Vegan Vegetable Starter

OUR VEGETABLE STARTER IS SO SIMPLE TO USE, YOU COULD ARGUE A NEED FOR INSTRUCTIONS!

Simply add the starter with either the salt or brine used for fermenting your vegetables. It can be poured directly onto the vegetables or stirred into the brine.

Looking for a basic sauerkraut recipe? Give this a try:

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 Medium/large cabbage (red or green).
• 1 Good tablespoon of salt (Kosher is best).
• 1 Vegetable ferment starter.
• 1 Tablespoon of caraway seeds (optional, but well worth adding for flavor).

EQUIPMENT:

• Cutting board
• Knife
• Mixing Bowl
• 2 Litre fermentation Jar (Kilner etc)
• Weight jar (small jar that fits into the larger one, an old GU dessert seems to fit well on most UK jars)

INSTRUCTIONS: Clean everything. When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.

Slice the cabbage. Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons. Combine the cabbage, vegetable starter, and salt. Transfer the cabbage to a big bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands.

At first, it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now. Pack the cabbage into the jar. Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar.

Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid. Weigh the cabbage down. Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid. in the UK, a GU desert jar usually fits most UK jars. Close the jar.

Most jars designed for fermentation (Kilner etc) have a rubbest gasket under the lid which releases any build-up of gas. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar. Press the cabbage every few hours. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.

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