Fermented White Cabbage with Apple, Carrot and a Hint of Ginger

Fermentation of vegetables is an old Swedish tradition that has almost been forgotten until recently. But since a few years back you can see it in every health magazine or read it on every raw food lover’s lips. Well, I believe this ‘new’ old tradition is here to stay and let me explain why. First of all you need to understand exactly how good fermented vegetables are. Good in double meaning. They are incredible tasty but also very good for your body. All fermented food has many health benefits and here I am not talking about the process you use to produce alcohol. In the process of fermentation, microorganisms ( bacteria in this case ) that are beneficial for your health are developed. This is the same process that you find in fermented dairy products like yoghurt. And it is no secret yoghurt is good for you, right?

Secondly I believe the tradition of fermentation is here to stay because the culture of cooking that simply has exploded in our country. Everyone likes to cook nowadays ( perhaps not everyone but you get my point), the television is full of cooking shows every time you turn it on and thousands of food blogs has popped up out of the blue. I know I am one of them and I confess, I am a real food nerd! And that’s why the old tradition of fermentation has appealed to me. The thought of passing on an old tradition to following generations and the thought of producing of my own good bacteria ( my own pharmacy ) was irresistible to me.

When I started the fermentation I was out for a big surprise. It was not at all complicated like I had imagined that it would be. I figured the tradition was forgotten for a reason and that reason was called, complicated. Some specific conditions for the fermentation are needed. These are: a curtain amount of salt, a curtain temperature and an oxygen free environment. It is as simple as that!

If I have made you curious enough to try on your own I would suggest that you start with the following recipe. It is a comfortable recipe with a straightforward procedure. Just follow the steps in the guide below.

1. You need 1 kg white cabbage, 1 big carrot, 1 apple, 2 cm fresh ginger and 1 tbsp salt. You also need a glass jar that accommodates 2 litres.

2. Start by cutting or shredding the white cabbage. Place it in a bowl and knead it with your hands together with the salt until it starts to break down and release liquid.

3. Now add carrot ( grated ),apple ( cut in pieces ) and ginger ( grated). Mix it together with the cabbage.

4. Press down all the vegetables in a clean glass jar using your hands. Don’t forget to add all liquid that has appeared while kneading. Press it hard until the liquid covers the vegetables. If there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables add fresh cold water until they are covered. Fill it to 4/5 or leave approximately 2 cm for air. I always place a potato on top to keep the vegetables under the liquid and then I remove it after a couple of days. When you close the lid it must be completely closed so that no air enters. The type of jar that you see in the picture above has a ring, made of rubber, on the lid . This ring makes sure no air enters.

5. Place it in a dark spot for 3-6 days in 18-22ºC / 64-71ºF. A good spot could be above your refrigerator. After a couple of days you will see bubbles in the jar and that means the process has started. Sometimes there is a leakage of liquid and that is normal. This could happen if you add a potato. It means you have filled the jar too much. If you want to you can open the lid and smell it and try it. It is supposed to be a little acid. After 3-6 days you move the jar into the refrigerator and leave it there for 2-3 weeks until it is ready to eat.
6. When it is finally done you continue to store the jar in the refrigerator. Stored there it will keep forever. The longer you leave it the more acid it gets. Enjoy it on the side of all your meals, in a salads or in wraps. But remember not to heat it, you will then kill all the healthy bacteria.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s