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.
- ½ head of organic cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- ½-1 quart of organic green beans, ends snapped off 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
- 1 tablespoon each of fresh organic parsley and oregano, coarsely chopped
- ½ to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- Juice of one organic lemon
- 2% brine (19 gms of sea salt per quart of water)*
- Toss the cauliflower, onions, green beans, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl.
- 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.
- Add the lemon juice to the jar and the lemon pieces as well if you like.
- Make your brine in a 2-quart mason jar.
- Pour the brine over the veggies.
- Leave an inch of headspace in your jar and place a Dunk-R on top of the veggie mixture to keep them under the brine.
- 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.
- These get better and better with age too! I like mine best after about 2 weeks or so! Enjoy!
- 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 for quite some time in cold storage so long as your vegetables were fresh and of good quality, for several months.
- Makes a 3 Liter batch (could be fine for a 2 liter jar as well)
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!
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.
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 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.
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