe-preserving-fermented-foods/). Even though fermentation is an easy process, it is important you follow a scientifically tested recipe to make sure the chemistry is right to inhibit the growth of any harmful bacteria.
Many vegetables can be fermented. If you are growing napa cabbage, you can make a delicious kimchi. Cucumbers made into pickles is one of the most common. Another popular fermented product is kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink made with water, sugar, tea and a culture or SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOBYs are best purchased from a reputable source to minimize risk of contaminants such as molds or harmful bacteria which could cause illness (http://farmtotable.colostate.edu/prepare-ferment/kombucha.pdf).
Would you like to learn more about fermentation and how to make sauerkraut and kombucha at home? Have you tried making fermented foods at home and wondered whether certain “scums” and funky smells are foods going bad or just science at work? Register for our upcoming workshop on Saturday, April 22, 2017. It will be held in the UCCE Auditorium adjacent to the parking lot at 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. There will be a $5.00 charge to cover class supplies and you must register at http://ucanr.edu/fermentationas space is limited. If you have any questions regarding the class or general preserving questions, please call the UCCE Master Food Preserver Helpline at (805) 781-1429 and leave a message or email the UCCE Master Food Preservers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authored by: Reece, T.; Ravalin, D., & Soule, K./span>