Lacto-Fermented Cauliflower Green Bean Pickles

by lydia on September 23, 2013

Pickles are not only made from cucumbers, sometimes they are made with other veggies. In fact, pickles really are referring to the process and not the specific vegetable. I love pickled cauliflower by itself and I love green bean pickles by themselves, so I thought I’d marry the two together for this combo. Brine veggies are among the easiest ferments you can make. Thankfully, both green beans and cauliflower are still in season right now (at least where I live they are).



Cauliflower contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid). It contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K. It serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium. Cauliflower is a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, which are both powerful antioxidants. It’s known as a good vegetable to help in the fight against cancer. Try it in different colors to get a wider array of nutrients. Read more here on the health benefits of cauliflower: 7 Health Benefits of Cauliflower.


Lacto-Fermented Cauliflower Green Bean Pickles


  • Makes a 3 Liter batch (could be fine for a 2 liter jar as well)
  • 1/2 head of organic cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2-1 quart of organic green beans, ends snapped of and beans halved
  • 1 organic yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves organic garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • handful of fresh organic basil, coarsely chopped
  • a tablespoon each of fresh organic parsley and oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • juice of one organic lemon
  • 2% brine (19 gms of sea salt per quart of water)*


  1. Toss the cauliflower, onions, green beans, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl.
  2. Fill a 3 liter anaerobic vessel with the veggie mixture, leaving an inch and a half or so of room from top of the jar. If you don't have enough veggies you can always add some more.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the jar and the lemon pieces as well if you like.
  4. Make your brine in a 2 quart mason jar. Pour the brine over the veggies.
  5. Leave an inch of head space in your jar and place a dunk-r on top of the veggie mixture to keep them under the brine.
  6. Seal the jar tightly and place in a dark cupboard to ferment for 5-7 days, until all the bubble activity stops, before transferring to cold storage.
  7. These get better and better with age too! I like mine best after about 2 weeks or so! Enjoy!
  8. Once these are ready to go - you can swap out your airlock lid with a regular Fido lid to store in the refrigerator. Or remove the airlock and add the plug. These keep quite some time in cold storage so long as your vegetables were fresh and of good quality. Several months

Try this recipe with a head of purple cauliflower and yellow wax beans instead for a burst of amazing color and a variety of nutrients. One of the most fun aspects of fermentation is the art of it. Yes, it is a science primarily, however the artistic piece is where you get to have some fun! Just look at the gorgeous color in the image below!


CaulGreenPickles1 I’d like to include a bit more information on the benefits of lacto-fermentation for those who may be new to the practice. My passion about this lost form of food preservation only increases with time. My family and I are most definitely reaping the benefits, therefore I really want to educate people on fermenting.

‘As consumers, we should be more aware of the all-important connection between fertilizers and the cultivation of our food plants. Food production is quite different from other forms of productions; you can’t ensure high quality by simply selecting what looks to be a good final product.

You have to start by ensuring, as far as possible, that the right methods of cultivation have been used. The nutrients in our agricultural lands have been exhausted by over farming and by the use of artificial fertilizers. The soil has been made sterile by chemical herbicides and insecticides and we are left with farmlands that can only produce feeble plants that don’t keep well at all. A growing number of consumers are seeking organically grown produce.

The aim of food preservation should be more than to just prevent food from spoiling. Preservation should also add fragrance aroma and improve digestibility. Lactic acid fermentation, the topic of this book, does all these things. Lactic acid fermentation has played an important role in history because of its health-giving and preservative qualities. Archeological finds have shown that even during the hunter- gatherer stage of human development, people fermented plant food and cabbage.’ ~Klaus Kauffman

Many traditional cultures depended on a fermented vegetable to go along with a meal. In Korea and Japan it would be kimchi, as well as miso in Japan. In Russia there are several dishes as well that are regularly consumed, such as Borscht and in Germany and Austria sauerkraut was a staple. But why on earth are lacto-fermented vegetables so highly prized as a nutritious component to the diet? Klaus explains further;

Lactic acid bacteria prevent decay not only in food products but in the bowels as well. Acetylcholine, which is produced during fermentation, stimulates the peristalic movement of the intestines. It assists the circulation of the blood and prevents constipation by promoting bowel movements. Lactic acid-fermented products have a harmonizing effect on the stomach: they strengthen the acidity of the gastric juice when hydrochloric acid production lags, and reduce acidity when production is up. Lactic acid acts like a key that fits neatly into the secretion glands of the stomach-to lock and unlock the glands according to the needs of the organism. Lactic acid maintains the balance between acids and alkalis. Lactic acid also encourages the function of the pancreas, which in turn stimulates the secretions of all the digestive organs. Of special importance to people with diabetes is the fact that the carbohydrates in lactic acid-fermented foods have already been broken down and do not, therefore make heavy demands on the pancreas.

Lactic acid-fermented products are excellent for those with weakened digestive systems, often the result of eating nutritionally poor foods, exposure to pollution and disease.

Lactic acid-fermented food is also a useful addition to the diet of cancer patients, where it serves as an effective supplemental treatment.

“Much doesn’t help much” is an old saying that holds true for the use of lactic acid-fermented vegetables. The positive effect of lactic acid-fermented products lies in their regular use, not in consuming vast quantities sporadically. Accordingly, consuming three to four tablespoonfuls of sauerkraut daily, preferably raw, can be sufficient to ward off disease, constipation and other intestinal problems.’

I can personally attest to the fact that regular consumption of fermented foods not only alleviates constipation but it goes a long way to  heal your gut in ways you may not even realize. I really can’t recommend including fermented foods in your diet enough! If you have not started fermenting foods at home, I hope you will give it a try soon!

This post included in ‘Fight Back Fridays‘ over at Food Renegade.

Recipe Book

Lisa's Counter Culture: Pickles and Other Well-Bred Foods If you need a handy guide for both recipes and a brine chart, check out my friend Lisa Herndon’s eBook; ‘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.

Equipment Needed For Basic Brine Ferments

I highly recommend purchasing a bunch of Fido jars in a variety of sizes. You can swap out the lids once active fermentation is over. That way you only need to invest in a handful of anaerobic jars, such as the Probiotic Jar.  I personally use 1 liter and IMG_0875 3 liter jars the most. I like the 1.5 or 2 liters in the summer for smaller brine veggie ferments. I use a 5 liter jar for my krauts. I use the .5 liter for things like mayo, horseradish or fruit butters. I buy my Fido jars through Sur La Table. If you spend $60 or more you get free shipping. Their jar prices beat Amazon by far. I also have a hard time finding the jars locally and don’t always have the time to hunt for them. Sur La Table makes it so easy to get these jars and they pack them so well and ship within 2 days!

New to anaerobic fermentation? Here are the jars I recommend – The Probiotic Jar.

Affiliate links are used where appropriate, which allow me to earn a small commission on your sale. This does not affect your price at all and is a cost of doing business for the affiliate companies. The monies earned from those commissions are like a tip at a restaurant and help support the maintenance of the website and free content. Shop on Amazon?  There’s a handy search box over in the right-hand side bar you can click through to shop on Amazon. You’ll get the very same prices, plus a portion of what you spend will support this site. Thank you!


LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Lydia also offers 3 online course: Heal Your Gut, Get Healthy To Lose Weight and A Calm Mind. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil July 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Interesting stuff..when I can, my fermented repetoire needs to extend from sauerkraut and carrots..this looks good. Interesting about the achetylcholine…


Lydia July 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

It’s is good Phil!!! I can’t get over the ease of making these kinds of veggies, not to mention how good they make me feel!! It’s an interesting science ‘eh………… 😉


Lisa October 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

So how do you keep your veggies submerged? It looks like in the video they pop up and than they are likely to mold before fermenting and possibly spoiling the whole batch….I used to weigh my veggie ferments down with a glass disc but closing the mason jar is still not anaerobic – at least not fully as Sally Fallon recommends on the Weston A. Price website…I know this is why whey is added to give the veggies a little boost until the culture they make will protect them…one thing that has made a big difference for me is using the pickl-it jars….than you don’t need to use whey and your ferment can be totally dairy free – somewhat important to some folks for various reasons…and the jars totally seal allowing the co2 to release through the airlock…

I like your video – but I think it needs a little clarification – adding whey doesn’t make necessarily define something as lactofermented….whey aids by adding beneficial bacteria to protect the veggies while they are making their own beneficial bacteria in a less than optimal environment…the veggies lactoferment with the salt solution…


lydia October 26, 2010 at 6:45 am

Hi Lisa!!
Thanks for your insightful comment. I have definitely learned a lot more about fermenting since I shot this video, perhaps it’s time for an update. As for how I keep the veggies submerged, I simply use a piece or two of cabbage a bit wider than the mouth of the jar and press the veggies down under the brine that way. I have never had a problem using this method.
Yes you are right the veggies lactoferment simply with salt. I have actually foregone using any whey in my ferments these days and am actually happier with the results.
Looks like I’ll be heading over to check out your site now, thanks for stopping by and for your comment!! Much appreciated!!


Lisa October 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Hi Lydia,
It’s so fun to chat with someone excited about fermenting. I just finished my first batch of fermented eggs with pickle bring using the Pickl-it – they are quite yummy – and I have been learning a lot too as gain more experience and research more. Kathleen, the owner of Pickl-it, has been such a great resource for me…I’ve had to revise my worksheets for my fermentation classes a few times to get all this information just right lol
Sally Fallon is totally on board with this Pickl-it jars too – finally there is an affordable option for folks to get a truly anaerobic environment for fermentation. And thankfully no need for that whey which tends to cloud the taste a bit IMO.

I do like to have the raw goat milk whey as a nourishing drink – and it does help keep my blood sugar more even through out the day – but that’s a whole other topic…

Let me know what you think of the site – I am new to this whole web thing – I am much more comfy in the kitchen :)


Lori September 23, 2013 at 10:12 am

After your veggies are fermented, how do you store them and how long are they good for?


lydia September 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

Good question Lori – I store them in the same jar as I fermented them in, I just switch the lid -you can either remove the airlock and place the plug in OR you can swap with a solid Fido lid. I always use a Fido lid so I can use my other lid to start fermenting something new as I only have 5 Pickl-it lids at this time. These are good for a long time so long as your veggies were very fresh and excellent quality. I’ve never had mine for more than a couple months at the most because I eat them all rather quickly.


Lori September 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

Unfortunately I only have one Pickl-it ( costs a bomb to have shipped here )
Can they be switched to regular mason jars? If so, will they continue to ferment and blow a hole in my fridge door? :)


lydia September 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

You don’t need another Pickl-it -just get a Fido jar – you should be able to get them where you are. I would not use a mason jar as they are not airtight and you could get mold in your ferment. You can order Fidos on Amazon, Sur La Table, Crate and Barrel. OR try the jar I referred to at the end of the post.


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