Get Your Ferment On: Tips for Fermenting Food at Home

The health benefits of fermented foods have been recognized in many cultures for centuries now. You start off with healthy and fresh ingredients to transform them into highest quality and tasty ferments. Fermentation depends mostly on ‘good’ bacteria, which is vital for boosting your immune system and promoting health. A fermenting pro, or new to this art of food preservation? Whatever it is, make sure you keep these tips in mind:

Start Off With the Right Equipment

Believe it or not, the right equipment for fermentation can make all the difference in the process. For instance, the first tool you need for fermenting cabbage in order to prepare sauerkraut or pickles is a fermenting crock pot. Cindy, the founder of VeggieSensations.com, recommends three leading fermenting pots brands that can really add value to your fermenting. These include Boleslawiec, K&K, and Schmitt fermenting pots. They all have exceptional water reservoirs that prevent oxygen from entering the pot during the fermentation process, while letting excess carbon dioxide to escape. Other equipment you may also need include a cabbage shredder that makes your chopping easier.

Always Use Fresh Ingredients

Some people consider fermenting the vegetables that have been refrigerated for a long time. They see it wilting and going soggy, and to prevent it from spoilage, fermentation is their only option. Always use fresh ingredients for your fermentation. If you choose vegetables that are older or already rotting, the fermentation could go bad.

Use the Right Amount of Salt

For most people, the contents of salt are of the highest concerns. You want to add enough salt that creates an inhospitable environment for the bad bacteria. Secondly, make sure you’re using high quality salt that still contains vital minerals or is not laden with unnecessary chemical compounds. The exact amount of salt you add will have an impact on the contents. For instance, high concentration of salt will ensure that your vegetables are crunchy; while low concentration will make them soft. Adding salt to the shredded cabbage forces the water in the cabbage to seep out, creating the brine. The salt also helps to prevent mold from growing.  A rule of thumb is adding 3 tablespoons of salt every 5 pounds of shredded cabbage.

Keep Submerged

Ideally, all fermented vegetables should be submerged completely in brine. This is essential in the prevention of mold growth on the surface. Do not open the fermenting pot for at least 3 weeks. You do not want to all oxygen in, along with bad bacteria, into the pot.

The Longer You Ferment, the Better It Tastes

The nutritional value, the texture of the fermented food and its taste, all will change and improve over time. At room temperature, it will typically take the vegetable a week to ferment and develop the essential acidity that is required for fermentation. However, the longer you leave it in the fermenting pot the better the taste is. Let it sit in the pot up to 4-5 week.

The Matter of Molds

If you find white mold on the top of your sauerkraut, don't worry. White mold may give out a bad taste, but it is not detrimental to your health. Mold of a different color, on the other hand, is bad and will ruin your batch. Do not eat any fermented food that has mold that is a color different than white. White mold can be skimmed off the top before eating the sauerkraut. However, if you keep the water reservoir in your fermenting pot full, you should not have to deal with any mold.

If you’re looking for tools for fermentation, then allow us to be your guide. We bring to you the right equipment and starter culture to ensure a safe and tasty fermentation experience! So without further ado, are you ready to get your ferment on? Check out VeggieSensations Fermenting Pots and other tools http://www.veggiesensations.com/collections/fermenting-crock-pots to make your fermenting experience successful.

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