Lacto-Fermented Vegetables

If you didn’t know by now, gut health is super important when it comes to overall health. And one way of supporting our guts is to feed it good live bacteria which can be found in a range of fermented foods. So here is a simple recipe for fermented vegetables. I chose cauliflower and carrots, a bit of garlic and herbs. But many different vegetables work, like tomatoes, onions, broccoli, parsnips, green beans, ginger.

The process I used is called Lacto-fermentation. Lacto-fermentation is a specific type of fermentation that uses lactic-acid producing bacteria to preserve food. The vegetables have to be in an anaerobic environment for this to work, meaning they have to be submerged under the brine. You can use a fermentation jar for this or a regular preserve jar and use a weight like a small dressing container filled with water, or a sandwich bag filled with water and let it top the veggies, which will push it underneath the brine. You can buy fermentation weights to do this too.

Tools:

  • 1 litre mason style jar or fermentation jar and lid

  • Some kind of weight that fits into the jar (small container/ fermentation weight)

  • Digital Scales

  • Measuring Jug

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cauliflower

  • 2 Carrots

  • 2-3 Garlic cloves

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (or any seeds)

  • Water (measured my pouring into veg filled jar)

  • Sea Salt

Method:

  1. Weigh the clean jar you are going to use to ferment and note down the weight in grams.

  2. Add the washed and chopped cauliflower florets and sliced and peeled carrots into the jar so that it is filled to about 1 inch from the top.

  3. Peel and slightly crush your garlic cloves and add them and the fennel seeds into the jar. Now weigh the jar again. To get the weight of the vegetables, minus the weight of the jar alone from the weight of the jar and vegetables together. Note down the amount.

  4. Fill the jar with lukewarm filtered water just to cover the veg, leave space at the top for it to rise once the fermentation weight goes in.

  5. Place a measuring jug on the scale, then set to zero. Next empty the water from the jar into the measuring jug and note down the weight in grams.

  6. Take the water jug off the scale and then place a small container on the scale and set to zero. Now to know how much salt to use add together the weight of the vegetables and the water then times that by 0.025. That’ll give you the perfect amount of salt to use. But anywhere between 0.02-0.03 is fine (vegetable grams + water grams) x 0.025 = salt grams

  7. Pour the salt into the water in the jug and stir so it dissolves. Once dissolved pour the water back into the jar and the place the weight on top so the vegetables is submerged underneath the water. Then loosely put the lid on so that some of the carbon dioxide can escape. If the lid goes on tight when you open it the water will explode out.

  8. Leave the jar in a warmish area (around 26ºC) to ferment for 7 days. It will be ready to have in that time but you can leave it for much longer, even months. After 7 day you can store in the fridge where it’ll continue to ferment at a slower pace.

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