Ok, so you may be thinking... But what are fermented vegetables? Well let me tell you...
Fermented vegetables are foods that have been through the process of lactofermentation where natural bacteria feeds on the sugars and starch in the vegetables creating lactic acid. This process creates beneficial enzymes as well as b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.
So Why Eat Fermented Foods?
Probiotics– To me this is one of the most important reasons to incorporate fermented veggies into your daily diet. Eating fermented veggies and drinking fermented drinks like Kombucha will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system that help keep the correct balance of bacteria in your digestive system. Probiotics also have many other benefits like improving bowel health, aid in digestion, and improve immunity!
Absorb Nutrients Better– When you have the proper balance of gut bacteria it actually helps you absorb more of the nutrients from the foods you are eating. When you start enjoying fermented veggies with your already healthy real food diet, you will absorb many more nutrients from the foods you are eating.
Budget Friendly– Making your own fermented veggies at home is the best way to do it. All you need is a couple mason jars, veggies of your choice and a saltwater solution. Its that easy peasy and cheap people!
Preserves Food Easily– Homemade salsa only lasts a few days in the fridge but.... Fermented homemade salsa lasts months! Woot woot!! Lacto-fermentation allows you to store these veggies for longer periods of time without losing any of the nutrients like you would with traditional canning.
Have I sold you on Fermented Foods yet? If so... try out this recipe.
- 4 mason jars
- Chopped veggies of choice
- Cabbage leaves
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 8 cups filtered water
- 4 Tbs sea salt
- Clean and dry mason jars
- Dissolve salt into water on the stove top or in the microwave
- Place chopped veggies in the jars. I used: red cabbage, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Stir the salt water mixture and then pour it over the vegetables in the jars, leaving ½-1 inch of space at the top. Place three cloves of garlic in each jar, then fold a small cabbage leaf so that it fits snugly into the jar and press it into the salt water so that it is completely submerged and covers the vegetables. Screw the lids on tightly to the jars.
- Place the jars in a location out of direct sunlight. After 2 days undisturbed, begin to open the jars once a day to release any gasses. Quickly screw the lids back on the jars. This is called “burping.” You’ll likely see some bubbling throughout the fermentation process and may even hear it. This is normal.
- After 5-6 days, you can begin to taste the vegetables to see if you think they are tangy enough. I typically like mine at this point but you can continue to ferment for 8, 9, or even 10 days until the desired flavor is reached. Once this happens, store your vegetables in the fridge where they will last for months!
I really hope you guys try and enjoy these fermented veggies as their benefits are just too good to pass up!