Kefir grains consist of several bacteria and yeast cultures considered beneficial to digestion and overall health. Use the grains to make a probiotic drink, cheese or butter, or to ferment a variety of vegetables. The microbes in kefir grains predigest the vegetables, releasing the nutrients and making them more available to the body. Vitamin C content in fermented sauerkraut can be twenty times higher than fresh cabbage. Preparing cultured vegetables with kefir grains provides both a nutritious and less labor-intensive method of preserving vegetables.
Wash all your vegetables under running water well. Pat your vegetables dry with a towel.
Remove the outside layers of cabbage and set them aside. Slice the cabbage into ¼-inch-thick pieces to shred it. Cut all the remaining vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Remove florets of broccoli or cauliflower.
Put a handful of cabbage in your mortar and pound it use a rolling motion until the leaves bruise and juices run. Put the pounded cabbage in a bowl with the juices, and continue to pound the remainder of the cabbage one handful at a time.
Mix all the vegetables together evenly in the bowl. Measure 1 tbsp. of kefir grains and put them in the bottom of a 1-gallon jar.
Layer half of the vegetable mixture over the kefir grains in the jar. Use a wooden or plastic spatula to press the vegetables down in the jar as you fill it.
Add 1 tbsp. of kefir grains over the vegetables in your jar. Layer the remaining vegetables over the kefir grains. Add any spices you would like. Do not fill the jar more than ¾ full.
Lay the outside layers of your cabbage over the vegetables in the jar. Pour any remaining cabbage juice over top. Add vegetable juice to your jar until all the vegetables are completely submersed in liquid. Cover the jar loosely with the lid.
Set your jar aside in a cupboard to ferment for three days. Tighten the lid after a week, and put your fermented vegetables in the refrigerator to cure for another week. Once the vegetables are cured they are ready to eat. Store them up to four months in the refrigerator.