Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Adventures in Garlic Kraut, Part 2

Last time I wrote about how ridiculously easy it is to make lacto-fermented garlic kraut. Go on and check it out. I'll wait...
   Does your kitchen smell like stinky shoes yet? If you answer, 'Yes!' then your garlic kraut is probably ready! WOO! So how did it go?
Separation starting
Day you're likely to see little to no change. Day two my garlic kraut started to rise from the bottom and needed to be 'burped.' Burping is pretty much just doing what you did the the cabbage, salt, and garlic in the first place: take a long-handled plastic or wooden spoon and pound it back down to the bottom. Every time your cabbage starts to separate or rise up again this step will need repeating, just to keep the cabbage covered by the water solution. This keeps bad bacteria from growing, but allows the lactobacillus to flourish and properly ferment. All good stuff. When lacto-fermenting in cooler weather you will find it's pretty low maintenance. I only NEEDED to burp mine once in the last fourteen days. In warmer weather it will need more attention, and maybe even need to be 'burped' every or every other day. Starting with day 10, you can give your kraut a daily nibble to see if it's to your desired taste. In warmer weather, it may be perfectly done. In cooler weather it may take a full 14 days or more. 
   When it's done, you can eat it raw or warmed. Raw is best because that's when the lactobacillus is most potent, but for some the garlic may have too much of a bite remaining to go raw. Our first meal with it was delicious reubens on homemade rye with homemade Thousand Island Dressing. The garlic in the kraut added an incredible flavor to them. So. Yum. Garlic kraut can also be eaten in half-cup servings as a daily supplement to get those healthy bacteria into the guts. Because a happy gut is a healthy, happy body. (cheesy, I know.)


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