I have some sauerkraut brewing as well as some salsa (my favorite!).
My inspiration for trying out fermented foods are these two books:
Sandor Ellix Katz Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions
You can get the recipes from their books and Sandor has a You Tube tutorial which is terrific.
The priobiotic benefit you get from fermented foods is so good for your digestive tract. It is much more available than store bought yogurts which are pretty much sugar laden, and the live cultures are speculative since who knows how long since it was manufactured until it reaches your shopping cart.
For the sauerkraut I just use cabbage, onion, and carrots. You can adapt it to however you like it. The most important aspect is to add either salt to make your brine (or water and whey from your own plain yogurt), and I usually use both actually. To make your whey, simply put plain yogurt in a coffee filter inside of a strainer. Put a bowl underneath and collect the whey overnight in the refrigerator. Keep that in a mason jar to use when making fermented items.
For the sauerkraut you can use all kinds of other goodies like fresh garlic and any other veggies that appeal to you. Sandor uses red cabbage and I plan to try that in the future.
You cut up everything and place in a bowl to give it all a great big squeeze to release the juices. You can add salt over the veggies and squeeze some more. Taste to make sure it is not too salty but it will be going under water that you will need to add so it will be diluted some with this process.
Place contents in a glass jar with tight fitting lid. You will need to add more water in the coming days and open top to burp pressure. The mixture needs to be covered with brine or whey water to keep stabilized and not taint the process with mold or out of control organisms. Don't let that scare you though! The benefits outweigh anything going wrong...this is really the easiest thing to do:).
For the salsa, you can use anything of your choice here. Of course, tomatoes would be a first choice. I usually add red onion, cilantro, sometimes fresh garlic. And if you like it hot, you can always use peppers too. The way the fermented salsa tastes is incredible. The probiotics that break down the food for you make it taste so very good. I love to use it on eggs or with some tortilla chips.
This is a very fast post because I'm not sure how much attention the blog will get for awhile. This is our first week back to homeschool and it has been a grueling schedule going from carefree summer mode to synchronized time slots for every move we make. We are learning so much but our brains are on overdrive right now. It will be nice to have that first weekend in a few days! :o)
***You will need about 1-3 tablespoons of salt per jar and spring water covering contents completely. For whey use 2 tablespoons of it and cover entirely with spring water and 1 tablespoon of salt.***
Leave jars on the counter at room temperature. For salsa I usually leave it out for 3 days and the sauerkraut can ferment for 14-30 days depending on your own tastes. I would taste it every 5 days to see if is is soft enough or meets your tastebuds with delight at which time you can refrigerate it.
In a day or so you will see the life in there of bubbles and activity. It really is miraculous to see your food dancing and what it will help you do in your insides :)