Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Adventures in Fermentation

I am learning a lot from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook!  I have a list of recipes about 2 pages long that I want to try.  This morning early, I made creme fraiche.  I wanted to try it since it is so easy.  But I also wanted the whey which is a by-product of the recipe to make sauerkraut.  Whey is used extensively in the NT book. 

According to Jenny at The Nourished Kitchen Blog, "Fermented and cultured foods are rich in probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals." We all need more of these!  Besides, I love sauerkraut.

I took photos as I made my creme fraiche.  It is still sitting over the strainer, tied up in cheesecloth, releasing the last of it's whey goodness.  I'll post about the finished product in a few days.

The sauerkraut process was fun!  The photos that follow show the process and the results, so far.  It has to ferment for a while...*Ü*  You can find a recipe in the NT cookbook or on The Nourished Kitchen Blog.

First, I cut 1 medium cabbage in thin shreds.  If you don't have your grandmother's cabbage shredder, a knife is best.  The food processor may cause too much juice to be extracted from the cabbage.

Then, add 1 tbsp. of sea salt, 1 tbsp. caraway seed, 4 tbsp. of whey (from my batch of creme fraiche).

Next you pound it!  And I mean pound, for 10 minutes, with a wooden "pounder" (who knew there was such a thing?) or meat mallet.  As you can see, the juices begin to release from the cabbage and it is about half the volume of the before pounding photo.

This is the sauerkraut packed in a glass quart jar, ready to sit and ferment on the counter for 3 days.  After that it goes into the refrigerator for cold storage.  It is edible after 3 days, but improves with more time.  I'll taste it tomorrow, then give it a couple of weeks to ferment into something really delicious!

Cheers!  Chris

Edited to add:  I tasted the sauerkraut today (after 3 days on the counter) and it was delicious!  I put it in the fridge and will leave it another week or so.  Then it's pork & sauerkraut for dinner!


  1. This is putting me to mind of kim chee (sp?)! It is fermented cabbage also, I believe. Have you ever eaten it, and if so, does it taste similar to yours? This is interesting, and I am so glad you liked it! Sounds like you will have some delicious pork and Sauerkraut coming up!

  2. Hi there Julie! I have eaten (and like)kimchee. It is similar, although what I had was spicy and this sauerkraut is not.

    I'm glad I'm glad to hear this isn't completely boring...

  3. Hi Chris, love your profile. I could use some refining myself! Enjoyed looking through your blog. Can't wait to meet you in October!

  4. Chris, I think you and I are about at the same stage of discovery with "Nourishing Traditions", I just recently got a copy of it.

    I made a herbed yogurt cheese just the other day (specifically so I could catch the whey!) Two heads of cabbage are in the fridge waiting to be made into sauerkraut. Oh, and thank you for the reminder about adding caraway seeds ~ love that flavor! I'll definitely add some to one of the batches.

    You have a wonderful blog, keep up the good work! I'm happy to have signed up as one of your most recent followers. :0) ~m


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