Fermented (Probiotic) Vegetables
We all know fresh veggies are a treasure trove of nutrients necessary for our health and one of the best fuels we can fill our tank with. However, we can kick that fuel up to super-charged with the fermentation process which creates beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and additional vitamins that make our veggies even healthier than they were in their raw state! The fermentation process builds many healthful bacteria while preserving the food to longer life!
Our gut is the “cradle of civilization” for our complete physical and mental health.
Here is where our nutrients are processed, and our immune system strengthened.
The ingestion of toxins through eating, breathing, and even our skin self ravages our gut, killing off beneficial bacteria while leaving intestinal walls raw, inflamed, and unable to efficiently absorb nutrients. Yet, eating fermented foods can actually heal the gut by repopulating it with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and bringing it to proper PH balance!
The process of fermenting veggies is quite simple, all you need to get started are glass canning jars, pure sea salt, bottled spring water and, of course, beautiful fresh veggies – organic preferred but not necessary. You can start with just the lids that come with the jars but the preferred would be “air lock” type lids, or my favourite, the silicone nipple type lids from “Masontops”. You can buy their products from Amazon or Walmart online. They also sell kits that include everything you need!
I am demonstrating here some delicious fermented carrots because that is an easy first project to give you an introduction to the process.
I am using quart jars that have been boiled in water for ten minutes to sterilize, and they fit the carrots nicely. Peel and cut quarter length–wise enough carrots to fit snugly in your jars. The carrots need to sit below the neck of the jar to leave enough space of at least one and a half inches. When you cover the carrots with brine, they should be submerged at least an inch with about a half to one inch of air space.
I like to add an aromatic for additional flavour such as fresh dill, washed then packed at the bottom of jar, or fresh lemon peel and a couple slices of ginger. Caraway and celery seed are also delicious! Get that all tucked into the jar, then mix your brine at a ratio of one tablespoon sea or pink salt to two cups room temperature spring water, stir well to dissolve
Pour the brine over the carrots at least one inch, leaving about a half inch airspace.
Attach the lid and place in a dim area away from sunlight. Your carrots can be eaten after four days but I prefer to leave them for a week to allow more good bacteria to develop.
Once opened they can be stored in the fridge for a month or two, but they won’t be around that long…too tasty!
- You may notice cloudiness to the brine after a couple days, that is normal.
- During the early days of fermentation carbon dioxide is released, so if you have used standard lids and cannot press down on the lid as you normally can, release that pressure by quickly unscrewing the lid to “burp” it and screwing it quickly back down – leave it just barely tight. Check it every day!
Enjoy your journey into this very wonderful world of probiotic goodness.
To your health!