Such a tasty discovery for me that of the delights of fermented vegetables! It’s been only a few years since I became interested in them, probably since my career change.
I then worked in a number of restaurants where several types of fermentations were handled: yoghurts and plant-based cheeses, sauerkraut and kimchi made our customers very happy!
Through my experience and travels I began to further explore and understand this technique. The beauty of lacto-fermentation lies in the fact that wherever I travelled, tastes and flavours differed.
The culinary culture has a lot to do with it, but also the climate. In a tropical country, lacto-fermentation is not handled in the same way as in colder climates.
Eat… raw pumpkin?
Pumpkin is most often eaten cooked. In soup or in the oven, there are a thousand ways to prepare it.
Well, my favorite recipe for eating pumpkin is this : fermented! Its taste reminds me of olives. It adds such a lovely touch to salads and so many dishes.
I use it in many dishes in my raw cooking. It becomes a condiment in its own. That’s why I want to give it justice with this recipe!
Fermented vegetables: filled with goodness!
It is of immense nutritional interest when we consume fermented vegetables. Indeed the fermentation process multiplies tenfold the content of C vitamins, enzymes, it preserves all its mineral salts, fibres become less irritating for the intestine, making it highly digestible.
And above all it develops probiotics. We might as well give preference to this type of intake rather than buying expensive little probiotic capsules, don’t you think? It therefore protects our intestines, and that’s a precious thing nowadays. Many people would benefit from adding it to their daily diet.
Just to make it clear
A small precision is necessary: the word “lacto”, as sometimes the word « lacto-fermentation » is employed, refers to the action of lactic acids. These are the acids that form naturally under the fermentation process.
It has nothing to do with dairy products. In fact it is these acids that make it possible to eliminate all possibly pathogenic bacteria. They keep the vegetables in an acidic solution and thus allow their conservation over time.
The Sailors at the time understood it well.
Have you noticed in the photos that I like to keep the skin on?
There are several reasons for this: I find that peeling a squash represents a lot of waste. In addition, the skin, as with all vegetables, is home to a number of bacteria necessary for lacto-fermentation.
Besides, the fermentation process will soften the skin, so that you can hardly feel it under the teeth. Besides, I think it looks pretty, don’t you think so?
“How To” Fermented Vegetables : Pumpkin
- A 2-liter or half gallon Fido jar
- 1250 g squash nutmeg or any other type (44oz)
- 3 cups water
- 6,5 tablespoon coarse unrefined sea salt
- If the pumpkin is whole at the beginning, cut it into smaller pieces in order to work it more easily.
- Then slice each piece with the mandolin into beautiful even slices.
- Place the slices little by little in the bottom of your jar (Fido jar is best) pressing well in between each addition.
- Make a brine by mixing water and salt (I’m using my blender here), then pour into the jar, taking care to let it reach 2 centimeters below the edge of the jar.
- Close the jar and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days until the fermentation is well activated, then leave in a cellar or a cooler place (ideally 13 to 15°) for at least 5 weeks before opening.
With this recipe you can also try any other type of squash. On the plate here it’s a red cury squash that I left to ferment for 7 months.
Don’t hesitate to try things, everything is possible, add fresh herbs, spices, other vegetables like beet for color, have fun! And if you have a question leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer it 🙂
Some piece of advice: let it ferment as long as possible. This way the pumpkin will develop more complex flavors and therefore make it more interesting than if you open the jar after only 5 weeks.
I hope you like this recipe, thank you for your attention 🙂