Fermenting foods was done originally in order to preserve foods when refrigeration didn’t exist, but the bonus of this long tradition is that importantly it provides you with an extremely nutritious form of probiotics for your body which is essential to our health. I’ve done a podcast explaining the incredible benefits of fermented foods for our health and wellbeing which you can access for free by clicking here.
But another huge bonus in our family of fermented vegetables is that our son will eat absolutely any vegetable that has been fermented because of the salty and vinegary taste that the ferment imposes on the vegetables. Raw (or cooked) broccoli, beetroot and the like are definitely not a favourite of our son, but once fermented he gobbles them down no questions asked!
Fermenting vegetables is super easy, so have a go for the health of your whole family!
- Organic homegrown vegetables of your choice (if you are able to grow your own)
- Filtered water
- Cabbage leaf (thoroughly washed)
- Sterilised jars
- Make as many brine solutions as you require by mixing 2 tbsp salt to 1 litre of boiling water and then mixing to ensure all the salt dissolves. Allow the brine to completely cool (usually a few hours).
- Wash vegetables with filtered water and peel any vegetables such as beetroot.
- Slice or chop vegetables into small pieces to fit into your jars.
- Place vegetables into sterilised jars until ¾ full.
- Pour in cooled brine solution until covering cloves, but ensuring there is still a large enough space from the lid to allow the fermentation to bubble off the natural gases that will be created. Note, that during the fermentation process some liquid may bubble out and push out of the jar, so best to store the jar in something like an esky so that you can easily wipe up any mess.
- Place a washed cabbage leaf over the vegetables to keep them submerged at all times - this is essential to ensure oxygen doesn't ruin your ferment.
- Depending on temperature (heat speeds up the fermentation process) you may need to burp (lift the lid to let gases escape) your vegetables after 3 days or so and then every couple of days there after. Check your ferment after 5 - 6 days by pulling out (using sterilised spoon) a vegetable and tasting it to see if it is to your liking. I usually like my fermented vegetables to be quite tangy which usually starts to happen after 7 days.
- Once ready, store in the fridge for up to 6 months and use as required, remembering that raw is best if you want to preserve the beneficial pro biotic properties that you have created.