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Fermented Food Recipes

Preserved Lemons

A simple recipe for Preserved Lemons, the ingredients list includes Lemons, Salt, and Extra Lemon Juice. Equipment: 2 mason jars.

What Kind of Lemons Should you Use?

Meyer lemons are the lemon of choice in most countries because they are sweeter and less tart than regular lemons. Meyer lemons also have smoother and thinner skin. But if you can’t get your hand on Meyers then Eureka and Lisbon lemons will work too.

Make sure you buy organic lemons for this recipe since you are eating the peel and not the pulp.

How do you use preserved lemons?

This zesty treat packs a punch to your favorite fish, lamb, and chicken dishes. Once opened, keep a jar of your own preserved lemons in the fridge to give an instant boost of flavor to your favorite salad or marinades. Or squeeze the juice into your favorite mixed drink, Bloody Mary and Lemon drops.

What part of the preserved lemon do you eat?

When you preserve a lemon, you are using the rind once it is ready, not the pulp. The skin softens and mellows yet retains all the characteristics of the lemon flavor. Discard the pulp and wash the peel thoroughly to remove the excess salt.

How do you store preserved lemons?

Traditional Preserved lemons were stored in a cool, dark place. However, nowadays, people usually keep them in the refrigerator. It’s up to you.

How long do preserved lemons last?

If you keep the lemons submerged in the brine, they should last up to a year, especially in the refrigerator. I recommend waiting at least three months to eat them and even six months to really experience the fantastic flavor they can provide.

Because the lemons are preserved in salt and the acidity of the lemons, it would be extremely rare for any bacteria to grow. It is essential to check them regularly to make sure they are submerged.

Quick Preserved Lemons Recipe

Can’t wait for 3 – 6 months for preserved lemons? Try this easy and quick lemon recipe.
Combine one large lemon quartered, ½ cup fresh lemon juice, and one tablespoon coarse sea salt in a saucepan.

Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until the salt is completely dissolved. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until lemon pieces are slightly tender, the peel will look translucent, about 10 minutes. Cool.

ways to eat sauerkraut add to a hamburger
FAQs Fermented Food Recipes

10 Delightful Ways To Eat Sauerkraut

When most people think of sauerkraut, they envision eating it with their bratwurst, hot dogs, or in a Reuben sandwich. Sauerkraut is traditionally paired with meats because it helps with the digestion of the meats. Today, sauerkraut can be used in a myriad of ways far beyond the limited traditional ways. Check out the following truly delightful ways of adding sauerkraut to your next meal.

1

Sauerkraut and Salad

It’s a great topping on salads. Carrots, lettuce, green onions, cilantro, parsley, really any vegetables you have, add sauerkraut, drizzle with a little olive oil, and a dash of salt if needed. Mix, and you have a delicious salad or side dish.

Try this simple sauerkraut salad recipe by Hormones Balance.

2

Sauerkraut and Eggs

Prepare your eggs the way you like them, scrambled, fried, or make an omelet. Then top with a few tablespoons of sauerkraut. Be sure to drain the sauerkraut first. Eggs and sauerkraut make a delightful combination!

3

Sauerkraut and Avocado

Halve an avocado and fill the hole with sauerkraut. The creaminess of the avocado blends well with the salty and tangy sauerkraut. Enjoy!

Or, mash the avocado and sauerkraut together in a bowl and top will a little feta, as Cameron Diaz does in her recipe.

4

Sauerkraut Sushi

Sushi, try this easy Avacado Sauerkraut Sushi recipe.

5

Sauerkraut and Stir-Fry

Add a little tangy flavor to your favorite stir-fry by stirring in some sauerkraut just before serving.

6

Sauerkraut and Rice Bowls

Rice bowls: A bowl of rice, steamed greens, a dash of salt, and a healthy serving of sauerkraut (place the sauerkraut in between the rice and greens to warm it up without killing the probiotics).

sauerkraut taste great in any rice bowl or salad

7

Sauerkraut and Sandwiches

Add to your favorite hamburger or sandwich.

8

Sauerkraut and Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes always taste better when sauerkraut is added to them. Top a baked potato with a little grated cheese, thyme, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and cold sauerkraut. Season with salt, pepper, and caraway.

9

Sauerkraut and Sausages

Try a traditional Austrian way, served as a side with spicy sausages and fried potato slices.

10

Sauerkraut and Grilled Cheese

Sauerkraut pairs well with cheese, so try it in a grilled cheese sandwich, a cheese crisp, or add it to mac n cheese. The possibilities are endless with these two ingredients.

sauerkraut and grilled cheese sandwich

Get creative. Try adding sauerkraut to any of your favorite meals to enhance the flavor and vitality.

Beware: Cooking sauerkraut destroys all the health-promoting probiotics. If you want the gut-healthy probiotics in your meal, then only warm it up or add it as a topping to the dish.

Sauerkraut is one of the easiest ferments to make on your own. By making your own, you can get creative and add your own flavors and personality to all of these dishes and experiment with totally new characters.


If you would like to make your own sauerkraut, try my homemade sauerkraut recipe. If you are fermenting for the first time, you should check out these cost-effective fermentation starter kits to ensure your first sauerkraut batch is a success.

plate of avacado_sauerkraut_sushi_recipe
Fermented Food Recipes Recipes

Avocado Sauerkraut Sushi Recipe

Easy Avocado Sauerkraut Sushi Recipe: Sushi with Fermented Sauerkraut

This easy sushi recipe with avocado and sauerkraut makes a delicious go-to recipe when you’re short on time. With just a few ingredients, you can make this sauerkraut sushi recipe in no time. You can easily tailor the ingredients to what you have in your refrigerator, and add any kind of probiotic-rich sauerkraut for some great gut-health benefits!

Sauerkraut is one of the most widely consumed fermented foods today. Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics that benefit your diet by boosting the immune system and improving digestive health.

Plus, its flavors really pack a punch! Sauerkraut has a bit of a sophisticated taste beyond just being sour. It is also a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and a bit salty.

Not only that, but the avocado in this recipe is also full of satiating healthy fats, the seaweed provides minerals and vitamins, and don’t forget all the goodness that comes from eating raw vegetables. It’s a great food to kick start a new health regimen, and it tastes delicious.

What type of sauerkraut do I recommend? Well, my recipe for homemade sauerkraut, of course.

But, if you are short on time then here are some high-quality brands of fermented raw sauerkraut you can buy on Amazon.

Just remember, sauerkraut in a can does not have probiotics. To learn more, read my post “Does store-bought sauerkraut have probiotics?

What vegetables can you use in sushi?

Here are some easy to find vegetables that fit perfectly in any sushi recipe. Even this Avacado Sauerkraut Sushi recipe.

Microgreens or sprouts
Green onions
Zucchini
Shiitake mushroom
English cucumber
Yellow Bell pepper
Asparagus
Sweet potato

How to cut vegetables for sushi?

The most common vegetables found in vegan-friendly sushi are cucumber and avocado. But many other vegetables work great too.

For softer vegetables like cucumber, cut 1/2″ thick slices vertically down the vegetable. Next, julienne it in strips. The English cucumber is an excellent choice because it is tender and has fewer seeds. If you are using a plain cucumber, remove the excess seeds.

How to cut vegetables and carrots for sushi
Cut carrots into 1/2″ thick slices and then julienne.

Harder vegetables such as carrots and zucchini will work best if you first blanch or gently steam them. This will make it easier to chew and keep the balance of the sushi. 

However, blanching and steaming are not required. If you enjoy a little crunch factor in your sushi, then peel and slice just like the cucumber into 1/2″ thick slices and then julienne.

Asparagus, daikon radish, and yams are a few examples of hard vegetables that should be steamed first. They only need to be steamed for 1-3 minutes and then let cool completely. Cut julienne style.

Pickled daikon radishes do not need to be steamed. They are ready to go as is, just slice thin.

Shiitake mushroom sliced thinly. If they are dried mushrooms, then first soak for 30 minutes, squeeze water out, remove stems and slice thinly.

Bell peppers –  leave raw and julienne into strips.

Green onion –  slice each trimmed green onion in half lengthwise and slice each half crosswise into ½ inch pieces

Microgreens and sprouts, although they do not offer a lot of flavor on their own, they do add a nice touch to a sushi roll. No cutting needs, just wash and dry.

The 5 Tools You Need for Making Sushi at Home

fermented_carrots_recipe_fermenterskitchen
Fermented Food Recipes

Lacto-Fermented Carrots Recipe

Fermented carrots are a super healthy and delicious recipe prepared in 20-minutes with ease! Fermented carrots are a sure way to get a healthy dose of gut-friendly probiotics with just salt, water, and a little patients.

A hint of garlic and ginger makes this fermented carrots recipe absolutely addictive! This is better than ANY store-bought fermented vegetable, guaranteed.

A great way to incorporate fermented carrots into a meal is to add them to a fresh salad or a crudité tray with ranch dip. Kids will love to grab them as a quick snack.

Lacto-Fermented Carrots Make a Great Kid-friendly Snack

Want to boost your immune system, increase the nutritional content of your food, improve your digestion, mental health, and detox your body? Fermented vegetables such as carrots are for you!

Fermented carrots taste so much like a fresh carrot that kids may not even know that they are snacking on a really healthy probiotic-rich snack. When chilled, the fermented carrots are crunchy and delicious. You can add them to your kid’s lunch box with a little dip of ranch or hummus.

Adding fermented carrots to your favorite beef stew or chicken soup recipe is another way to incorporate them into your diet. Just be sure to add them at the last minute after you’ve turned off the heat because cooking destroys the gut-healthy probiotic bacteria in any fermented food.

Fermented carrots, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and beet kvass are all popular fermented foods that are packed with gut-friendly lactobacillus bacteria (a.k.a. probiotics) produced during fermentation. They are widely known to have many health benefits such as improved digestion, enhanced immune system, better brain function, to name a few.

chop_carrots_fermentation_recipe
Make fermented carrots with diced, shredded, or stick carrots.

Fermenting Carrots Increases the Nutritional Value

The Lactic-acid fermentation process increases the nutritional value of the vegetables by enhancing the levels of enzyme, vitamins, and minerals.

Fermentation of Vegetables Helps Aid Digestion

Fermented foods are easier to digest than raw or cooked vegetables because the fermentation breaks down hard-to-digest cellulose and makes it easier for our digestive system to process the food.

The Fermentation Process Kills Off E.coli Bacteria

How often do we hear about an outbreak of E.coli bacteria in mass-produced vegetables?

Pretty regularly now, right?

The lactic acid produced during the fermentation kills off the E.coli bacteria. The E.coli bacteria can’t survive in the acidic environment of fermentation.

How To Prevent a Mushy Fermented Vegetables

Sometimes a batch of fermented vegetables might turn out to be a little mushy. This has happened to me a few times, and I was really disappointed when I had to throw out a whole batch of my favorite fermented vegetables.

However, I found that it can be prevented in the future by simply adding tannins to my fermented vegetable recipes. Bay leaves, grape leaves, and even a tea bag all provide a great source of tannins to help prevent a mushy outcome. Please read my post 11 Natural Sources of Tannins for Crunchy Fermented Pickles to learn more about how tannins help keep veggies crunchy.

The Process of Fermenting Carrots is Simple

Fermented foods go through a rather simple process of combining salted water to fresh vegetables and letting sit for a few weeks. The lactic acid bacteria that are present on the surface of food multiplies and flourishes, creating an acidic environment that prevents spoilage or rot.

The vegetables must be kept below the brine to create an anaerobic environment that lactic acid bacteria will thrive in. The magic all happens below the brine. I use these fermentation weights made by Siliware. You can buy them on Amazon here.

If you don’t have any fermentation weights on hand, then try placing a few cabbage leaves on top of the vegetable to hold it below the brine. For more ideas on how to keep veggies below the brine check out my article Fermentation Weights: How to keep veggies submerged.

fermentation_weights_idea_ferment_carrots
Cabbage leaves make a great weight for holding carrots below the brine.

Easy Lacto-Fermented Carrots Recipe

Try adding any of these ingredients to your fermented carrots recipe: onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, dill leaves or other herbs to the jar as you pack in the carrot pieces. For a spicy variation, add 1 or 2 diced jalapenos or habaneros to the jar.

Use a combination of white, purple, and orange carrots for a healthy and bright snack.
Carrots taste great with daikon radishes and apples too.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds carrots, sliced into sticks, coins, or shredded
  • 4 cups unchlorinated water
  • 3 tablespoons Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme or your favorite spices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Start by stirring together the pink Himalayan sea salt and 2-cups warm water until the salt is completely dissolved. Wait for the brine to cool completely before the next step.
  • Place the garlic, ginger and any other optional spices in the jar
  • Add the carrots, packing them in as tight as you can, leaving about 1 inch of head-space at the top.
  • Pour the cooled salt water brine over the carrots and cover completely.
  • Place a fermentation weight on top to hold the carrots below the brine. Here are some ideas on how to keep veggies submerged below the brine.
  • Put on the lid and leave at room temperature, but out of direct sunlight.
  • Store the jars at room temperature for at least 10 – 20 days depending on the taste you would like to achieve. Hotter temperatures mean a faster ferment time, cold weather a slower one. It pays to be patient because the longer it sits, the more flavor will develop.
  • Remember to burp the jar every day to release carbon dioxide and add extra brine if needed.
  • You can open and taste along the way until you are satisfied. I ferment mine for at least a week, and that is the flavor my family enjoys the most.
  • When done move to the refrigerator for storage. The fermented carrots will keep for up to a year, though they lose color as the months go on.
Store fermented carrots in a dark space such as the pantry or in a cupboard.
Store fermented carrots in a dark space such as the pantry or in a cupboard.
fermented green bean recipes
Fermented Food Recipes Veggie Fermentation Recipe

Lacto-Fermented Green Beans

Fermented green beans are a great gateway food for introducing your family to all the goodness of fermented foods. When ready, the green beans have a zingy garlicky flavor with a crisp bite. They are known to be a little addictive.  

Fermented Green Beans are among the easiest fermented foods you can make, which makes it a great recipe to get kids involved in the “cooking” process.   

Fermented green beans are a nutritious snack packed with probiotics and enzymes that enhance digestion and the garlicky flavor make for a tasty snack or finger-food.  

You will find your family will be devouring them by the bowl-full.   

Fermented Food Recipes

Kimchi Pickled Eggs

Kimchi pickled eggs are absolutely delicious. Fermented eggs are so much more flavorful than your typical hard-boiled egg that after you try this recipe, you will never go back to non-fermented pickled eggs again.  

Nicely seasoned with mouthwatering kimchi flavors, the following kimchi pickled eggs recipe is perfect for snacking, adding to sandwiches, wraps, ramen noodles, egg salad, or a next-level deviled eggs recipe.  

There are several ways to go about making kimchi pickled eggs.  

The easiest is to layer hard-boiled eggs in a jar with kimchi and its liquid. Let it refrigerate for 2-3 days and eat. Done!  

At the time I was photographing the steps of this recipe, I was out of my homemade kimchi. So instead, I used store-bought kimchi by Wild Brine, which I can say full-heartedly is quite delicious with the perfect amount of spice. You can buy some here (Amazon link).

But I can say with high confidence; my kimchi recipe works great too, so give it a try if you like. kimchi recipe here.

Note: Using just the kimchi and its juices will keep the probiotics in the kimchi alive.   

kimchi pickled eggs best recipe

Why Use Pasture Raised Eggs In This Kimchi Pickled Egg Recipe?

 

  • The chickens are free to roam on open grassland
  • The chickens eat an organic diet, enjoy bugs and worms, see daylight 
  • Chickens are not given hormones or antibiotics  
  • Have better nutritional profiles in vitamins A, E, beta-carotene, Omega-3’s, etc. 

How To Make Kimchi Pickled Eggs with Vinegar

Another off-the-charts way to make kimchi pickled eggs is to combine vinegar and a little spice to the kimchi and eggs.   

  • Combine white vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, and Korean red pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  • Place about an inch of kimchi in the jar
  • Place two-three eggs on top of the kimchi
  • Sprinkle in the scallions
  • Continue layering kimchi, eggs, and scallions until the jar is full. The final layer should be kimchi.
  • Gently press the whole thing down.
  • Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar and any leftover kimchi brine, making sure the eggs are completely covered.
  • Top with the lid and give it a gentle shake.
  • Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 days

Be aware that when you add vinegar to fermented foods, it destroys much of the good bacteria too. The lactic-acid bacteria will be stunted, unable to natural-preservative qualities that are desirable in Lacto-fermentation.

While pickled foods offer some probiotic benefit, it is best to eat a variety of traditionally fermented foods to increase the variety of good bacteria in your gut microbiome.

If you are eating kimchi for the probiotic benefit, I suggest following the first recipe without any added vinegar.

If you are just in it to reap the rewards of a tangy delicious kimchi pickled egg than by all means, the second recipe is perfect for you too.

kimchi pickled eggs easy recipe

Disclosure ~ If a purchase is made using one of the affiliate links on this website we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Looking for something else? Try one of these gut-healthy homemade fermented food recipes here:
fermented jalapeno recipe
Fermented Food Recipes Veggie Fermentation Recipe

Lacto-Fermented Jalapeno Recipe

Try This Delicious Fermented Jalapeño Recipe

Fermented Jalapeños are my obsession! This easy and versatile fermented jalapeños recipe will make the perfect bite of crispy, spicy, and, quite honestly, the best topper ever to any dish!

Simply add a little onion, garlic, sliced lemon, coin-sliced carrots or whatever ingredient you can think of to make this tangy and spicy fermented condiment.

How to Use Fermented Jalapeños

Once you start making your fermented jalapeños, you won’t stop. They are so versatile you can put them on everything – hamburgers, chili, scrambled eggs, nacho supreme, breakfast burritos, you name it. Their tangy kick of spice makes them a great addition to any recipe.

add-fermented-jalapenos-to-your-favorite-nacho-supreme-chili-breakfast-burrito-recipe

Jalapeños Health Benefits

Jalapeños don’t just spice up your food; they are chock full of health benefits. Notably, Capsaicin, which is responsible for the pepper’s heat, and Vitamin C – this powerful antioxidant helps protect against heart disease. But that’s not all, these little peppers provide our bodies with so much more:

    • Jalapeños have high levels of Vitamin C, which help prevent healthy cells from mutating into cancerous cells.
    • Capsaicin also helps with weight loss, migraine relief, and can even help with nasal congestion by clearing the sinuses.
    • They help boost the immune system.
    • Jalapeños are high in Vitamin B-vitamin complex, such as folic acid, which is helpful to pregnant women. Just be sure to watch out for the heartburn!

First How to Cut a Jalapeño

Whatever you do, please remember to wear gloves when cutting jalapeños, and don’t touch your face and especially your eyes while you are handling them. Jalapeños have spicy-hot oils in them that can cause burns on your hands and whatever skin you touch.

I speak from experience, it’s excruciating.

The heat in jalapeños is found in the seeds and inner membranes. If you want to reduce the heat in this recipe, you can easily remove the seeds and membranes first by slicing the jalapeños in half lengthwise, and then use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and membranes.

When I cut the jalapeños for this fermented recipe, I cut them horizontally into rounds and left in the membranes and seeds.

Yes, it was spicy,  but oh so delicious too!

scoop out the seeds and membranes to reduce heat

Don’t forget your gloves!

radish-kimchi-recipe-apples-ginger-daikon
Fermented Food Recipes Kimchi Recipe

Sweet Kimchi Recipe

Sweet Kimchi Recipe with Daikon Radish and Apples

This recipe for Sweet Kimchi is an easy kid-friendly fermented food delight. They will love it because of it’s crunchy and not too salty and not too sweet, satisfying taste. And most importantly, full of probiotics to help promote a healthy gut.

This is such a great way to get those gut-health-promoting probiotics into your kids at a young age.

The Health Benefits of Kimchi

Like all fermented foods, kimchi is an excellent source of beneficial bacteria – full of tiny microbes that help to support the immune system and build up a healthy immune and digestive system.

Just what kids need to help keep the common cold at bay.

Kimchi is known for its anticancer, antiobesity, antioxidative effects and even protection from asthma. You can read more about the health benefits of kimchi here.

Ingredients for Sweet Radish Kimchi

  • 1 Daikon radish or Mu radish (1.5 lbs) peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes (approximately 6 cups)
  • 1-2 Apples or Pears cut into ½ inch cubes (approximately 3 cups)
  • 1 Carrot peeled and shredded
  • 4 Green onions, cut into lengthwise then cut 2” long pieces.
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher or flake sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced (approximately 1 Tablespoon)

sweet-kimchi-recipe-kids-will-love-it

How to make Radish Kimchi

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large-sized mixing bowl. Stir gently until the vegetable mixture is completed coated with the gochugaru and salt. (Make sure to wear kitchen gloves.)
  2. Cover the bowl and marinate in the salt until the daikon releases its juice, about 2 hours.
  3. Pack the vegetable mixture tightly into a quart-sized mason jar, pressing down firmly as you allow air bubbles to escape. It is important to release as much air from the jar.
  4. Weigh down the mixture with a glass weight and then seal the jar with an airlocked lid.
  5. Allow the daikon to ferment for one to two days at room temperature, and then transfer to the refrigerator. When it starts fermenting, little bubbles may appear on top of the kimchi, and it’ll smell strong & slightly sour.
  6. Radish kimchi tastes best after a week or two in the fridge to fully develop the flavors. It maintains excellent flavor and texture for several weeks.

Looking for more fermented food recipes kids will enjoy? Try my Kefir Smoothy Recipe and Fermented Carrots Recipe.radish kimchi recipe with apples and ginger

homemade-sauerkraut-recipe-cabbage-carrots-salt
Fermented Food Recipes Veggie Fermentation Recipe

How To Make Homemade Sauerkraut

How To Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a one-quart Mason Jar

Sauerkraut is the German style of fermented cabbage.  Finely shredded cabbage is frequently mixed with other ingredients such as caraway seeds, carrots, and garlic. Red cabbage, napa cabbage, and other cabbages all make great sauerkraut, thus making it fun to create unique and enjoyable flavors all your own.

How to make homemade sauerkraut recipe:
1. Chop/shred cabbage and any additional vegetables.
2. Mix the cabbage mixture by hand and sprinkle with sea salt and spices.
3. See the full recipe below.

Although sauerkraut is a traditional German and Eastern European food, variations of it appear around the earth.  In the past sauerkraut was especially useful because it provided the vitamins and nutrients of fresh vegetables throughout long sea voyages and during the long winter.

Sauerkraut easily keeps for several months if refrigerated.  I have eaten sauerkraut well over six months old; it is fine although it begins to lose its crispness at the half-year mark.

Fermented Foods are Healing Foods

The process of lactic acid fermentation transforms salt and vegetables into fermented foods and increases food enzymes and vitamins, especially vitamin B.

Using this process to turn salt and cabbage into sauerkraut is yet another example of using food to help maintain, nourish, and heal the gut.

Homemade sauerkraut is full of beneficial bacteria, which are friendly microorganisms that help to colonize the gut, support the immune system, and develop vitamins in the digestive tract.

Why You Should Make Your Own Sauerkraut at Home

Money talks, and we all want to save money, right?

Homemade sauerkraut is easy and inexpensive. Buying sauerkraut that actually has the probiotics in it at a grocery store or online easily runs you $15 or more per jar.

If you thought all sauerkraut sold in stores has probiotics, you are wrong. Check out my post Does store-bought sauerkraut have probiotics?

Buying the ingredients, organic cabbage, sea salt, and a few mason jars, you can make your own.

And the best part about it is you can adjust the flavor to your personal preference, whether that is more or less sour, adding in garlic, spices, peppers, even apples.

The Good Stuff Takes Time

Keep in mind the fermentation process will take longer in colder temperatures and shorter in warmer temperatures. The key is not to let your kitchen get too warm, or you invite an off taste to the sauerkraut. Keep your kitchen temp 80 degrees or lower.

Tasting the sauerkraut, after about a week, should give you some idea of how sour you want it. If you prefer a sweeter flavor, then it will most likely be ready after one week.

But if you crave the sour kind, then consider waiting a few months. I find that one to two months if perfect for me.

Like spicy foods? Add peppers and garlic to the mix. They will take time to marinate together for a real “punch” to your sense.

How about making it a little sweet to help get your kids to eat it too. Just add apples, a little lemon juice, caraway and fennel to the recipe. You will be surprised at how fast your children will jump on the “healthy gut” bandwagon without even knowing it.

Tips

Use organic cabbage when able to find (or grow your own!)

When sealing up the cabbage in a jar or fermenting crock, fill the vessel to its neck with the cabbage mixture, place the ferment weights over it to ensure that the veggies rest below the liquid. You can also use clean stones, a ziplock bag with water or just fold up some large cabbage leaves and press them over the top of the mixture.

how to make homemade sauerkraut

Supplies for making Sauerkraut

1-quart Wide Mouth Jar

Metal canning lids

Meat tenderizer or another compacting tool which can fit inside the mouth of the jar

If you are fermenting for the first time, you should check out these cost-effective fermentation starter kits to ensure your first sauerkraut batch is a success.

Something to keep the vegetables submerged below the brine. A glass weight, or even a few clean stones, a ziplock bag with a little water in it , even a few cabbage leaves placed on top of the cabbage mixture will do the trick.

Want to learn more about the what, why and how of keeping veggies submerged below the brine? Read my article, Fermentation Weights: How to Keep Veggies Submerged.

Related Topics:

Ways to eat sauerkraut

Is sauerkraut keto-friendly?

Why sauerkraut gets too salty & how to fix it

easy fermented garlic recipe
Fermented Food Recipes Veggie Fermentation Recipe

Fermented Garlic Recipe

Garlic is known to have medicinal properties as well as an overpowering taste. Fermented garlic is healthier and more comfortable to eat than raw garlic due to the spiciness mellowing out during the fermentation process. Fermenting garlic also adds probiotics, which increase vitamins and improve digestion.

To start this easy fermented garlic recipe, I’ll share with you the easiest way to peel garlic clove.  First, lay a large knife flat across a garlic clove. Then smash it down hard with the heel of your hand.  The skin of the garlic will then slide off of the clove. Easy! Now, its time to make fermented garlic.

The Health Benefits of Fermented Garlic

Intensely aromatic and flavorful, garlic is utilized in practically every cuisine in the world. When eaten raw, it has a robust, pungent flavor to match the truly mighty garlic benefits.

This aromatic bulbous herb is naturally loaded with countless health benefits. However, fermented garlic is another ballgame entirely.

It is important to point out that raw garlic is more beneficial to health than cooked garlic. This shows that many of the health properties are lost when garlic is cooked.

Therefore, eat raw garlic to take full advantage of everything it has to offer. But even then, the human body cannot digest or process the nutrients present in fresh garlic.

Fermented Garlic

The best way to obtain all the essential nutrients from cloves of garlic is to ferment them. You can ferment garlic with cloves peeled or the skins on.

Fermented garlic is not as spicy as its raw counterpart. But it still has a delicate, tangy, soft taste that is quite impressive.
The number of probiotics produced during the fermentation process is mind-blowing. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of fermented garlic is much higher than its raw counterpart.

The fermentation process that garlic undergoes results in the production of hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide can be produced naturally in the human body to eliminate the harmful virus, fungi, and bacteria.
This shows that fermented garlic is loaded with many health benefits. It is also one of nature’s most potent antibiotics.

Many foodists classify fermented garlic under the superfoods category. A few of them even find it highly addictive.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Before highlighting the health benefits of fermented garlic, here are some of the health benefits provided by raw garlic:
High Blood Pressure – When fresh garlic is eaten, it reduces systolic blood pressure by approximately 7-9mmHg. It also reduces diastolic blood pressure by about 4-6mmH in people with hypertension. Source: bloodpressureuk.org

Prostate Cancer – Eating one clove of garlic a day brings down the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Diabetes – Garlic is potent enough to minimize pre-meal blood sugar levels in people, whether or not they have diabetes.

However, this property works best in people with the polygenic disease, especially if it is consumed for at least three months. It is, however, unknown if garlic minimizes HbA1 levels or post-meal sugar levels.

Source: diabetes.co.uk

Other Health Benefits of Raw Garlic

Immune booster (prevents common cold)
Reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Minimizes lead toxicity and related symptoms

Benefits of Fermented Garlic

Fermented garlic surpasses the nutritional and beneficial values provided by raw garlic.

According to research, the fermentation of raw garlic significantly boosts both its properties as well as bioavailability. Nutrients obtained from fermented garlic are relatively more natural for the human body to process and assimilate. Source: probioticscenter.org 

The following are the health benefits of fermented garlic:

Improves the level of cholesterol in the body
Reduces the risk of lung cancer
Lowers fasting blood sugar levels efficiently
Boosts heart health
Reduces the risk of liver disease
Minimizes the risk of breast cancer

In addition to these, the fermentation process dramatically increases the levels of amino acids and other nutrients such as:

Glutamic acid
Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Arginine
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

One study found that fermenting the garlic increased antioxidant properties by up to 13 times compared to the control garlic.

Fresh or raw garlic comes with sugars and amino acids that can be readily consumed by beneficial bacteria. But during fermentation, these beneficial bacteria produce lactic acid.

Lactic acid is responsible for creating that fresh, tangy, and sour taste associated with fermented foods. This makes such foods to be highly desirable for your gastrointestinal tract as it promotes several body functions. Source: probioticscenter.org

Allicin: The Super Ingredient in Garlic

The iconic and robust flavor of garlic originates from organosulfur compounds.

A chemical and volatile compound known as “alliin” is derived from cysteine, an amino acid. Alliin is an odorless compound even though it contains sulfur.

When you crush garlic, alliin comes into contact with alliinase, an enzyme. The resulting product is what is known as “allicin.”

Allicin is, therefore, the primary reason why garlic has that pungent or distasteful odor. And research has shown that it is primarily responsible for many of the health benefits that garlic portrays.

Allicin is loaded with natural antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties, which are beneficial for health. But the human body cannot absorb all these benefits efficiently as it is.

And for this reason, manufacturers of supplements resort to the fermentation of aged cloves of garlic. According to the Journal of Food Science and Biotechnology & LaChance, “The allicin content in garlic does not reduce during fermentation, and increased sulfur compounds are formed.”

Allicin is broken down to form oil-soluble, water-soluble but sulfur-containing chemical compounds. These compounds can readily be absorbed by the human body and used effectively for overall health.

More Information about Allicin

1. Allicin possesses natural anti-microbial benefits, unlike many of the pharmaceutical drugs out there. No single medication has the same wide range of spectrum with allicin.
2. The ingestion of the super-ingredient, allicin is not harmful to gut microbes. The compound does not minimize their diversity either, unlike many pharmaceutical drugs out there.
3. It is a known fact that pathogenic microbes develop resistance against conventional medicines when used for prolonged periods. But this is not the case with allicin.
4. Culinary heat readily degrades allicin, thus damping flavor. However, to get that sharp punch out of your fermented garlic, you can add it towards the end of cooking.

Take Note:

During the fermentation process, the cloves of garlic may turn blue or neon green. It is a normal process, so don’t be alarmed by this development.

The change in color is as a result of a pH reaction. By the time the cloves are fully fermented, they will go back to a yellow/white color or become dark yellow.

Conclusion

Fermented garlic has more beneficial health properties compared to its raw opposite number. This means that you will derive much more benefits that will enhance the quality of your life.

Therefore, eat more fermented garlic; enjoy both the health benefits as well as the taste. Find other ways to cook it without losing the nutrients, and your overall health will improve significantly!

If you like this recipe, please give my Kimchi recipe and fermented carrots recipe a try. You are sure to love them both!

First time making Korean kimchi recipe
Fermented Food Recipes Kimchi Recipe

First Time Making Korean Kimchi Recipe

How To Make Kimchi

Kimchi is one of my favorite foods, and I’ve been thinking about making it for quite a while now. Beyond my own procrastination holding me back, I was also a little intimidated by the process and a little scared that I would end up just making myself sick by not doing it right.

After watching countless video tutorials and reading many recipes online, my mom found this recipe titled “The Best Korean Kimchi Recipe” posted on CiCi Paradise website. We watched the video several times, and it looked so amazing we had to try it ourselves. The bright red spicy sauce was calling our names.

We tried to get all the ingredients, but because we live a little off the beaten path, we had to do the best we could with what we found.

Our substitute ingredients included applesauce instead of apple puree and shrimp paste instead of salted shrimp. And since we could not find any lance fish sauce or dried cod, we just did without.

If you would like to find some good substitutes for salted shrimp please read my post titled What is a good substitute for salted shrimp?

We could have ordered the other items online, but we really wanted to get started. Maybe next time.

The Process:

First, we cut the napa cabbage in half and filled a large bowl halfway with water and mixed in about five tablespoons of the rock salt until it was completely dissolved.

Korean Kimchi Recipe with napa cabbage

I dipped the napa cabbage halves in water and salted them in between each leaf. It is important to salt each layer so that the cabbage can brine correctly.

After the cabbage leaves were salted, I submerged them in the bowls of saltwater and placed a weight on top to hold them down. I used a pie pan to do this.

We then let the cabbage sit in the brine for four hours. You can soak the cabbage overnight, it just depends how salty you like your cabbage.

While the cabbage was brining, we made the kimchi paste.

The next steps involved cutting the vegetables and making the sweet rice flour mix.

In the video, CiCi and Chef Esther talked about how it would take about 10 minutes of boiling for the sweet rice flour to reach a paste-like consistency.

Ours took approximately 40 minutes to reach the consistency of paste.

To make the paste we mixed the rest of the ingredients: matchstick-size daikon radishes, pureed ginger, garlic, onion, unsweetened applesauce, salted shrimp paste, anchovy fish sauce, plum sauce, Korean chili powder and two tablespoons of the sweet rice flour.

Next, we rinsed the cabbage halves to remove the excess salt and peeled each leaf apart layer by layer and rubbed each leaf with the paste.

DON’T forget to rinse out the salt, you don’t want to ruin the recipe by making it too salty. I found this out the hard way in a recent batch I made.

Remember, that you have three other halves of cabbage so make sure all the cabbage will get an equal amount.

Once we completed rubbing each cabbage leaf with the spicy paste, it was time to stuff them into the mason jars. We used two one-quart jars.

Pack the kimchi down tight and firmly secure the lid.

TIP: Next time I will definitely slice the cabbage into small pieces. The large leaves of cabbage rolled up are hard to remove from the jar. Small pieces would make it much easier to handle and remove individual size portions.

We left the kimchi out at room temperature for two days. Afterward, we put it in the refrigerator for a week. The cold refrigerator slows down the fermenting process.

From there you can leave it in the refrigerator for as long as you like if you like a strong sour flavor.

When we ate the kimchi, it was scorching hot, and I had to drink two glasses of milk to stop my mouth from burning.

TIP: My suggestion would be to use a lot less Korean chili powder and more plum sauce to sweeten it.

Korean chili is a spicier chili than what you would typically buy at the supermarket. Plain chili and Mexican chili don’t even come close.

After we made this batch of kimchi I still really wanted to eat the spicy kimchi, so I decided to make a batch of sweet kimchi without the chili powder and combine them.

Homemade Sweet Kimchi Recipe

I followed the basics of the same kimchi recipe. However, I went a little rogue and added zucchini, leaks, canned bean sprouts, and soy sauce. I also omitted the applesauce, just because I didn’t have any on hand at the time.

Here is my own Sweet Kimchi recipe that is truly kid friendly.

When I mixed the two kimchi’s together, it tasted so much better. The spiciness of the original batch calmed down considerably and we able to really enjoy it.

First time making Korean kimchi recipe fermenters kitchen
Final Results: spicy kimchi on the left, sweet kimchi on the right.

One thing that I did notice was that the new batch had a slightly fishier taste. I think it was like that because the sweet kimchi did not have the spiciness to combat the fish taste.

Next time: I’ll cut back the shrimp paste to about 1/8 cup.