Fermenting food for storage and health

Discussion in 'Survival and Wilderness Skills' started by Bushman5, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Lets ferment some foods!

    we all love pickles, but the pickles in the jars in the stores are not true pickles.......they are a dead food, pickled in vinegar. Often citric acid is added for that crunch and color retention. Yeah they taste good, i LOVE em, but they are not a live healthy food like a traditional fermented vegetable.

    basically you take a barrel or a crock or a jar , add NON -IODIZED sea salt, spices if you want, and put your pickling cukes or cabbage (sauerkraut) or other vegetables into the container, weight them so they stay under the brine and wait for natural bacteria to ferment them (Lacto Bacillus). They can be stored for a very very long time, though pickles and other veggies tend to get mushy....while sauerkraut gets better and better. I have a 1 year old jar of fermented sauerkraut in the fridge, and man it is TASTY! Hot peppers are often a bumper crop in ones garden, and they are fantastic thrown whole into a crock or similar and left to ferment. Everyone's favorite Hot Sauce, Tabasco is nothing more than ground up fresh chilies, salt, a barrel and time.

    this costs about $3 to make 4 large Mason jars worth of Kraut.

    So lets make some 'kraut. Its best to have a meat slicer to get super thin cabbage slices/strands, but if you don't , its ok, knife it as thin as you can.

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    i put the cabbage into a big plastic bowl, added some salt and "scrunched " it all together to start the bruising process....this basically lets juices flow and flavor out.

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    sterilize your mason jars with a bit of bleach and hot water. Rinse very well and put onto the counter. A canning funnel is good to use at this point

    put some no iodized seasalt , a tablespoon onto the bottom of the mason jar (if using a barrel, add more to cover the bottom)

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    put in about 5 inches of shredded cabbage (green/red/ whatever) in and use a 2" diameter "pounding" stick to bruise the cabbage. Its ok to beat the **** out of it. (just remember glass jars break.....barrels are more user friendly). Bruise and pack the cabbage for several minutes, then add a thin layer of sea salt, then more cabbage, and repeat the pounding.

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    when the jar is tightly packed 2" from the top, use a large piece of cabbage leaf and a little stone to weigh down the leaf. You want the shredded cabbage to stay UNDER the brine. You may have to add a little water to the jar, most times there will be so much from bruising the cabbage you will not need too. I throw more salt on top of the leaf.

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    screw the lid on SNUG, but NOT TIGHT......there will be some pressure buildup during fermentation.....it NEEDS to escape. YOU WILL KNOW if your lid is too tight........its as loud as a flash-bang when it goes.....

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    you may get a funky bluish color, this is nothing more than the sea-salt reacting to the compounds in the RED cabbage. Its normal, its harmless. Same thing happens to garlic.

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    store somewhere room temp, maybe in a cardboard box in the kitchen. The warmer the room the faster the ferment. I prefer a slower , LONGER ferment. There WILL be brine that will spill out of the jars.........this is normal and a sign of a good ferment. make sure to store the jars where this is not an issue, a rubber maid tub is a great mason jar holder.

    give it 2 - 6 months. There will be some nasty **** on top , (normal) just skim that off.
     
  2. Stagehand

    Stagehand Member

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    Good stuff. Thanks for posting!
     
  3. tangomike3

    tangomike3 Member

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    Great post. Most people don't realize how great fermented foods are for you.
     
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  4. DiscoveryLover

    DiscoveryLover Member

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    I like sauerkraut, but don't eat it often. Oddly enough with my mom fixes it, she always cooks/heats it in a pot. I don't like it cooked, I prefer it raw. More sour I guess. I always eat mine before she cooks it.
     
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  5. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    couple bags of pre made 'slaw on sale (normally $3). Quick way to lay up more 'Kraut in a mason jar. Got both bags pressed down into a large mason jar.

    i always look for deals like this.....its not good anymore for 'slaw, buts its PERFECT for 'kraut

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. nathan shepherd

    nathan shepherd Member

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    Love to see old fashioned things like this still being used. Beats the heck out of shop brought rubbish. Red cabbage is awesome, we eats loads of in the winter when it's in Sean.
     
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  7. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Its a hell of a cancer fighter, and full of fiber and nutrients. And being naturally fermented, full of enzymes and good gut bacteria.
     
  8. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    She Polish or Russian by chance? Cooking it with sausage or meat is a traditional way of using it.
     
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  9. BigJake

    BigJake Member

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    Good stuff, Bushy!

    Sausage & kraut was a frequent meal when I was growing up. Especially towards the end of the month when money was tight because it was inexpensive to make.
     
  10. DiscoveryLover

    DiscoveryLover Member

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    She's American. haha. But her grandparents were Russian and Czechoslovakian and some German on the other side.
    She's usually fixes it with Kielbasa or smoked sausage, but not always. She cooks everything boiling hot anyways, I have to let the food cool down before I can eat.
    I always eat leftovers cold, it drives her nuts lol.
     
  11. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Now I'm hungry, I know I have some kielbasa in the fridge... I'll be right back. ;)
     
  12. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    CLASSIC Eastern Bloc traditions! LOVE IT!

    i'm a huge fan of traditional Russian Borscht -------there is a story here as to why......i will write a new post about it sometime........it involves travel as a little kid/pre-teen, Doukhobors in East & West Kootenays and the Interior of BC, a restaurant in a Motel in Grand Forks BC, with a Bar beside that restaurant , bloody hand towels and a stabbing by bikers, an old restored VW air cooled van.........
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  13. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Oh yeah :)
    20180104_213937.jpg
     
  14. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    what lil scalpel is that? I'm digging that!
     
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  15. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Not sure. I don't know much about knives. BHK frontier valley maybe? Anyway... @Slade put a great edge on it for me. :D
     
  16. Slade

    Slade Member

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    It was very similar to an LT Wright Coyote but with more of a wedge shaped handle that was less round on the pommel end. I think I actually like the handle shape better than the coyote, but the blade was very similar if not maybe a touch more flat bellied. Tool steel IIRC. Took a fantastic edge.
     
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  17. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    Got some Thai, Serranos and jalapeno started.

    20180111_165934.jpg
     
  18. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    I'll take the jar on the right. ;)
     
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  19. Neilsen

    Neilsen Member

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    @Bushman5
    Thought you might like this. It was my grandparents. RC5 for scale
     

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  20. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    very very cool. Love that tamper!
     
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