A New Taste From an Old Trick; Fermented Foods - Including Sour Kraut Recipe

Fermentation Technology Preserves Food

This what it looks like when you get your kraut all chopped up.
This what it looks like when you get your kraut all chopped up. | Source
Muddle it until the water comes out.
Muddle it until the water comes out. | Source
Pack as much as you can into the jar.
Pack as much as you can into the jar. | Source
When it's packed to within half an inch from the top, it's ready to put a lid on.
When it's packed to within half an inch from the top, it's ready to put a lid on. | Source
It'll last for months in the fridge!
It'll last for months in the fridge! | Source

The History of Fermentation Goes Way Back

Wild yeast fermentation is nature’s way of converting carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination of the two under certain conditions. The chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol.


In other words, it’s the preservation and flavoring of foods using yeast, bacteria or both to achieve long-lasting palatability. It’s using microorganisms for the purpose of making wine, beer and other foods, and the leavening in bread and pickling/preserving foods. And, it’s a method of healthy food eating by preserving foods without freezing or canning them.


Fermentation history goes all the way back to 8,000 years ago when people made wine and kept it in pottery and jars in the mountains of what is now called Georgia. Over 7,000 years ago people left behind jars that once held wine in the Zargo Mountains of Iran, Egypt (circa 3150 BC), and later, in pre-Hispanic Mexico (circa 2000 BC), Sudan (circa 1500 BC) and in Babylon (circ 3000 BC).


Food and Fermentation


When one ferments food, it’s a bit like pre-digesting it for ourselves and it makes the food easier to digest. Fermented food also gives us back some of the good bacteria and enzymes that we remove with antibiotics, colon cleanses and other enzyme and germ-killing substances. Our bodies need some of that good bacteria and enzymes to help our body function at it’s best, ensuring proper digestion and vitamin absorption. Eating more healthy fermented foods is really good for us.


A lack of eating well causes poor digestion, and then we get symptoms like these:

  • Yeast infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • High cholesterol levels
  • And others


There’s so much convenience today and we have such high technology that most people have moved away from the old practice of fermenting foods. Very few people still use it regularly, but fermentation technology is making a come-back. In large cities they’ve actually formed small communities within the general population.


The very practice, essentially, has changed with time, like most things do. People are now using commercially-grown yeast instead of the slower wild yeast fermentation methods, and many people pickle things with vinegar rather than the old lacto-fermentation process. Cheeses, beer and wine, among other things, are now pasteurized, killing off all the good bacteria and enzymes that our bodies need to live a healthy existence.


Fermentation Offers Fiber Rich Snacks


Eating fermented foods is like a boost to the dietary vitamins and they even help us absorb and use the vitamins and nutrients more efficiently, allowing us to retain more. The vitamin content in the fruits and vegetables actually concentrate when fermented, making them better for us and aiding in digestion. Better digestion means better absorption and use of the vitamins and nutrients we eat.


Dairy products, when fermented, consistently show increased leves of folic acid, Pyroxidine, riboflavin, B vitamins and biotin (depending on which bacteria are present).


A great way to preserve foods, fermentation makes things last a lot longer. Let’s compare yogurt and milk; yogurt lasts a lot longer in the refrigerator than milk, by far. How about cabbage? Raw cabbage will last a certain number of days in the refrigerator, but if you ferment it, it lasts for months. Not only that, it concentrates flavors. Notice how many of the stinkiest cheeses and wines are the best taste sensations on the tongue.


Everyone can afford to ferment fruits and veggies! Outside of the food the only cost is jars with a fitting lid and some salt - very little salt. And, you can glean gardens and farms for veggies that aren’t top quality anymore, or that got gouged and aren‘t prett any more; these foods ferment the best.


Zymurgy is Preserving Food


There are several foods that people eat every day, and they have no idea the foods are fermented. But, integrating more fermented foods into the diet can only enhance health and improve digestion.


Here’s a partial list of fermented foods people buy from stores:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Kim Chi
  • Ketchup
  • Pickles
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Kefir
  • Sambucha
  • Sourdough bread
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • And many more, just look around the store shelves.


There you have it; fermenting foods is good for us, it’s flavorful and makes food last a lot longer than it would have originally. Making your own fermented food is so easy you’ll wonder why you never did it before. Simple methods can help you control what goes into your own body and make sure it’s healthy.


A Free Recipe for Kraut

Find the recipe below. It’s for making a vegetable/fruit kraut that’s good to eat alone, put on crackers and sandwiches, and mix with pasta and rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 Muddler, (A fat stick for smashing)
  • 1 Large crock or bowl
  • 1 tsp. Salt, for each quart of fruit/veggie used
  • Jars With tight fitting lids
  • 1 Chopping knife
  • All the fruits and/or veggies you like Anything can be fermented for preservation or flavor.

Easy Instructions

  1. Rough chop, or mince all the foods, according to how coarse you want the kraut. Put them in a large bowl or crock.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of fruits and vegetables. Stir.
  3. Muddle the chopped food (smash with a fat stick) until a lot of the water has been smashed out.
  4. Look around the edges; when you see water around the top edges, the muddling is done.
  5. Put food into jars (one at a time) and use the muddler to pack it in, leaving half an inch at the top. Make sure liquid is divided equally.
  6. Close tightly.
  7. Refrigerate.
  8. Taste often!
  9. At first the food will taste salty, and it will get a little saltier, and just when it’s the right time, it’ll change to sweet. That’s when it’s time to eat it and it‘ll last for months in the refrigerator.

Try it, you'll like it! What do You Think? 5 Stars? Me Too!

5 stars from 1 rating of Fermenting Foods

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Interested in the Fermentation of Sugars? Tell Me What You Ferment! 3 comments

Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Great article. Well written.I may try this when I get stronger.voted up


haryoshi 5 years ago

nice post...

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Ann-Carole profile image

Ann-Carole 5 years ago

Very interesting it is so much easier than I thought I will definately give it a go

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