Step-by-step: making fermented vegetables

The following is based on the recipe for sauerkraut that I got from my friend who, in turn, modified it from a recipe she found through Dr. Mercola.

As with the sauerkraut I wrote about yesterday, this is something I’ve never made before, so it’s a total experiment.

Here are the ingredients.

The recipe I got was precise in some things, vague in others! I was told to use exactly 3 stalks of green onion and 7 garlic cloves, but nothing about how much fresh ginger to use, or how much parsley!

So I just winged it and grabbed what I thought would be good.

This recipe included an optional 1 or 2 capsules of probiotics. Which I find a bit strange, since sauerkraut naturally has its own probiotics, but my friend swears by it, so I figure for a first try, I’ll use them.

I also sanitized a bunch of 500ml (pint) jars, including extra, just in case. Last time, what was supposed to make about 4 of these jars made only 3, but with the extra ingredients, I figured I would get more jars done.

The instructions I got included the use of a food processor, which I do not have and do not want. I did try to use the slicing side of my box grater for the carrots (which did not work) and for the cored cabbage (which worked for most, and I used a knife for the rest), but if I do this recipe again, I won’t bother. I’ll just use a knife.

As I did with the plain sauerkraut, I reserved some outer leaves of the cabbage and blanched them while I prepared the kraut.

Here we have the sliced cabbage, carrots, green onion stalks, parsley, ginger and garlic. In the cup of water, I dissolved about 1/3 tsp pickling salt and the powder from the two probiotic capsules. This was added to the vegetables, which where then mixed and thoroughly kneaded, mashed and bashed.

I think the carrots might have been sliced a bit too thick. If I do this again, I might just use a shredder on them.

Once it was all thoroughly mixed, I packed them into the prepared jars. This time, I got 5 jars out of it.

When I was done, this was all the liquid left in the bowl.

It got split up among the jars before I covered the mixture with cabbage leaves.

As with the basic sauerkraut, I cut sections of the blanched cabbage leaves into rough circles and shoved them in, pressing the edges down the sides as much as I could, and tamping it all down.

Once again, there was not much liquid released from the kraut. Even with the brine added at the start, the cabbage was not covered. I just dissolved a bit more pickling salt into some water and added the brine to the jars, just enough to cover the tops.

This time, instead of fussing with cotton cord or elastics, I just used the canning lid rings to hold the coffee filters in place.

This version is supposed to ferment for 2-4 weeks. That’s a pretty big range, but I figure we have enough jars to sample them at different times and decide which we like best.

I’ll fill you in on how it turns out, in about 2 weeks! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Probiotic Fermented Vegetables


  • small or medium cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 3 green onion stalks
  • fresh parsley, to taste
  • fresh ginger; about a 1 inch piece or to taste. Scrape the outer skin off with a small knife
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup water (note: use filtered water, if possible)
  • 1/3 tsp pickling salt (or other non-iodized salt)
  • optional: 1 or 2 capsules probiotics

Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Keep several to cover the sauerkraut later. Cover these leaves with scalding water and leave to blanche.

Cut the cabbage into wedges and remove the core. Slice finely and put into large mixing bowl.

Finely slice peeled carrots.

Finely slice or chop the green onion, parsley leaves, ginger and garlic. Add to the sliced cabbage. Mix the ingredients until evenly distributed.

Dissolve the salt into the water. Open the probiotic capsules into the water and stir. Pour the brine over the cabbage mixture.

Thoroughly work the brine into the vegetables, bruising and squeezing the cabbage to release its liquid.

Transfer the vegetable mixture into prepared jars, tamping it down as much as you can.

Cut sections of the blanched cabbage leaves into rough circles slightly later than the opening of the jars. Cover the top of the vegetable mixture with the cabbage circles, pressing the edges down the sides of the jars and tamping the whole thing down as much as you can.

If necessary, add more brine to each jar to just cover the cabbage leaf.

Cover the jars with paper coffee filters and screw on lid rings to hold in place.

Place jars in a cool dark place to ferment for 2-4 weeks.

5 thoughts on “Step-by-step: making fermented vegetables

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