How to ferment vegetables

Summer's in full swing and soon the harvest will be in.  The good news is that you can set yourself up to enjoy vegetables all year round. 

Today we'll discuss fermenting. An old school way to package and keep vegetables year round.  Beyond just having access to veggies in the cold winter months, eating fermented foods have all kinds of health benefits.

Fermented vegetables begin with lacto-fermentation, which enhances the nutrient content of the food. The bacteria enhances your bodies ability to absorb the minerals while also producing vitamins and by products that are beneficial for your gut. 


While there are many ways to ferment foods, today we'll discuss Salt Fermenting. Why? Because you only need 3 ingredients. Salt, Vegetables and Water. Seriously, that's it. For this post, my recommendation is that you use Himalayan Sea Salt.  I like the fact that there is a higher content of minerals which will be absorbed into the vegetables during the pickling process. 

Salt is a critical component to fermenting high quality products. Choose your salt carefully, it matters.

Salt is a critical component to fermenting high quality products. Choose your salt carefully, it matters.



The recipe below is for Fermented Carrots.  You may replace the vegetable with any of your choosing and follow the directions for a similar outcome.


Ingredients:

1 Quart Water

2 Tbsp. Salt

1 lb. Carrots cut into sticks

You can ferment almost any vegetable to enjoy year round

You can ferment almost any vegetable to enjoy year round



INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil the water and let stand to come to room temperature

  2. Pour in salt and stir until dissolved

  3. Place the carrot sticks in a mason jar and pour the salt liquid over the carrots, leaving 1-2 inches at the top

    1. If necessary, weigh the carrots down under the brine

  4. Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band

    1. Ensure that the carrots stay under the water during this step, you may need to add a weight to keep them down

  5. Culture at room temperature until desired flavor and texture are achieved 

    1. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure

  6. Once the carrots are finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage.

The flavor will continue to develop as the carrots over time.