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.
Most of the time when you see a review here on the blog it is for homeschool curriculum or books, but I have a real treat for you today. I had the privilege of trying my hand at fermenting using the Starter Kit from Fermentools. This great little company is run by another homeschool family and offered wonderful customer support and service.
Through no fault of the company, the timing for getting the Starter Kit was not ideal. It arrived shortly after our state was put on social distancing restrictions and when grocery stores were still a little short on fresh produce. This limited my options for our first trial, but thankfully my son had some cabbage in the garden ready to be picked. The kit included an air lock system, a stainless steel lid, pink salt, a glass weight, 2 rubber stoppers, and instructions for using the kit as well as making sauerkraut (other recipes are located on their website).
In my excitement to get started, I used the wrong attachment in my food processor. That head of cabbage turned into finely chopped pieces instead of nice pretty strips. I was concerned that this would not work correctly, but since it was all I had, and I wouldn’t be getting groceries again for another week, I decided to give it a try. Following the directions that came with the kit, I put my shredded cabbage into a bowl. Then I added the salt that came with the kit and mashed it until it was soft and I had gotten some of the liquid out of the leaves.
Next, I put the cabbage into a jar and because I did not have enough liquid, I added a brine to finish covering the cabbage. The next step should have been to place a glass weight on top of the cabbage to keep it under the brine. However, because I had shredded the cabbage so finely it actually sank down into it. Then I set up the air-lock and put the jar into the cabinet (to keep it out of the sun), to wait and see what happened. I had to keep a watch on it through the week to make sure it stayed submerged because of the weight not working properly but at the end of the time, I had some salty but tasty kraut! Perfect for serving alongside grilled bratwurst and some of my husband’s German potato salad.
I let the first batch ferment about two weeks, and by the time that batch was done I was able to purchase more cabbage at the store. This time I remembered to use the right attachment and the weight set perfectly atop my cabbage and kept it below the brine. Also, because I had shredded it correctly it made enough of its own brine and I did not have to add any more.
Now that fresh vegetables are becoming more plentiful at local farms and in the grocery store, I am looking forward to trying other fermented vegetables and fruits. It is strawberry season here and they even have a recipe for fermented strawberry preserves. I think this will be a fun way to add in new recipes and store some of our garden produce, in addition to the health benefits of fermented foods.
Be sure to check out the Starter Kit from Fermentools to get more information or to purchase your own kit. Don’t forget to click on the graphic below to check out the reviews from other Review Crew members who reviewed this kit and see how they used it with their families and what recipes they tried!