A couple of weeks ago I mentioned vegetable fermentation as one of the five practices of traditional food preparation. For me, vegetable fermentation has been a game-changer. It makes my meals simple when I reach for a jar of kraut rather than having to chop up a salad. It preserves our vegetables in a way that is both delicious and healthier than most other food preservation techniques. It also provides our family with a range of flavors and microorganisms.

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But it took me a while to work out some of the kinks of the process. Vegetable fermentation is part science, part art and like most traditional food practices, you just get a feel for it. So after much trial and error, I figured out what it is that makes better kraut. It’s pretty simple, really, but just a few tweaks lends itself to better flavor.

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Let it ferment longer.

Oftentimes we are told to let it ferment for a few days and then put it in the refrigerator. Usually this does kick start the fermentation process

Use less salt.

Make it in the fall.

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