How to Make Fermented Vegetables - Farm Girl Fresh


homemade ferments

How to Make Fermented Vegetables

Does making Lacto-fermented vegetables sound intimidating to you? It did for me. And then I tried it. It is really quite simple.

This type of fermenting vegetables is simply a process of an oxygen-free environment where lactobacillus (good bacteria) turns sugars into lactic acid. The lactic acid then prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and acts as a preservative.

If you are looking to improve your gut health, eating fermented foods is a great place to start. It will add good bacteria to your gut and strengthen your immune system (great for this time of year).

Some vegetables you can ferment are cabbage, carrots, cucumbers (add grape leaves to keep cucumbers crisp), green beans, peppers, onions, radishes and more.

Be creative with different combinations of vegetables. Example: carrots with red pepper flakes, green beans with garlic and dill, or garlic with basil and oregano.

making sauerkraut

Here are some simple steps to begin fermenting your vegetables:

  • Evenly cut your vegetables to the same size. This will allow fermenting at the same rate.
  • Pack jars with vegetables leaving at least 1 ½ inches of headspace and cover with salt brine (with the exception of cabbage) making sure all vegetables are submerged.

Basic Brine recipe:

4 cups water, chlorine-free

2 tablespoons sea salt

Mix together water and sea salt until the salt has dissolved.

Leave one inch headspace (measured from the top rim of the jar). Place a glass weight in the jar or cover the vegetables with a cabbage leaf.  You can also use a lid with an air-lock.

Leave vegetables to ferment on your counter for 3 to 7 days (this depends on how sour you like your vegetables). Room temperature should be 70-75 degrees F. (make sure all vegetables remain below the brine while fermenting). After a few hours you should see some tiny bubbles begin to form.

homemade ferments

When the fermenting process is complete, place fermented vegetables in the refrigerator (the cooler temperatures slow down fermentation). Your fermented vegetables are now ready to eat and will stay good for months in the refrigerator.

fermented radishesFermented vegetables make great snacks, appetizers or simply add to your favorite sandwich. Your gut will thank you.