fermenting vegetables isn’t as scary as it sounds

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There are a handful of methods for fermenting vegetables.  You can use a culture starter like this one from Body Ecology, whey or salt water.  Of the ways I have tried, using salt water is by far my favorite.  Not only does it taste the best, it is super simple.

Fermented vegetables produce beneficial bacteria that our good for your gut and entire body.  If you want to know more about why you should ferment, check out one of Dr. Mercola’s article here.

You can choose whichever vegetables you like, but be sure to include cabbage and cucumbers (these produce large amounts of Lactobacillis… a really beneficial bacteria) in each batch.  I use all organic produce and I recommend you do the same!

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 whole head cabbage (be sure to set aside 3-4 of the outer leaves)
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (I love the zing it adds)
  • purified water
  • high quality salt
  • large glass jar with lid

Here’s what I did:

Finely chop all vegetables.  Shredding these vegetables will make the process go a little quicker, but I prefer the taste when there is a little more texture and less mush.

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Next, make a brine by dissolving 1 heaping tablespoon of salt for every 2 cups of water.  I used about 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt for this recipe.

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Put all the vegetables into a glass jar that has a lid.  Cram the vegetables as much as possible, leaving 1-2 inches of space up top.  You need a non-metal lid so I usually use this large mason jar that has a glass lid attached.

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Pour salt water brine over top until vegetables are covered.  Next, roll 3-4 cabbage leaves and place them over the top.  This helps keep the vegetables in the brine to keep mold away.  Cover with lid and let it sit in a warm spot for about 2 weeks.  With the type of jar I used, I opened the lid every few day just to let out a little of the built up pressure.

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After 2 weeks, put in the fridge eat as you please.  A quarter cup before each meal will really help digest your food… maybe something to consider with Christmas just around the corner.

If there is any sign of mold during this process, throw the batch out and start over.  This has only happened once, but was still a bummer!

It can store for up to 6 month, but it never makes it longer than a month for me!

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Enjoy!

-Abby

7 Replies to “fermenting vegetables isn’t as scary as it sounds”

  1. I want to make these, but I have lots of questions! I have lots of vegetables, but no cucumbers. Are they completely necessary? Does the jar have to be stuffed? The only glass lid I have fits a gallon jar – I don’t think I have that many veggies! How warm does it have to be? Nowhere in my house stays consistently warm. We usually have the thermostat at 60 or lower (that may have also been why my kombucha died?). Thanks for any insight!

    1. Hey Claire! Let’s see…
      You don’t have to use cucumbers, although they do produce lots of beneficial bacteria!
      The jar does not have to be stuffed. I usually go about 3/4 of the way to insure that is has a little room to expand.
      A gallon jar would be a bit much! You could just cover the jar with cheese cloth or a clean rag with a rubber band around it!
      No where in our house stays that warm either all the time… The cooler the temperature, the longer the process takes. It will still ferment, just might take a few extra days.

      Also, in the next few weeks the Weston Price gals who have been contributing our raw milk series will be doing a fermentation series… lots of great info coming!

      Abby

  2. Pingback: green | o'mamas

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