Just looks like one of my regular ol’ ETL salads, ha? Very close 😉
Okay, so here is a quickie on how I made 2 small batches yesterday. Yes, lots of pics; I take several because I figure at least ONE will come out decent. then when a few of the same come out nice, I just can’t decide I just love fresh, whole foods. They’re more beautiful and gorgeously colored than any cooked junk standard food.
So you’ll have to suffer through them
Get all yer stuff togetha:
You need to sterilize ALL instruments which will be coming in contact with your goods 🙂 You don’t want it to get contaminated. So, here is a pic of some of the stuff I would put into boiling water — just as if I were canning:
As you see, you will need to boil some and just dip some others, such as a food processor bowl, if you are using one, as it is not a plastic that you’d want to boil :D. Just dip it in the hot water or pour the water over it in the sink. As well, any of these things can be put into a large bowl, for example and boiling water dumped over them. Retrieve them with a towel or pot holder! Ouchy, it’s hot stuff 😉 .
Those cooking tongs are really great for lifting the items from the pot. I used them when I did a lot of canning in the past. Any kind of tongs should do it. Be sure to still have a towel in hand in case it slips. Or if you have the newer tongs, covered in heat-resistant silicone or other type of rubbery material to hold steadfast, those are great for this as well.
And, of course any appliance blades and your knife. And cutting board! I forgot to add those to the pic. How silly
So, just some extra spoons — a large one for mixing, or some salad forks are good — maybe a regular fork, and a spatula will probably be useful. Just prepare :). First time is always the learning period anyway.
If you do boil, just remove items from the pot with tongs and place on a clean towel or paper towels to cool and dry. If you have a nice big pot with an insert, that’s even easier, or just your largest pot will do. You can get the water boiling first thing, then while it’s coming to a boil, you can do all the prep work to utilize time :).
Other stuff you need — a good-sized bowl to put your shredded vegetables to mix thoroughly, or a few (yes, pour hot water over them too) if you don’t have a very large one. You may like a blender, if you wish, for the liquidizing of the portion of the mixture; or you can do it with your processor, really. You don’t even have to get it completely smooth. You do want to make it watery though, since that’s the point :). Or, you can always pound away like the old days
So after that sterilizing, hands nice and clean too, get your ingredients together:
You want to use some whole leaves to cover; I choose the outer, less fresh leaves of cabbages for this job –no waste! These act as a nice barrier to air and take the punch from any bacteria while keeping your veggies safe and submerged under the liquid. You will remove these and discard (or compost). When these look a bit ‘rotten’ that’s okay, that’s their job :). It’s the prize underneath the liquid you want.
I decided on 1/4 C fresh then frozen cranberries (no fresh available yet; fresh would be optimal) and a 1/4 of a Persimmon:
Since this was a small batch, only 1/4 of a large Purple cabbage; some garlic:
Get your spices together too:
The pretty orange chunks are tumeric, from a fresh rhizome I had a few months ago. I froze, juiced, and kept whole some, and decided it would be great to have some freshly preserved, dry. Great color!
I just chopped it and dried:
Tumeric is potent but moreso when dried fresh! It’s strong fresh, too, but –how to describe? Mm, I guess strong flavor, but mild ?? Ha! Anyway, a word of caution — you will be sorry if you do not take care to avoid getting this stuff all over the place: It is not used as a dye for no reason 🙂 It will stain your skin for a few days…maybe play it off by pretending you’re doing some henna 😉 Your dishes will stain too, so just clean up quickly. If you wash your hands right away, you will probably be okay handling fresh tumeric; however, if you wish, some gloves may be in order. ( I do, so go off topic, don’t I? And realize, I actually know this, and restrain myself..or you’d never get outta here! )
This is why it’s important to wash yer veggies 😉
You don’t want that nice chunk o’ dirt in yer kimchi, do you? Haha
Prep 🙂 :
Here is how I always prepare my napa, even for my salads: Because the the larger, outer leaves always have too-big stalks, I cut them out. They are also very fibrous and stringy. You will see the strings wrap around your processor’s blades, if you decide to use them. They aren’t pleasant to eat, unless you like stringy-get-stuck-in-your-teeth-have-a-helluva-time-flossing foods 😀 I just trim the largest ones (far right you can see the stalks I cut); as you see, the rest of the more juicy, tasty stems are part of the goodness of the napa, so I leave those in; then I cut off and discard the bottom:
Combine all the veggies and add your fruit, if using (or if you don’t want to blend your fruit, add it after you remove the portion of mixture to be blended – in next step):
Portion out some of your mixture and place in blender, processor or whatever …
Let ‘er rip!
Pour into mixture…
Spoon into jug, and PACK DOWN as you add each layer. Then cover well with the reserved outer leaves:
Don’t forget to date it:
Just beautiful. Won’t these make great gifts for the holidays?
Okay, next one I made:
Cultured Vegetables with Papaya
Again, get your stuff together:
I wanted a green papaya to make an atchara-style culture; however, it’s eluding me at the moment 🙂 So the ripe one will do (I slice and freeze the rest and use for my Green Juicie Green Smoothies). The seeds of papaya are used in various ways in different cuisines. They can be used fresh or dried. They are not, as far as I know, eaten like, say, sunflower seeds, out-of-hand; but more as a condiment, flavoring, or “cleanse”; some people put them in green smoothies or fruit smoothies. I like them dried and use like peppercorns. They have a peppery taste, so perfect for that. I allowed a few into this batch; but scooped out the majority of it. They can be frozen for later, or, as I mentioned dried.
Spice Mixture too:
I thought I’d put this pic of processed cabbage just to show you how much you get. Now, that’s one whole head of napa! Cabbages have such a high water content, you need more than you think; so keep that in mind when buying your vegetables and determining how much you wish to make!
Mmmm, Ginger! I decided on some orange rind. I had meant to put it in the cranberry kimchi, since orange and cranberry is a classic combo…Anyway, the slice of orange peel was *very* fragrant. What a great addition…
I used other veggies I didn’t take pics, like cauliflower, other greens, for example — couldn’t do EVERYthing 😉
Mix everything together:
Add your blended mixture:
Spoon into sterilized jug:
Pack down. You’ll be surprised how much juice you will continue to release as you pack down. Try not to add water; though you can add a small amount to the blended mixture if you wish. Just know you don’t need that much. The veggies have more than enough. You just have to blend some of it and pack it down to release it. And since we don’t use salt, which releases the juices from fruits and vegetables, it’s important to get that juicing started before storing.
I chose to layer the fruit pieces:
Now, if you have extra, you can eat that right away. It’s yummy and will keep in the fridge several days, so you can add to your salads, slaws, soups or smoothies :D. Just be sure to pick out any whole chunks of herbs! You don’t want to bite into a slice of garlic … or maybe you do, Halloween is here, afterall .
And don’t forget the awesome cultured “liquor” — its delicious on it’s own (in between meals as a probiotic or before/after meals) or as a great vinegar. You can add it to soups to “pop” the flavor just so, the way a splash of vinegar or lemon does. Makes a fantastic hot and sour soup ;).
I use it in place of vinegar every where! I cannot handle vinegar any longer — it’s WAY harsh and acidic, with little to no benefit, having been pasteurized and or cooked to death. Only vinegar I’d use nowadays — if I had to — would be raw, apple cider; and I do choose the fabulous raw coconut vinegars, I’ve mentioned before in my Suggestions for Digestion Post. The coconut especially has more to offer than any regular ol’ vinegar. The addition of fruit results in your own, homemade fruit vinegar!
Try adding some dried fruit :). You’ll see. You can even drain the juice into a separate jar, add the fruit and let it ferment for a more intense version.
Oh, and if you’re worried about fruit sugar, don’t; it’s ‘eaten up’ in the fermenting process — basically, no sugar left in the finished product. Plus, not much is (should be) used anyway. (I also have a draft from months ago about some other fermenting I did earlier this year. Sigh…I need to get that up too, darnit!)
The cultured veggies are not harsh and have a mildness to them, but pack a punch of flavor! And with all the benefits of cultured foods… 🙂 My home-prepared cultured vegetables don’t hurt my teeth at all when I eat it straight, while vinegar has been off limits to me for about 5 years now because my teeth will hurt for a few days after getting it on my teeth. I have no problem with anything acidic if I drink it through a straw, like my Green Juicie Green smoothies, because it bypasses my teeth.
You will also notice a wide variety of textures within the individual batches and also between them. Some are melt-in-your-mouth and others with varying degrees of crunch ‘n’ munch. I’m sure this contributes to its enjoyment. Some have a “cooked” texture, yet it’s live food! And it retains all its benefits and more, having fermented. A carnival of flavors in your mouth 🙂
An *important* note — If you fill the jug too high with the veggies as in this photo…
(The liquid is way too high.
…before you add the pieces of leaves to cover, you may have overflow! Believe me, you do not want your entire house — wait, make that the entire neighborhood — to smell of your kimchi…delicious as it is 😀 It will expand during fermentation and it will leak out and drip. SO, be safe and do it like so:
So that the prepared veg mixture is below the liquid and the leaves are on top of that. They are there to protect your precious cultured veggie delight :D.
Here is an example of one ready-to-eat jug that came out better than *perfect*
There was no bacteria even on those top exposed leaves. Amazing! It’s normal, however, to have the top leaves really spent and somewhat “rotten” for lack of a better word. This is one that was sitting out about 1 1/2 weeks. It could have gone longer but I ran out and needed it lol.
I’ve seen recipes calling for 3-5-7 days; others for weeks on end. Then I’ve read storage for months (out of refrigeration). I would not hesitate to keep it out for months, as long as it’s fresh. Eventually, you will see if it’s not. It could be, however, that the storage for months are cultured krauts that have salt, which acts as a preservative, like the old days. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll prepare one and let it go for a few months. I have gone over one month, but caved ’cause I needed me some cultured veggies!
Aaaaany way 🙂 Try 3 or 4 days and see how you like it. Then try longer, etc. The longer it sits the better, for most. Again, it will continue to culture in the fridge, just at a much slower pace.
I’ll take a shot of one that’s not ready for its closeup next time but perfectly fine to eat 😉
These *perfect* ones are great, though
Please remember that if there is anything “off” smelling, looking, then, “when in doubt, throw it out”! There should be no slime or any bacteria on the submerged foods — none! Don’t eat any of the top spent leaves, if you do have them. Just common sense stuff, okay?
Okay, now, this is equally important for this dripping issue — here is a suggestion for your first few times or if you’re just not sure: Juuuuuuuuuuuuust to be safe 😉 Place your jars on a deep plate with some paper towels; or, I use this big container from salad mixes I buy lol. Hey, it works 😉 This will catch any dripping or bubbly wubbly. It happens 😀
Jugs are available all over. The Bormioli-Rocco glassware, their “Fido” line, in my pics are from Sur La Table and only $6 each (I have some of their great pitchers too):
Traditionally, these were made in humongous batches in specialty crocks (at least the Korean Kimchi) with loads of salt for preserving and to keep from contamination; they are fairly expensive unless you seek out a Korean grocery. For now, the glass is probably more reliable and sanitary.
Whew! Okay, any questions? Did I leave anything out? I sorta did this quickie-like, so feel free to comment and or leave me any questions. If anyone has suggestions or makes their own, I’d love to hear your variations 🙂
Remember: You can make your cultured vegetables the traditional way with salt.
*The contents of this entry is for information only. It is the sole responsibility and discretion of individuals who choose to apply it.