The preparation is slightly different for making Basic Sauerkraut versus the Probiotic Vegetable Medley (veggie pickles!), but the same brine recipe is used, and overall it's the same process. I've included both guidelines in this one recipe card because the recipe is so similar when you don't stamp the cabbage for sauerkraut. Start with Step 1 to make a Probiotic Vegetable Medley or Step 3 for the Basic Sauerkraut. You can also double the brine and make both!
For Probiotic Vegetable Medley: Chop the vegetables into bite size pieces or long slender slices, whatever looks pleasant to you to eat and see, and depending on which vegetables you choose. Arrange them tightly in your empty clean jar(s) or fermenting crock, either decoratively or hodgepodge-style. Include optional garlic, spices and herbs as you pack them in. If you're making sauerkraut, the process is a little different: See Step 3.
Pour the brine over the vegetables to within two inches of the lid (or as high as you want for the crock). Anchor them down with extra-tight packing if you aren't using weights or an insert lid (like the one that comes with the Korean fermenting crock). Add weights or insert lid and press down as needed to release air bubbles, until the salt water level rises above your weights or insert.
For Sauerkraut: Finely shred cabbage, discarding core. Place cabbage in large bowl with water and sea salt. Stir. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Stir cabbage again. Re-cover and set aside for an additional 30 minutes. Pack into jars or fermenting crock of choice. Pour any remaining salted water from the large bowl over the cabbage. Press down firmly to pack tightly and remove air bubbles. Add weights or insert lid, until the saltwater level rises above your weights or insert. After 12 to 24 hours, pack cabbage down again to make sure that it is beneath the brine.
Vegetable Medley and Sauerkraut: Place the vegetables in a dark warm place for about one week, depending on the temperature of your home, until all bubbling action has ended. Optional: Transfer to your refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks to mellow and develop the flavors before eating.
If you have extra brine leftover after your fermentation process, you can use it for various things: