Today, I hope to take some of the fear factors out of starting to make fermented foods in your own home. Some of the easiest types of ferments to make are brine veggies. All you need are a vessel, salt, veggies, and a scale to weigh your salt for the different brine resolutions. Once you make a couple of these ferments you’ll get the hang of it and likely have no problem keeping, at least, some basic veggie ferments on hand. A culture starter is not necessary, but if you are unsure of the quality of your vegetables and they are not organic, using a starter culture would be a good idea. (I recommend Caldwell’s starter). [ Below Photo Credit goes to Elizabeth Eckert of Fresh Garden Energy, you can also find her facebook page here: Fresh Garden Energy]
This should be a staple in everyone’s ferment repertoire. Why? Garlic is a potent antibacterial as well as immune enhancing superfood. Fermented garlic just kicks up the healing benefits a notch or two. Try some out if you haven’t already. Be sure to reserve a special jar just for your garlic, getting the stink out/off your jar is quite difficult.
- Lacto-Fermented Garlic from Delicious Obsessions
Lacto-fermented onions are another staple I keep on hand always. They are super easy to make and come in handy to add to a plethora of dishes or salads. This is another ferment you may want to establish it’s own special jar for. I like to make mine in a 1.5-liter jar and that lasts me a good while.
Another easy peasy and kid-friendly ferment to have on hand. You can vary the way you do carrots – sticks, coins, little pieces -the sky is the limit here! I like small pieces to put on salad, I like the sticks to have on hand for my kiddos and the coins sometimes to keep things interesting. Shredded carrots are a bit different, but a nice option as well. You can even add different herbs and spices to keep the flavors interesting. Check out these recipes:
- Basic Lacto-Fermented Carrots from Delicious Obsessions.
- Spicy Dilly Carrot Sticks from Pickle Me Too
- Curried Carrots from Pickle Me Too
- Fermented Carrot Sticks with Cinnamon, Ginger & Coriander from Pickle Me Too
- Sweet Lemon Carrots from Pickle Me Too
- Pickled Carrots from Divine Health From The Inside Out
This is a great ferment to have in the winter when most veggies are hard to come by. One medium head of cauliflower makes about 1.5 liters a larger head would fit a 2-liter vessel.
- Garlicky Cauliflower from Pickle Me Too
- Indian Spice Cauliflower from Pickle Me Too
- Lacto-Fermented Indian Spiced Cauliflower from Delicious Obsessions
- Cauliflower Green Bean Pickles
- Lacto-Fermented Asian Veggie Medley – Includes a nice variety of veggies along with cauliflower.
Pickled green beans are a snap to make (you like that little pun there?!). I can’t wait to preserve a few gallons of green beans this summer for the winter.
Spring is here and radishes are a plenty! What a great way to preserve and enjoy the harvest -throw some radishes in a jar with brine and Whallah!
Who doesn’t love some version or other of a pickle? I know this is the one ferment we are all likely, at least, familiar with the taste of, even though we are likely used to the vinegar version. Fermented pickles have a much fresher taste, but pickles can be a little harder to work out right. Try your hand at other brine veggies before you dive into pickle making. But get ready, because once cucumbers are ripe on the vine you’ll want to pickle away!
- Pickled Brussels Sprouts from Delicious Obsessions
- Fermented Masala Okra from Pickle Me Too
- Curried Squash and Zucchini from Delicious Obsessions
- Brine Pickled Celery from Pickle Me Too
- Pickled Asparagus with Lemon from Pickle Me Too
- Lacto-fermented Mushrooms from Pickle Me Too
- Pickled Pea Pods from Pickle Me Too
- Kohlrabi Pickles – 3 Ways from Divine Health From The Inside Out
- Spice Pickled Beets from Divine Health From The Inside Out
If you need a handy guide for both recipes and a brine chart, check out my friend Lisa Herndon’s book; ‘ Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles & Other Well Bred Foods.’ This is a great resource, one I refer to time and time again and every recipe I’ve tried has been excellent. I highly recommend you have a copy of your own! Also, check out Lisa’s site: Lisa’s Counter Culture – it’s all about fermentation and is a fabulous wealth of information.
In case you hadn’t noticed the majority of the recipes I shared here are from my good friend Melanie over at the blog, Pickle Me Too. And yes, her blog is all about fermented/pickled foods. So, be sure to head over to her site and sign up for her feed to get some great fermentation advice, resources, and recipes. Also, you can listen to an interview/talk I did with Melanie about fermented foods. We cover some of the basics of how to get started with fermentation, how to’s, what equipment/vessels you need, should you use whey or a starter and much more! It was a fun and energetic chat, I hope you will take some time to listen. Fermentation Basics with Melanie Hoffman and Lydia Shatney.
Learn the art of fermenting, so you can enjoy eating more enzyme & probiotic rich foods because they provide amazing health benefits!
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