MINNEAPOLIS - Summer is coming to an end, and that means there will be a shift in seasonal produce.
Not ready to give up your favorite summer veggies? Making your own sauerkraut or kimchi is an easy and affordable way to preserve the summer harvest; plus, this method of preserving gives us the probiotics and “good bacteria” that are great for a healthy gut.
Abby Rogosheske, Education and Outreach Coordinator of Seward Co-op, shares some simple recipes for everyone to try at home!
*Courtesy of National Co-op Grocers: http://strongertogether.coop/recipes/beginners-kraut
4 pounds green cabbage
2 large carrots
2 tablespoons sea salt (not iodized)
Kraut juice from another batch of live fermented kraut, optional
Ceramic crock or cylindrical food grade plastic or glass container
Plate or non-reactive pan that can fit inside the above and reach the edges
You'll need a ceramic crock or a food-grade plastic or glass container that can hold two gallons (a cylindrical shape works best). The kraut will shrink as it ferments.
Using a sharp knife, a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, or a vegetable slicer, thinly slice the cabbage. As you slice, transfer the cabbage to a large bowl, sprinkling salt on each addition. Shred the carrots, and add them, sprinkling with the salt. Using clean hands, knead and squeeze the cabbage and carrots to mix them and break them down as much as possible. Take handfuls and pack them in the crock, pressing down with your fists or the bottom of a clean bottle. Pack all the cabbage and carrots in the crock.
Once the shredded veggies are packed in it, press them down and cover them with a plate or round non-reactive pan that can fit inside the crock or container, but which covers the contents and reaches to the edges of the container. On top of the plate you will need to place a weight, like a gallon jug, or a large bowl filled with cans of food. Then, place a cloth or towel over the crock or container opening.
Place the crock in an out-of-the-way place. If the area is warm, the kraut will ferment more quickly; if it's cooler, the process will take longer. Check on the kraut and press the plate down every few hours, until the cabbage has given off enough liquid to submerge the vegetables. If there is not enough liquid to completely cover the cabbage and carrots within 24 hours, mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of water and pour it over the vegetables, repeating until they are covered.
Leave the weight and the cloth on, and check on the fermentation every couple of days. If you see any surface mold, simply scrape it off with a spoon and discard. As long as the vegetables are under the brine, they are fine. Start tasting in about one week. When it reaches your preferred level of tanginess, pack in jars and refrigerate. It will last for a few months.
1 head napa cabbage, cored and shredded (makes about 8 cups)
6 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 daikon radish, grated
10 red radishes, grated
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp sea salt
3 Tbsp chilli flakes or 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
Prep all vegetables as directed in ingredients and place in large bowl with plenty of space for mixing. Add salt and chili flakes.
Massage cabbage mix for about 10 minutes and then set aside. While resting, the salt will help the veggies to "sweat," releasing some of their water.
Return to massage for another 10 minutes, until cabbage and other veggies are softened and a few tablespoons worth of water has been released.
Divide the mix between two 1-gallon mason jars.
Press kimchi mix down with some force, until some of the liquid come to the top.
Use a weight—a small plate or even a plastic bag filled with water—to keep the vegetables below the surface of the water. Cover loosely with a towel to keep dust and bugs out of the jar. Let sit for 4-5 days. If foam starts to form, you can skim that off. After about 4 days, taste the kimchi (with a clean fork, never double dip) and decide if you want to let it ferment longer or you're ready to enjoy it.
Once ready, seal the jar and store in your fridge. Will keep for 2-3 months sealed.
1 quart water
1-3 Tbsp. sea salt
2-3 pounds carrots, cut into sticks
Dissolve salt in water.
Place the carrot sticks in the jar and pour the liquid over the carrots, leaving 1-2 inches head space.
If necessary, weigh the carrots down under the brine to keep them submerged.
Cover the jar loosely with a towel or coffee filter and a rubber band.
Let the carrots ferment at room temperature until desired flavor and texture are achieved. Approximately 4-7 days.
Once the carrots are finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop as the carrots age.
EASY QUICK-PICKLED BEETS
*Courtesy of National Co-op Grocers: http://strongertogether.coop/recipes/easy-quick-pickled-beets
Most canning recipes make huge amounts. This one is engineered to help you crank out a smaller batch, in case you aren't feeding an army. The sweetness of beets lends itself to a great pickle. Once you've enjoyed your beets, try using the leftover brine in potato salad or vinaigrette, for a lovely boost of color.
1 pound beets, 2 1/2 inch diameter
1 small white onion, slivered
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 1-quart canning jars with lids
1 teaspoon each whole cloves, whole allspice, a couple of bay leaves, optional
Scrub the beets and place in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil the beets until they are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes. Drain, and run cold water over each beet, slipping the skins off and paring off the tops and root tips. Let the beets stand until cool enough to slice. Thinly slice beets, then pack into the two 1-quart canning jars, alternating with sliced onions.
In a 1-quart non-reactive pot, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water. Add optional spices, if desired. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour the liquid over the beets in the jars. Screw the lids on the jars tightly, then refrigerate for 4-7 days before serving.