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.
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.