Wednesday, May 6

Super-Easy Homemade Sauerkraut!

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

This is the time of year when we get excited about all things gardening…the seeds are in the ground, and we’re already working on a preservation plan for when everything starts popping up!  So we were pretty excited to receive a starter kit from Fermentools to try out small-batch fermentation.  This product is affordable and so easy to use that we would recommend it to anyone interested in starting out with fermenting…

What is fermentation?
  • Lactofermentation is a cost-effective food preservation technique that used bacteria in an anaerobic environment.  Vegetables (most commonly) are submerged in an oxygen-free brine that prevents other bacteria from growing and allows the lactobacillis to create a tangy, bubbly, shelf-stable ferment….such as kimchi or sauerkraut. 
  • Why should we try it?
  • This is a good way to get probiotics into the diet.  Probiotics are the good bacteria that help to keep us healthy.  They promote a healthy digestive tract, a stronger immune system, and may even help to prevent illnesses.
  • Fermenting foods at home gives your children a chance to see the cycle in action.  Younger kids can learn about bacteria and decomposition, while older kids can learn about the anaerobic cycle.  When you see the cabbage turn into sauerkraut or the flour turn into sourdough over time, it brings you back to nature and helps reinforce these scientific concepts.

What’s in the starter kit?
  • Stainless Steel Lid that fits wide-mouth jars.  Unlike regular canning lids, this won’t react with the brine to create a metallic taste.  It also won’t rust during the fermentation process.
  • Rubber Gasket that allows for a tight seal between the jar and lid.  This can be washed and reused.
  • Glass Weight to keep the food under the brine solution.  This is so important for preventing mold growth!
  • Air Lock System and Rubber Stoppers which allow carbon dioxide to escape your jar while keeping oxygen out.  One of the stoppers has a hole in it for the air lock, while the other is solid.
  • Himalayan Salt is a high-mineral salt that is so finely ground it just dissolves in water, creating an easy brine solution. 
  • Conversion chart that tells exactly how much salt you need to create a particular strength of brine.
  • Recipe Booklet and starter tips to help you get started with confidence!
  • You will need to supply your own clean canning jar and ring (any size works, as long as it’s wide-mouthed).

    
How do we use the kit for our first ferment?
  • Chop, grate, or otherwise prepare the food you are planning to ferment.  This helps to release the juices.
  • Using the provided chart, add the necessary amount of salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Place this mixture into your jar and pack down.  You should have natural juices and salt coming up around the solids.  If you need to create more juice, use the provided chart to mix up enough brine to cover the food.
  • Put the glass weight into the jar and press down so that the food is completely underneath the brine.
  • Clean up around your jar.  Put the rubber gasket on, then the stainless steel lid, and then a canning ring.
  • Put the rubber stopper into the hole and the air lock into the stopper.  Make sure to fill the air lock about halfway full with water.*  (We neglected to mention this step in the video, but it’s very important!)
  • Place the jar in a warm, dark place.  In the winter, we like to wrap a towel around the jar to help keep it warm.  Allow it to ferment for at least a week. 
  • Once you are done fermenting, you can simply remove the glass weight, take off the ring, gasket, lid, and airlock, and place a regular canning lid and ring on your mix.  No need to transfer the food…just store in its jar!



Ready to give it a shot?

Check out what others are saying about Fermentools at the Schoolhouse Review Crew, and then hop over and use this coupon code for 15% off through June 30th!   code:  CREW2020

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your review! Your video is awesome! We are sharing it on our website very soon.

    - Cassie D. Co-Owner at Fermentools

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    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad you liked it. We are on our fifth batch now. :)

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