Many people are taking probiotic supplements to improve their gut and overall health. If you don’t like taking supplements or if you think they’re just too expensive, consuming fermented vegetables is a great alternative! Fermenting vegetables at home is easy but can be time consuming due to all the veggie chopping required. The time commitment is well worth the benefits! Fermented vegetables contain large amounts of probiotics, much more than even the best probiotic supplements. Learn how to make your own fermented vegetables in 3 simple steps below.
3 Simple Steps to Superior Fermented Vegetables
1. Prepare your brine. For best results, I recommend using a starter culture dissolved in fresh celery juice that you juice yourself. One cup of celery juice is enough for 3 quarts of vegetables. Celery juice contains natural sodium that keeps the vegetables anaerobic, preventing the growth of unwanted bacteria. No extra salt is needed.
While you can do “wild” fermentation – that is, allowing whatever is naturally on the vegetable to produce the fermentation – this method is more time consuming, and the end product is less certain. Inoculating the food with a starter culture speeds up the fermentation process.
Although not quite as desirable for fermenting vegetables as my starter culture, you can use two of our 100 Billion CFU Complete Probiotic capsules in your brine for every quart of fermented vegetables to inoculate them with probiotics.
2. Pack your jars. Make sure your jars and lids are clean and dry. Tightly pack your cut-up vegetables and brine mixture into each Mason jar, and carefully compress using a masher to remove any air pockets. Top with a cabbage leaf, tucking it down the sides. Make sure the veggies are completely covered with brine that reaches the top of the jar to eliminate trapped air.
Screw the lids, preferably my special Fermenting Jar Lids, on the jars loosely, as they will expand due to the gases produced in fermentation.
3. Ferment your vegetables. Allow the jars to sit in a warm location for several days, ideally between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, 85 degrees max. Heat kills the beneficial microbes, so be sure to monitor temps. During the summer, veggies are typically done in three or four days. In the winter, they may need as much as seven days.
How do you know when they’re ready? Simply open up a jar and taste them. Once you're satisfied with the flavor and consistency, move the jars into your refrigerator. Refrigeration drastically slows down the fermentation process. Your fermented vegetables will keep for many months in your refrigerator, continuing to mature very slowly over time.
Source: How To Make Your Own Fermented Vegetables
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