Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sauerkraut & Kimchi Workshop

We are back into full swing of our workshop schedule with classes taking place most Saturdays until June.  Today's session was on lactic acid fermentation, specifically making sauerkraut and kimchi.  This workshop would be good to offer in late summer just in time to preserve/ferment all the bounty coming out of backyard gardens, local farms and CSA's.  However, in late winter we are also glad to revive our cabbage and root vegetable flavours by fermenting them, while biding our time for the fresh garden veggies that are still a few months to come.  We used organic local produce, including carrots from our favourite CSA (Fertile Ground) that we have stored since the fall buried in a large container of damp sand.  They are still perfectly crisp and juicy!

What is lactic acid fermentation?  Live cultured, probiotic, unpasteurized vegetable and fruit ferments that are health promoting foods packed with beneficial bacteria and enzymes.  The lactic acid creates the sour flavour and preserves the food, preventing spoilage. 

A few key tips:
~ shred -- salt -- submerge
~ use only good quality sea salt, filtered chlorine-free water, whey (from live cultured yogurt)
~ use top quality organic produce
~ keep fermented veggies submerged under brine 
~ salt water brine is made of 2-4 Tbsp sea salt per 1 litre water
~ season and salt to your taste - add spices, herbs, garlic, ginger, green onion, cayenne, chili, etc
~ keep ferments around 18C (65 F) during fermentation
~ check ferments often to taste for flavour and watch for mold, etc
~ when ferments are ready (at desired flavour) store in cold cellar or refrigerator
~ use ceramic crock or glass mason/gallon jars for fermentation
~ eat and enjoy your ferments often!

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