Fermented Red Cabbage Smoothie

About: Autistic person who's interests include utility cycling, recreational cycling, cycling safety, electronics, gardening, Arduino, and LEDs.

In this Instructable, you will learn how to make cultured cabbage smoothie. Cultured vegetables are different from sauerkraut because a starter is added and it contains no added salt. Sauerkraut is usually shredded but in this recipe, it is blended. Since blending releases more juice than grating, it will yield more probiotic microorganisms in the final product.

Step 1: Things You Will Need

2 heads of cabbage
Body Ecology Diet Culture Starter
1/2 tsp of sugar source (molasses, sugar, honey, or agave nectar)
1 1/2 cup of warm (but not hot) water*
*The sugars will be consumed by the organisms during fermentation. This includes the sugar in your vegetables.

High speed blender (eg. Vitamix or Blend Tec)
Mason jars with lids and screw bands
Large bowl
Medium sized tray

Step 2: Wash Hands, Vegetables, and All Food Preparation Surfaces

When preparing fermented foods, this is a very important step for preventing food spoilage and food borne illnesses. Wash your hands, vegetables, and clean your food preparation surfaces including cutting boards, bowls, cutting tools, and glass jars with hot water.

Step 3: Mix Starter With Warm Water

Mix culture starter with 1 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 tsp of sugar. This step activates the bacteria. Let it stand for 20 minutes. From my experience, using 1/2 or even 1/3 packet of the starter provided results similar to using a full packet.

Note: It is recommended that you use a starter but it is not required.

Step 4: Chop Vegetables

When slicing the vegetables, make sure they are small enough for the blender. Remove soil and any decayed or moldy spots.

Step 5: Blend Vegetables

Blend the cabbage in small amounts at a time. You may start by adding some water. Once they are blended, you may add the other vegetables and blend them together. Pour into a large bowl and repeat until all vegetables are blended.

If you want a coarser texture, you may use a food processor.

Step 6: Mix the Starter With the Smoothie

Once 20 minutes has passed, add the starter/sugar mixture into the smoothie.  Mix well.

Step 7: Pour the Smoothie Into Jars

When pouring into jars, leave about one or two inches of headspace for gas bubbles. Do not leave too much headspace. Wipe the rim to ensure proper sealing . Once it starts fermenting, the oxygen will be replaced with CO2 and it will prevent mold growth. You may add cabbage leaves into the headspace.

Place a tray under the jars to collect any spills. Since more juice is available in blended vegetables, expect it to produce more gas bubbles.

Label the date and allow three to seven days for fermentation. Seven days is better. In a day or two, CO2 bubbles will start to form. Just don't get sprayed when you open the jars!

Step 8: Results

After fermentation is complete, refrigerate to slow down further fermentation. The shelf life of cultured vegetables is very long (more than eight months). You may experiment with different fruits and vegetables.

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    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I have to try it.

    What are the directions when not using a starter?
    Do you still add water and molases?

    Another thing: If you turn your jars upside down, they won't loose anything from inside. But, is it too high the pressure to use plastic jars?

    THank you for the tutorial!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I've always used a starter but if you don't use a starter, the microorganisms already present on the vegetables can be used.

    Plastic containers may be used if you use a fermentation lock which vents out excess CO2 but keeps out the oxygen.