We’ve discussed the importance of supporting your microbiota here, and maybe you’re even wanting to increase the intake of fermented foods. Have you noticed how expensive they are?
If you are purchasing live, organic fermented foods, even sauerkraut or kimchi, it can really add up over time. But did you know that making your own fermented veggies at home is really simple? You can choose to make small batches at a time and over time you’ll learn how much your family eats then you can time it so you never run out.
The absolute basics:
Ingredients (makes about 1 quart)
- 4 cups purified water (it cannot have chlorine)
- 2 Tbsp celtic, sea, or himalayan salt
- 1-2 tsp ACV that has a “mother” or whey from another ferment like yogurt
- Clean jar
- Weight or something to hold the veggies below the water
- Vegetables: onions, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, celery, cauliflower
- Spices & Herbs: garlic, chili peppers, ginger, black/pink peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander, cloves, juniper, caraway seeds, dill seeds, allspice, crushed bay leaves, fresh whole chili peppers
Choose your vegetables and spices; try different combinations until you find one you really like.
- Prepare the brine solution, making sure the salt is completely dissolved, then stir in the ACV or whey. The brine water is beneficial to lactic-acid-forming bacteria while killing off most other microorganisms.
- Chop vegetables and prepare herbs/spices
- Fill your jar 3/4 full with vegetables, layering the spices and herbs as you go along
- Cover the vegetables with the prepared brine, filling to about an inch from the top to make room for your weight
- Weigh down vegetables to keep them under the water
- Cover the jar with a lid (release gasses 2-3 times a day) or use a ferment lid
- Taste in about a week to see if it’s fermented enough. After a week move it to a cooler environment (around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to reduce potential mold growth.
- Once it is to your liking, transfer to the refrigerator. This greatly slows down the fermentation process and you can store it for a year.
If there is mold present on the surface only, simply skim it off and keep going.
However, if the mold has made its way down or you see strings going down into the ferment, compost and start again. This is why starting with small batches at first is the easiest way to go.
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