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Rutabagas refreshing? Yeah right…

February 8, 2010

Bored with bagas

The tonic of choice this winter has been sauerruben made from rutabagas.  All the sauerkraut is gone, and we have been eating the last of the cabbage braised – so fermented rutabagas it is.


I wish I had made more two weeks ago – it is delicious.  It seems to have a hot taste similar to horseradish, but it isn’t an unpleasant, nasal clearing hot, and the flavor gives way to a mild kraut taste.

Watching the jar dwindle each day spurred me on to dig more roots today.

With a dry day, I needed to haul wood – so hopefully by tomorrow night I will have a new batch brewing.  I fermented the last batch on the edge of the cookstove.  I guess we keep our house a little cool, it took about 10 days before the ruben reached the right stage.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2010 10:51 pm

    Interesting – is that like kvass? Or how do you make it?

    • February 9, 2010 5:54 am

      Annette, it’s actually just like sauerkraut, and made the same. So the liquid yield isn’t as great as with kvass. It seems like I am really craving it too.

  2. February 9, 2010 3:13 am

    Interesting way to use them. I’m usually at a bit of a loss when it gets past the roast them /mash them standards. Now this is incentive to maybe grow a few this year.

    • February 9, 2010 5:58 am

      Hayden, I was a little skeptical, after hearing from my MIL tell stories of the coming out of the school and being able to smell every one making repa (sour turnips or rutabagas) in the neighborhood. 😀

      But, it is actually quite tasty, different texture and taste than kraut, and the dogs absolutely go bananas for it! They eat the peelings, greens and love the raw chunks too. Jake??

  3. Rita permalink
    February 9, 2010 4:53 am

    I can’t believe you are out of cabbage already.

    • February 9, 2010 6:03 am

      Rita, actually I still have quite a bit of cabbage left, but my daughter likes it braised so much, and no one was really wanting anymore sauerkraut this winter, I decided to just keep it for cooking.

  4. February 9, 2010 7:14 am

    I never thought of krauting bagas!! What’s your salt ratio??

    • February 9, 2010 7:32 am

      Linda, it’s pretty tasty 🙂 I’m dreaming of reuben soup! Same as kraut – 3T salt per 5 pounds of baga.

  5. myrevolvingpassions permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:33 am

    would love to know how you do this, or a recipe. We very succesfully overwintered a row of swedes in the garden this year and have enjoyed them many different ways, but this would be completely new and different!

    • February 9, 2010 7:37 am

      I’m making it today – after I get my outside chores done – so I’ll post pics tonight.

      • Doris permalink
        February 9, 2010 9:51 am

        and the recipe? for me who is ignorant, lol
        I understand that krout made the old fashioned way is very strongly anti-cancer. Intend to make it, but haven’t got it done yet, you make it sound so easy.

        • February 9, 2010 12:03 pm

          Doris, it is easy. Vegetable, salt,clean jar or crock and plate… your in business.

  6. February 9, 2010 7:48 am

    those look like turnips…?

    • February 9, 2010 12:07 pm

      Aimee, turnips and rutabagas are both from the Brassica family. Turnips – Brassica rapa and rutabagas – Brassica napus And both are often used interchangeably in recipes. Either one would work for kraut.

  7. Marcia in WY permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:58 am

    My cabbage kraut always rots – what am I doing wrong? too warm? not completely covered with liquid? not enough salt? shredded pieces aren’t the same size? – I don’t have a kraut cutter – just use a very sharp knife— very frustrating as it takes a LONG time to cut it up by hand just to have it get all icky.

    • February 9, 2010 12:17 pm

      Marcia, the salt ratio is usually 3T to 5 lbs cabbage, but more or less doesn’t seem to make much difference. But the vegetable does have to be below the brine. If your cabbage doesn’t make enough brine, you can add a weak brine of 2T salt to a quart of warm water. It can ferment fast in hot weather, and after a week or so should be moved to cold storage, but in cooler weather it may take weeks – I did this last batch on the coolest corner of the cookstove – and it still took 10 days or so. Once it got to where we liked the flavor I put it in the refrigerator.

      Are you sure it is rotting? Kraut does have a powerful awful smell that can turn people off. Sometimes the top layer can form a scum, which you can just take off.

      It does take a long time to cut, even with a kraut cutter.

  8. February 9, 2010 7:42 pm

    Hmmm. I may have to try turnip kraut.

  9. February 9, 2010 7:49 pm

    I have learned so much from your blog! There is an award for you over at mine.

  10. AKA Angrywhiteman permalink
    February 9, 2010 11:37 pm

    Poor little dog, all wore to a frazzle from working so hard……………….

  11. Regina permalink
    February 10, 2010 3:47 pm

    Use a food processor, I do our kraut that way every time. About a 15 pound batch, I’ve got carpal tunnel, I’m not hand shredding anything.

    I also make small batches: 1tbs salt to 1 lb shredded veg

    I’m glad it’s healthy, I sure love eating it.

  12. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm permalink
    February 14, 2010 6:39 am

    A good way to use rutabagas! Do you also eat them squared, cooked with a little salt and butter?

    • February 14, 2010 6:48 am

      Sheryl, oh yes, we eat a lot of them, roasted with other roots, in gratins and just plain with butter. And the gnarly ones go to the cow!

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