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
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.