Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiptoeing Into Cultured Vegetables

One of this week's assignments in the 28-Day Real Food Challenge is to get familiar with cultured vegetables. Looking back, the only truly cultured veggie I can recall eating is sauerkraut. I plan to make some, but I know I'll be the only member of my household to eat it. So, I thought for my first effort, I'd try to find something that eaten by all of us.

After a little web surfing, I found this post about making Marinara-Style Cultured Vegetables. I don't know if this will pass the pickiness test or not, but I decided to give it a whirl. I'll admit right up front that I had no intention of making the quantity this recipe is geared to make. So, I downsized and approximated. And skipped several of the first steps entirely. Here's what I did.

I shredded one beet, old-school.

To that, I added three shredded carrots and one small shredded onion. Why I shredded the onion, instead of just dicing it, I do not know. Shredding onion is neither easy not pleasant. Note to self... I also added the garlic/shallot/basil mix and the dry ingredients. Actually, I didn't have any marjoram so I left that out. And I didn't have fresh oregano, so I added dried.
I mixed the whole mess together, added some whey, and mixed it again.

The mix went into a quart mason jar, with a little extra distilled water since the veggies and whey didn't make quite enough juice. I topped the combination with a clean cabbage leave. It's job is to keep the rest of the stuff below the surface of the brine. If it starts to look like that method is causing trouble, I'll pull it out and try to come up with something else. I've heard of people using baggies full of water, but I'm not sure I want to put plastic into something that is supposed to ferment- so, cabbage leaf it is! Here's the end product.

I'd love to hear what combinations of cultured veggies you have tried, and especially if something was a hit with the kids.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays, hosted this week by Cheeseslave.


  1. Way to go on starting your vegetable culture! I hope to get to that soon! Looking forward to seeing how it works for you.

  2. Stacie, I am sorry to report that I plan to toss (compost) this first batch of cultured veggies. I need a better way to keep the veggies submerged. This batch started to discolor around the top pretty severely. It might be okay to eat, but nobody here wants to try it! I'm going to do sauerkraut next, with salt.