Pickled Perfection

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Using a crock for making pickled veggis

My advice is to forget the quart jar / whey method. Purchase a 3 gallon crock, old ones are fine as long as they aren't cracked. Slice organic cabbage, fresh of course, put in a mixing bowl, and add 1/4 cup of sea salt per 5 lb. cabbage. Add slices of apple or carrot to season it a bit if you like. Mix well and put into clean crock. Press down with your fist. The salt causes the veggis to weep, drawing out water. Cover with a food grade plastic bag that you've added water to add weight. About 3" of water up the sides of the crock seals it and is about the proper amount of weight. This weighs the cabbage, allowing the extruded liquid to completely cover the vegetable matter. It may take a day or so for the liquid to be sufficient, but it will be. The plastic with water also completely seals the contents from bacteria, fungi, etc., so is superior to any other method of covering and weighing down the sauerkraut. Cover with cotton towel to keep light out, and leave it alone for 3 weeks in a temp. of 65* to 75*. At the end of 3 weeks it will be ready. Remove and gently rinse the kraut, place in jar or vacuum sealed bag to refrigerate or freeze. Now use the brine to make your pickles! Simply add your organic, non waxed cukes, along with dill herb and garlic cloves to the brine in the crock and cover with the water bag for 1 week. Make sure the cukes are completely covered. The brine is still salty and has lots of lactobacillus bacteria and lactic acid, so your fermenting medium is ready to go. Remove your pickles in a week, put into a mason jar, add the brine, and put in fridge.

Dr .J. W. Smith more than 10 years ago

Pickeled Perfection

Dear Christo,

So sorry the green beans didn't turn out. When I make fermented pickled vegetables I usually allow at around 4 weeks for the lactic acid produced by the naturally present bacteria to create the sour, pickled flavor and preservative qualities. The longer time may needed because I'm not using whey, just the natural bacteria on the surface of the veggies. The more dense or crispy the vegetable, the longer fermentation it tends to require.

The primary purpose of the salt is to discourage the growth of unwanted molds and bacteria, allowing the good bacteria to do it's work. After many good and bad batches, I find the most important things to keep in mind are to gently cold rinse but not wash the veggies, the freshest veggies are the least likely to spoil, and always use non-iodized salt.

I hope this helps and you'll try again.

Paullama more than 11 years ago

Pickled (fermented vegetables)

I have been making lactic acid fermented vegetables for a decade, humans have been making them for 100's of thousands of years. The vinegar method is the industrial method that does not have the probiotics essential for human good health. Every culture in human existence has used Lactic acid fermentation except modern US, guess what? We have the highest rates of gout, kidney stones, bone spurs and irritable bowel just to mention a few things.

RECIPE: fill 1 quart jar within 1 " of top with tightly packed vegetables of your choice
add 2 T whey 1 T sea salt on top
top up with filtered water till soggy
secure lid, 3 days kitchen temperature
transfer to root cellar or refrigerator

I just had some crisp dilly beans made February 2011, still perfect. My favorite daily blend is 1/3 Napa cabbage, 1/3 carrots, 1/3 daikon radish.
I have used cucumbers, okra and anything else I can find.

Source: "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. I have given away or sold dozens of copies and people tell me it has changed their lives.

I get my whey from the top of plain kefir, if you don't want to make it you can buy Bubbies sauerkraut & pickles at the health food store. It will say "lactic acid fermentation" on the label.

Keith Roberts more than 11 years ago

Pickled perfection

I tried this recipe with green beans, hot pepper flakes and garlic. After 1 week, they didn't taste like pickled veggies at all. They tasted like heavily salted green beans. Shouldn't there have been some vinegar involved? These were pretty much uneatable! And shouldn't there be some more processing involved with canning vegetables, like a hot water canning process? I think people could actually get sick thinking these are fine for long term storage. Yech!

Christo more than 11 years ago

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