2 delicious and easy fermented vegetable recipes

Fermented vegetables are all the rage, but the truth is many of us have been enjoying them for years and centuries for so many awesome reasons. Read my why and how of fermenting post that will bring you up to speed on the basics, including the reason for today’s many chronic health troubles, the reason fermenting is a powerful tool in your corner to reverse and prevent disease, the tools and tricks you need to get started and the hygiene tips that will ensure more predictable success with your home efforts.

If you’re au fait with all of those, here are two recipes similar if not the same as what I often make at home. I never follow much of an exact ‘same veggies / same spices’ pattern, because fermented veg for me are as much about making use of what the pantry and fridge have on offer at the time, as it is about having a delicious condiment to add to meals and an immune building fix every day!

I will caution once again though, if you’ve never fermented or eaten cultured veggies, start slow and start small. Because of their ability to drive out pathogenic bacteria, if you send in a whole bunch of ‘good guys’ in in one go, they will kill off a lot of bad guys – that’s what they’re there to do. The result can be a super unpleasant propeller-bum clear-the-room or stomach cramp reaction. It’s called a die off or healing crisis because essentially the pathogens are revolting before they die and that causes amplified symptoms of whatever conditions lie within us, before their departure. So, 1/2 a teaspoon once a day, then twice a day after a couple of days, then 1/2 teaspoon with each meal, then after a couple of weeks of that, 1 teaspoon, 2 teaspoons and so on. After a month of building up, a good heaped tablespoon with a meal is perfect. If you’re fighting something off in the winter, you could even double that.

Here is the base recipe that you can use for a 1 litre jar (or multiply out for a bigger jar / crock). This allows you to be free with what you have at home, and as my friend Kitsa says, for the best result, keep a mix of sweeter and less sweet veggies in together to allow for a nice, steady ferment and balanced flavour. If you’ve tasted her gorgeous products, you’ll know why I listen to her!

IMG_8818

BASIC FERMENTED VEGGIE INGREDIENTS AND METHOD

1 1 litre jar, crock or special anerobic jar like a Pickl.It

Roughly 7 cups of veggies, thinly shredded or grated (cups measured as loosely packed in with a gentle press rather than ‘compacted’ into the cup)

1 tablespoon celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup filtered chlorine-free water with 1/2 teaspoon of Caldwell’s starter culture mixed in.

Massage the veggies with the salt until you can squeeze juice from them

Add any herbs or spices (  I usually add 1/3 cup herb stalks like coriander / parsley along with 2 tsp of assorted spices: chilli, fennel seed, coriander seed etc)

Mix your starter culture in water

Combine your water mix with your bowl of everything else and then spoon into jar, leaving a good inch and a half off the top to allow for expansion.

Plug with a cabbage leaf folded over the top and a paper weight, carrot stub or shot glass and close lid.

Leave on counter top for 48hours minimum, 5 days maximum, having a look once or twice through the jar to assess any white mould potential (try doing this without opening the lid) and then transfer to fridge. It’s that easy. This produces a mild, crunchy ferment, not too salty, not too sour. You can play around and leave it longer, but this is my favourite style. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

NB: You can do this by JUST DRY SALTING and adding no starter culture at all. I would increase the salt by another 1/3 tablespoon per batch. Every other part of the method stays the same, omitting the caldwell + water step. Your batch will also take longer to ferment in my experience without the starter. 7 days +.

Where do I get Caldwell’s starter culture? 

Kitsa’s Kitchen via mail order

USA readers: Donna Schwenk sells them with free shipping across the US. http://store.culturedfoodlife.com/product/caldwells-starter-culture/

Both of these fabulous people sell many fermentation aiding accessories too, so be sure to grab Kitsa’s order form by emailing her and requesting OR look through Donna’s shop for US residents. For readers in other parts of the world, just ask your local health shop or google resources :-)

 

Beetroot, carrot, fennel, cavolo nero (Tuscan Cabbage) and herb  

2 cups beetroot, grated on large grater setting

2 cups grated carrot

2 cups cavolo nero (Black Tuscan Cabbage)

1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb

1/2 cup coriander and parsley stalks (I like keeping the leaves for salads and garnishes throughout the week)

1/2 tsp coriander seed

1/2 tsp fennel seed

dried chilli flakes to taste (keep them out if kids are going to be tucking in – which they should :-) I do 1/2 teaspoon )

1 tbsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup filtered chlorine free water (chlorine inhibits bacteria growth good and bad, and we’re trying to encourage good, so it must be chlorine free)

1/2 teaspoon Caldwell Starter culture .

 

What to do 

Massage the veggies with the salt until you can squeeze juice from them

Add any herbs or spices (  I usually add 1/3 cup herb stalks like coriander / parsley along with 2 tsp of assorted spices: chilli, fennel seed, coriander seed etc)

Mix your starter culture in water

Combine your water mix with your bowl of everything else and then spoon into jar, leaving a good inch and a half off the top to allow for expansion.

Plug with a cabbage leaf folded over the top and a paper weight, carrot stub or shot glass and close lid.

Leave on counter top for 48hours minimum, 5 days maximum, having a look once or twice through the jar to assess any white mould potential (try doing this without opening the lid) and then transfer to fridge. It’s that easy. This produces a mild, crunchy ferment, not too salty, not too sour. You can play around and leave it longer, but this is my favourite style. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

Why can’t I open the lid? Well, you can BUT every time you do you let fresh air in, which could come along with it, airborne bacterias or yeast that might be counter productive. If you’re a nosy ‘fiddler’ then Kitsa suggests to pop it in an eski for the fermentation time.

If you’ve followed all of the hygiene steps in my beginner’s guide, you should have no problem.

IMG_8867

Immune Building Cabbage Quartet – your perfect winter partner! 

2 cups shredded purple cabbage

2 cups shredded savoy cabbage

2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage (you can use any cabbage you want as long as it’s about 7 cups for your 1 litre jar)

1 cup finely sliced Tuscan Black cabbage / Cavolo Nero

1/3 cup parsley stalks

1 heaped tsp fresh or ground turmeric

2 minced / fine chopped garlic cloves

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/ 2tsp fennel seeds

What to do

Follow exactly the same method as above. Here are the beauties side by side. The purple cabbage a turmeric give a pinky orange hue to the cabbage one, and of course, the beets take over in the beet, carrot fennel recipe!

IMG_8882

And there you have it. Please don’t think this is a difficult process because it’s just not – it’s just new, that’s all. Any seasoned fermenter will tell you how easy it is and everyone starts somewhere.  These last months in the fridge, so why not make 3-4 batches in one go of everything and do that once a month. Once you’ve made these once, this is literally a 20 minute exercise and remind yourself of all of those incredible benefits! If you need them again, head back to my fermentation overview post. 

 

What are your favourite combinations and fermenting styles? Do let me know how you go with these and what you end up making. Tagging or hashtagging me on instagram @Alexx_Stuart or #alexxstuart is always a great way to share or popping on the wall on FB.

It’s funny how we fear something impossible forever and then once we do it, we can’t believe it took so long. People thought that about coconut yoghurt, and then this coconut yoghurt recipe here busted that fear too. Lots of happy, successful reports.

Don’t wait another day on ferments. Dead easy. Remember, if you’re unclear on any basics, ready my original familiarisation post.

Enjoy!

Alexx x

 

Comments

  1. Jenny says

    Fantastic!! I’ve been waiting for this post. Can’t wait to give the beetroot ferment a go when I’m back from holidays!! Thanks so much

Trackbacks