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Probiotic Vegetable Culture Directions
These simple directions are typical of what can be found on the internet and in many good books about cultured veggies.
When using 'wild fermentation' the directions will call for large amounts of salt to be added to the vegetable mixture to limit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and enhance the growth of the probiotic lactic bacteria. The use of our Probiotic Vegetable and Dairy Culture reduces the amount of salt required, as this culture is what is known as a protective culture, which inhibits unwanted bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
- Sealable glass container/s or crock.
- Large bowl
- Cutting board and sharp knife
- Blender and/or food processor
- Mixture of veggies: cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, etc.
- Fresh herbs, garlic, ginger, seeds like fennel or caraway, pepper, etc. (optional)
- Kimchi paste (optional)
- Required dose of Probiotic Vegetable Culture.
- Non-iodised salt, i.e. preserving salt or cooking salt
- Filtered or bottled non-chlorinated water
How Much Culture Should I Use:
Since the sachet holds enough culture for 100 litres of yoghurt, or 100 kg of vegetables, you only need a very small amount. Place all of the culture in one of the two sterile jars we supply, then estimate 1/10th of the contents and place into the second jar. This becomes your "working supply". Label both jars and store in the freezer. Your "working supply," being approximately 1/10th of the original supply of culture, will make approximately 10 x 1 litre batches of yoghurt, or 10 kg of veggies.
Estimation is acceptable, too much can’t hurt and too little will just slow the process.
- Wash well and chop finely or shred/process a mixture of vegetables of your choice.
- Mix together in a large bowl with one to one and a half teaspoons of salt per kilo of vegetables. If using herbs, spices and/or kimchi paste,mix in now.
- Mix the Starter Culture into half a cup of filtered or bottled water and let sit for a few minutes.
- Pack the vegetables into your sterilised glass container(s), leaving an inch or two at the top, or into a sterilised crock, leaving room for the stones.
Fermentation Crock; If using a crock, add the ‘culture water’ to the veggies and top up with filtered or bottled water. Ensure the stones are well covered, close and fill the ‘moat’ with water or olive oil.
I have found it best to cover the stones with about 50 mm of water. If any pieces of vegetable escape from under the stone, and grow a litle bit of 'fuzz' on them they can then be easily scooped out, prior to harvesting your vegies.
Glass Jars; If using jars, share the ‘culture water’ evenly between the jars, then top up with filtered or bottled water to make sure there is enough liquid to reach the top of the vegetables when they are pressed down. Then stuff a couple of rolled-up cabbage leaves at the top of the container and seal the container.
The jar will need to be opened every day or so to allow the gas build up to escape. Fermentation crocks do this automatically.
The only drawback to this system is that opening the jars every few days may allow yeast to get into the jar and contaminate your cultured vegetables
- Check the taste after a few days, by which time they should start tasting vinegary.
- When they reach the desired flavour, refrigerate to slow the fermentation process. Your fermented vegetables should now be at a pH of 4.4 or lower. Use pH test paper to test if unsure.
- Eat as a side dish with your meals, in salads, sandwiches or wraps, or as a topping to other foods. The cultured vegetables should be eaten raw, to preserve the beneficial enzymes and bacteria.
Why You Should Be Eating Cultured Vegetables.
Fermentation is a culinary technique prized by humans for thousands of years. During the process of lactic fermentation, lactic acid already present in a given food is utilized to predigest the food into a simpler substance. This process involves creating an environment that is hospitable to beneficial bacteria, yet inhospitable to harmful microorganisms. The food to be fermented is prepared; placed in a jar, a crock, or another suitable container; and sits virtually undisturbed for hours, days, weeks, even months while the lactic acid does it's work. The result is a tangy delicacy with distinct flavour. Two well-known fermented vegetable dishes are Korean kimchi and German sauerkraut.