How about a very easy fermented vegetables recipe? How fresh and crisp these seasonal vegetables are! What a joy to select the most beautiful shoots, the tender green peas, radishes, leeks, asparagus and beans when they are back on the shelves! So why not take advantage of all this freshness, and prolong their conservation to enjoy their flavors all year long?
Indeed, if like me you like pickles, making your own jars is still the best! Just like in this recipe for lacto-fermented pumpkin where I showed you another way to enjoy our favorite cucurbits, doing it with other vegetables is just as easy. They stay crunchy like pickles if they are only fermented for a few days or weeks, then melt-in-your-mouth like candied after a few months. You see, with fermentation there is something for everyone!
What happens during fermentation?
Vegetables, salt and water are placed in an airless (or anaerobic) environment.
The micro-organisms, including lactic acid, naturally present in the vegetables will consume the glucose and acidify the environment by developing.
The PH obtained in the preparation goes down to around 4 after a few days. And it is so acidic that the bad bacteria, responsible for putrefaction, nor even the dreaded botulic acid can survive.
This environment prevents food from spoiling. Food is stabilized and can be kept for months or even years.
This is why, since ancient times, this ancestral method was first used to preserve raw vegetables. The mixtures were kept in large jars, placed in a cellar. The health benefits of this method were later understood.
Lactic acid bacteria are found everywhere in nature: the earth, vegetables, the digestive tract, the mouth, our skin where they protect us from other pathogenic germs… This is why it is said that when preparing sauerkraut, if several people knead it with their hands it will taste better! Nature and its mysteries…
To your health!
Making your own lacto-fermented vegetables guarantees a supply of live probiotics. So tastier than expensive capsules!
But be careful, because commercial canned fermented products are often pasteurized, which automatically eliminates the precious heat-sensitive enzymes and good bacteria. However, if they are placed in the refrigerated section, chances are they have not been sterilized.
Whether it is sterilization, appertization (metal cans), pasteurization, addition of salt (salting), sugar or oil… Only the technique of lacto-fermentation can improve the nutritional quality of food.
Kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, miso, kimchi….Eating (or drinking) lacto-fermented foods or drinks is an immunity booster. Indeed, the beauty of this alchemy comes from the fact that its lactic acids synthesize vitamins and minerals galore! For example, the vitamin C content can almost double!
To mention just a few of the beneficial effects sought and recognized, lacto-fermented vegetables have different actions:
Some people with a fragile digestion may hesitate to consume them. It is then advised to integrate them by small portions to see at first how the body reacts.
The method for an easy fermented vegetables recipe
Three ingredients: vegetables, water and salt.
This is very important because conventional vegetables are sometimes treated with chlorine, which eliminates the good bacteria necessary for the production of lacto-fermented vegetables. Organic quality also avoids traces of pesticides.
Avoiding chlorinated water is better! Again, synonymous with our obsession with zero germs, chlorine makes no difference between good and bad bacteria. So filtered, osmosed or spring water is better. But if you have no choice, take your tap water in a jar and let it air out for at least thirty minutes. Much of the chlorine will have evaporated!
A good salt:
I’m talking more about salt in my post about crackers and its delicious recipe.
I use a certified pesticides free salt. But any other unrefined coarse sea salt or sea water will do. Avoid of course fine table salt, passed through bleaching agents and not very nutritious.
We use a glass jar with a rubber seal and metal clips that closes tightly.
We place vegetables, water and salt in it. Fill to the brim and pack to leave as little air as possible.
Leave at room temperature between 20 and 22 degrees (about 70°F) for two to three days, the time it takes for fermentation to start.
We then place ideally at a stable temperature, between 12° and 15°. But if the jars remain at room temperature it works without problem. And it can make a nice decoration in your kitchen!
Then time will do its job! Five days if you are impatient to taste, or a few months to let all the deepest flavors express themselves.
Miso, for example, needs to ferment for a year before it is ready for consumption.
The jar will keep for several years. Once opened, the jar can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.
- 2 liter jar (70oz)
- 3 cups carrots
- 3 cups green peas
- 2 cups snap beans
- 2,5 tbsp salt
- Cut the carrots with a mandolin into thin strips.
- Divide the vegetables in the jar in different layers.
- Once the jar is full, place the salt on top.
- Then pour in water until the jar is full.
- Close the jar and leave it at room temperature.
- You can start using it after two weeks.
Now it’s your turn!