Monday, May 14, 2012

Making Lacto fermented Vegetables

I have been making my own lacto fermented vegetables for several months now, it's so easy! I will admit that I have wanted to make them for a very long time, but was too intimidated to try it thinking I was going to poison my whole family as well as my self. Along comes Ali and Tom from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen with a blog post on how to easily make lacto fermented veggies, they even have a video for those who learn visually (me). After reading how easy it was, I decided to get brave and just do it. I enlisted my husband to watch the video with me and listen to all the instructions in case Tom covered information that was not explained in the blog post (it's all explained in the blog).  Next I purchased some wide mouth canning jars along with some plastic lids that go with them. Then I needed to determine what vegetables I was going to lacto ferment first. I chose carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower and red onions. I made six jars full of different combinations of vegetables and set them in a 9 x13 cake pan (to catch any fluid that comes out) and into my pantry. I left them for seven days to get "ripe" since it was still chilly during that time of year (if the weather is hot, it may take less time). After seven days, Eric and I pulled out our jars and tentatively tasted some of the veggies and they tasted delicious, even Eric was impressed! His favorite vegetable combination is red onion, cucumber and bell peppers (red, yellow and orange) and has since started adding some red pepper flakes when he makes some for himself.

I love Bubbies brand sauerkraut from the health food store, but it is a bit pricey if you eat a lot of it and I do. So I decided to try my hand at making my own with this recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen. I liked how she adds an apple for a little sweetness and her beautiful picture just looked so appetizing. I ended up using a green  apple in mine and I have to say that although it came out very good, I cannot detect any sweetness, most likely due to the green apple and not a red one as she uses.

Next, I tried my hand at some coconut mayonnaise using a recipe from The Coconut Mama. Instead of using whey, I used liquid from my lacto fermented vegetables and it came out so good, even Eric loved it. The kids could not tell it was made from healthy ingredients and I did not tell them :)

Eric and I have been eating our lacto fermented vegetables with almost every meal, they are so good and just teaming with enzymes and beneficial bacteria. Here are some of the ways I like to enjoy them.

baked potato with some ghee and lacto fermented veggies, I'm drooling!

brown rice pasta with homemade sauerkraut, so good believe it or not. I love it mixed in with brown rice too!

It's safe to say, I eat them with anything, I've even topped a homemade vegetarian pizza (after it was cooked) with my precious vegetables. I plan to try making some lacto fermented ketchup next!

I can't say for sure that my health has benefited from eating this way, but my doctor just recently lowered my thyroid medication by 30mgs, so I am going to keep doing what I'm doing.

What do you think? Are you interested in trying your hand at making some? I'd love to hear about it!


Update: I wanted to add some links that will offer more information on lacto fermenting

Nourishing Days has a series of posts on Fermented Food for Beginners (this link will take you the last post on the series, but that post will have links to the ones before).

According to Food Renegade, there is 54 billion live bacteria in less than a half a teaspoon of lacto fermented! You can read about it here.

Food Renegade's Raisin Chutney Recipe. I plan to try this one, it looks really good!

Cultures For Health has a compilation of lacto fermented condiment recipes, I'll be trying some of these!

This is just the tip of the ice burg, I hope you found these links helpful, I will update from time to time when I come across more great, informative articles.

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