Veggie Culture Starter
Greetings from Wilderness Family Naturals where we have a variety of natural probiotic culturing products such as Powdered Kefir Starter, Vegetable Culture Starter, Yogurt Culture Starters, Set Milk Culture, Vegetable Rennet as well as Yogurt and Cheese Making Equipment!
Now there is a culture you may use to culture vegetables, make whipped, cultured butter or sour cream. Cultured veggies and cultured dairy are easier to digest than their raw or cooked counterparts and it is so easy to turn your favorite vegetables or cream into a probiotic foods!
Cultured Vegetables are made by shredding cabbage or a combination of cabbage and other vegetables, packing them tightly into an air-tight container, and leaving them at room temperature to ferment for 3-6 days. In cooler homes it may take longer. During the fermentation process the friendly bacteria grow, multiply, and thrive in their new environment. They convert the sugars and starches to lactic acid and partially digest the veggies they are given. Once they have done their job you simply place the culture in the refrigerator, which will slow down their activity. Though the cold will slow down the fermentation process, it will not stop it completely. The quick growth of lactobacteria and the acidic environment they create will cause other bacteria to be eliminated and not survive, greatly increasing the "shelf life." of those raw vegetables. Interestingly, the culture actually becomes more delicious as the time goes by.
Cultured Vegetables are the perfect compliment to meats. The culture will not spoil and should keep for at least 8 months once cooled.
To culture vegetables:
This recipe yields 2 quarts of cultured vegetables.
Dissolve 1 or 2 packages of starter culture in 1/2 cup warm (90°) water. Add some form of sugar to feed the starter (try Rapadura, Sucanat, honey, agave, etc.) Let starter/sugar mixture sit for about 20 minutes or longer while the L. Plantarum and the other bacteria wake up and begin enjoying the sugar. Add this starter culture to the brine (step 3 above.) This procedure takes the place of the first two steps of method 1 above. You do not need to worry about the sugar added here if you are on a sugar free diet because the bacteria will utilize these sugars and use them all up as they begin to grow and "culture" your vegetables.
Wash all vegetables well before using, and remove all outer leaves from the cabbage prior to grating or cutting.
How to use the Culture Starter in Cream
Use to make cultured whipped butter and sour cream. One pint of organic heavy cream makes about 1/2 pound of butter and 1 cup of buttermilk.
Two special things to know from the beginning are that cultured or sour cream butter churns more quickly than unfermented, sweet cream butter but still may take as long as 30 minutes to churn. It churns more quickly if it has been "aged" (left in the sour cream state) for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Cultured butter has a richer taste than sweet cream butter. And secondly be sure to chill the mixing bowl, electric beater and the sour cream before you begin making your butter.
Whip or "churn" the cream to make the best tasting whipped butter you've ever tasted.
You can use a hand held electric mixer. Butter can also be made by shaking the cream in a covered glass jar. Churn slowly at first and then gradually go up to high speed. You will see the cream go through three stages: whipped cream, stiff whipped cream, and finally two separate products-buttermilk and butter. During this last stage as the butter separates from the buttermilk, pay careful attention and turn the speed to low or it will splatter wildly. Pour off the buttermilk and use it later in cooking or to drink. Add very cold water to the butter, churn slowly for 1 minute and then pour off the water. Remove the butter with a wooden spoon, and sprinkle with sea salt and if you want other herbs or seasonings. You can flavor the butter with garlic, herbs, sea salt or even stevia.
Recipes for Making Cultured Vegetables
Try this recipe
Here is another recipe
You may have tasted some very fine cultured vegetables. You may add other vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or spinach. Once you have experimented, you will get bolder and bolder. Try dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards. Soak, drain and chop up ocean vegetables like dulse, wakame, hijikii and arame. Add either fresh or dried herbs such as dill, caraway, juniper berries, onion, ginger root or others.
Once you have recipes you like, make large amounts. You can take these living salads with you when you travel because they keep so well. You can pull one out of your fridge whenever you are hungry as your delicious "fast food" that requires little or no prep work. And they keep a very, very long time. They are one of the best and most economical foods you can eat. Be sure to serve them when you have food that takes more work to digest.
Carol E. Benoit, D.O.
Blend all the liquid ingredients until the cabbage leaves are pulverized. Pour the Liquid onto the layered vegetables, and add more water until the kraut has 1 inch of water on top. Cover with cabbage leaves to keep the small pieces under water, and compress the mixture with a stone or other food-safe weight. Leave alone in a warm, dark place. Fermentation should be complete in 4 to 8 weeks. At completion, the kraut may be stored in the refrigerator, where fermentation will be greatly slowed, but the flavor will continue to improve for several months. I consider it best after about 6 months. This sauerkraut is amazingly delicious while providing the intestinal tract with many probiotic organisms.
A Word about Fermentation Vessels
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