Today Danielle at @edithandherbert taught me the ancient art of preserving food, or fermentation. It was so much easier than I expected. Just two ingredients- salt and a vegetable (add spices if you like).
We both did cabbage today. In a few simple steps we put it in the jar and now we wait 10 days for the magic to happen.
Danielle has been doing this process for years and I was so happy to learn from all her experience. The key to fermentation is covering all vegetables in the brine, or salt water.
When reading about fermentation I was surprised to learn that this is the way people ate vegetables for the better part of human history. Refrigeration is a fairly new invention in the span of human history. So there is something very primal and grounding in taking on this fermentation project, especially now.
You start it and then kind of let nature do it’s work. It’s a great lesson in patience.
Danielle also shared that many cultures that eat meat pair it with fermented vegetables to aid in the digestion and breakdown of meat. It is something the US should adapt more for these health benefits.
Fermented products also contain amazing probiotics for your gut and a healthy gut is the key to life. So I feel this is the first of my many fermented products. .
If all goes well, I’d love to learn how to ferment and pickle other vegetables with Danielle who has all these jars of fermented foods in her home.
Thank you Danielle for this amazing lesson today! @edithandherbert .
Beginners Guide to Fermentation
- ½ cabbage
- 1-2 Tbsp. fine salt
- spices if desires (caraway seed, Korean spice, etc.)
- mason jar
- coffee filter or cheese cloth
- large bowl
Before beginning, make sure everything is super clean, including your hands. This prevents bacteria or mold from growing.
Slice cabbage very thinly, then place in a large bowl. Sprinkle on salt and massage cabbage thoroughly for 10 minutes. A lot of water will be released from the cabbage creating a natural brine (salt water) to preserve it. After 10 minutes of massaging, add spices if using. Mix in well.
Then, place massaged cabbage in jar and smash down as much as you can. You want all cabbage pieces submerged in the water, Place a weight on top if you need to (I used a shot glass).
Then, cover jar with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and screw on the lid tight.
Keep in a cool, dark spot for 7-10 days. Every couple days, make sure to check and see that all cabbage is submerged. If not, push down cabbage into the liquid and put weight on it. Bubbles will form- that’s the fermentation happening!
After 7-10 days, taste and use immediately or keep in fridge for a couple weeks at most. Enjoy.