Cultured Veggies with Salt
This is something special to know about sauerkraut. You don't actually need a culture to make it. The cabbage combined with salt will make its own good bacteria. These bacteria dominate and crowd out the harmful ones and preserve the food in a safe way. You can make sauerkraut with just salt. You must add salt with this method to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria and to create an environment that is safe.
When you add salt, submerge the vegetables under the water, the good bacteria will dominate and keep out harmful pathogens. The salt pulls water out of the cabbage (through osmosis), and this creates the brine in which the cabbage can ferment and sour without rotting. The salt also has the effect of keeping the cabbage crunchy, by inhibiting organisms and enzymes that soften it. I do believe that using a starter culture has a lot more benefits, including more probiotics, but this is a good method as well and the health benefits are many. You can check out all the pros and cons on this article.
Do Cultured Veggies Need a Starter?
Note: I don't recommend culturing vegetables other than cabbage without a culture. Cabbage has its own special properties that make it safe and easy to culture with just salt and water.
Cultured Vegetables without a Culture
- Remove outer leaves of cabbage.
- Shred cabbage into desired length.
- You can use a food processor or by hand.
- Add salt and toss with cabbage to combine evenly.
- Pack cabbage into a gallon jug with a clamp down lid or an airlock or canning jar.
- Cover with water.
- Leave 2 to 3 inches for kraut to expand.
- Set in a cool place, out of sunlight for 6 to 7 days.
- Check the vegetables every day to make sure they are fully submerged in the water. If they have risen above the water, simply push them down so they are fully covered by the water. If any white spots formed because the veggies rose above the water, do not worry. Remember, this isn’t harmful. Just scoop out the vegetables that have the white spots on them and push the rest back under the water.
- After 6 days place in the refrigerator.
- They will last at least 9 months or longer in your fridge.