ginger-carrot 'sauerkraut'

First post from Covelo, CA.... we are excited to present our readers with a recipe for ginger-carrot 'sauerkraut' made with grated carrots, ginger and whey (easily obtained from a nice organic yogurt).  the first smell of this!  and then the taste: delicious, vital, and hard to describe.  it takes just a few days to ferment, and its a good introduction to lacto-fermentation.  this recipe doesn't require any special equipment and you end up with a quart mason jar of tangy kraut.  as i write this, a hot-smelling kimchee sits on the counter in our kitchen, slowly fermenting in brine (salt instead of whey) and seeming to become more fully flavored every time we test it.  fermented vegetables are a great companion to beans and grains- it makes such simple fare seem like a kind of delicacy.  not to mention the 'health benefits' which are just about off the charts... p.s. happy halloween!

october 31, 08...covelo  

ginger-carrot 'sauerkraut or, lacto-fermentation pt. 1.  Ginger-carrots tend to get better with age, the carrots soften while the ginger brightens and mellows.  after the carrots have been fermented and moved into cold storage (a week in the fridge) i like to grate up additional fresh carrot and mix it into the jar.  once fermented and settled, the original carrots will have shrunk down a cup or so in the quart jar, leaving you with extra head space and juice.  take note of the space left, dump the ginger-carrots into a bowl, mix in enough freshly grated carrots to fill the jar, pack, top with water to cover and return to the fridge.  if you can wait, give the new mix about a week to subsume, before digging in!  these are a delicious accompaniment to your meals!

4 cups carrots -grated, packed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger -peeled, grated

1 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons whey (as a substitute use 1 more tbl of sea salt)

1 quart mason jar

Place all ingredients in a stainless steel  bowl, mix and pound for 5-8 minutes.  if you don't have a wooden mallet around, get a sturdy mug or cup and bang it down on the carrot/whey/ginger mixture.  this pummeling releases the juice in the carrots and speeds up the fermentation process. 

After pounding, stuff into a quart mason jar, pressing down the carrot mixture until juice rises to the top (keep carrots 1 inch below top of jar). if needed, add filtered water to keep juice level above the carrots.  put the lid on and place in a warm spot in the kitchen- not too warm (60-78 degrees), and not in the sun.  on top of the refrigerator is good.  after 3-5 days you open it up and try a bite- the biologically active mixture may fizz up (this is good), so open it on a plate.  store in the refrigerator after opening.  this number makes a great side dish to hot sandwiches, and its a home run for picnics.