Why Did the Top of My Kraut Discolor?

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Have you ever kept a batch of kraut around long enough to see it discolor at the top? This happened to me recently. It’s been so long since this happened – because we usually eat our ferments so fast – that I had kind of forgotten about the phenomenon.

But I remembered back when I used to keep ferments in a refrigerator in half-gallon jars. Eventually I had some of the top of the kraut go from green to brownish. Or, in this case, a jar of kimchi ended in two completely distinct coloring patterns – the red of the chilies at the bottom and the blah brown cabbage at the top.

It turns out there is a chemical compound that causes this to occur and, thinking back on the occurrences, I think I may have figured out why it happens. Or at least I have a guess.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Lacto-fermented Beets and Turnips

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Fermenting beets can get a bit tricky. Like fruit, beets have a relatively high sugar content that can convert to alcohol quite easily. To solve that problem, lacto-fermenting beets in small quantities with other vegetables such as turnips or cabbage is helpful.

This classic combination of cold-weather root vegetable fermentation makes a lively addition to winter meals that can be lacking in much-needed enzymes and probiotics…. 

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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How We Like Our Fermented Vegetables

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Fermented vegetables have a frequent place at our table. We eat them in a host of different ways – from a topping to whatever it happens to be that we’re eating to incorporated in a host of tasty dishes. Given the variety of flavors you can create with fermented vegetables, they can be one of the most versatile items in your kitchen.

But they need to taste good in order to work well as an ingredient or standalone food item. Over the years I’ve found that our family has a preference for certain aspects of fermented vegetables and when these are lacking, we’re not nearly as excited about them.

Here are a few of our prerequisites and how we achieve them.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Orange-Ginger Carrot Kvass

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Most of us make kvass out of a simple desire for a healthy tonic. While many agree that these aren’t always the most delicious of beverages, we drink them anyway. But sometimes adding a bit of delicious flavor can entice us, and picky family members, to consume more of the foods that nourish us.

Such is the case with this take on kvass. A second fermentation, done much the same as with kombucha or water kefir, gives it delicious flavor and a bit of carbonation.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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