Did you know you can easily ferment vegetables at home? Its really extremely easy to do. When my fermenting kit arrived from Fermentools, I was trying to figure out how to work everything. There was no reason for my struggle. Its just that I was totally unfamiliar with fermenting and I thought it would be complicated. It really isn’t and once I got that through my head, I was off and running with my fermenting experiments.
Easily Ferment Vegetables at Home!
The first few things I tackled led to huge success and a failure. I just tried to make it difficult, once again. Let me back up and explain that all you need to ferment is a brine (salt and water) and some seasonings to go with your vegetables. The seasonings can even be other vegetables such as onion, and garlic. And here’s the best part! You can even just ferment onions and garlic!
Fermenting is the process of preserving vegetables by soaking in a brine. The process of fermentation uses bacteria in the presence of a anaerobic system where the good bacteria consume the sugars in a food and the salt brine keeps the bad bacteria from multiplying. Once the food has fermented, you transfer the jar to a cool place for further storage. Fermenting takes fresh, healthy vegetables and actually turns them into super foods by enhancing the nutrients. Some foods that you are most likely familiar with that are fermented foods, include sauerkraut, and apple cider vinegar. I make a large batch of apple cider vinegar every year in a large stoneware bowl. But now, with Fermentools, I will be able to make smaller batches in a canning jar from the peels of just a few apples.
The use of fermenting to preserve food has been around for many many generations. Before we had reliable refrigeration, fermenting was used to keep foods from spoiling. Occasionally, you may end up with a batch that does not ferment properly. If you see mold or yeast growth in your container, throw the batch in the garbage. Do not take a chance by tasting spoiled foods. Bubbling, a sour vinegar like smell and taste and a possible carbonated flavor are what you are trying to achieve. The flavor should be tangy.
Now lets talk about the tools you need to tackle fermenting vegetables. In the past, people used a large crock to submerse the vegetables in salt brine. A plate or something equally heavy, even a large rock, would be used to keep the vegetable submersed in the liquid. Drawbacks to this method, today, are that a large quantity of food had to be fermented for each batch.
Fermentools has a kit that makes it possible to ferment small batches of many different foods. The kits only require you to have filtered water and a large mouth canning jar for each batch. Kits from Fermentools include the extra fine salt, glass weights, stainless steel tops, and three part air locks. Everything is extremely sturdy and durable . I have used my kit many times already, and there is no sign of wear. The glass weights are easy to clean after a batch is done fermenting. the bag of extra fine salt will last you many batches of delicious fermented food.
So now that this fermenting novice has tried some fermented foods, do you want to know how I liked them?
Zucchini – Without adding any spice or garlic or onion, the fermented zucchini was rather bland. It was not the flavor I expected but this was totally my fault. In my quest to make it simple, I made it too simple. It needed flavor and I will be using some spices like dill and mustard and pepper next time.
Carrots – I had a beautiful bunch of tri colored carrots ready to use. I sliced the carrots into round slices and the jar full of carrot slices looked gorgeous. Again, I didn’t realize I could add seasoning so I just did carrots in brine. I think dill would have made a really good addition to this ferment. The carrots were extremely flavorful though and while I didn’t love them, I have used them in soups by adding them towards the end of the cooking. If I added them to the soup too early, much of the nutrients enhanced by fermenting would be cooked away.
Beets – or should I say BEETS! The clear winner of the initial fermenting dance. I love beets anyway, but now I know that I love fermented beets. The juice from the fermented beets is a well known health tonic. Well known to everyone but me, as I had not heard of this before researching as I began to learn more about fermenting.
I shredded the beets before fermenting and the resulting shredded beets are like a relish. I have added them on top of mixed vegetable stir fry with some Feta Cheese. I could eat this every day, it’s that good.
Stay tuned for more coming soon. I am now freely experimenting with different herbs and seasonings, as I ferment different types of vegetable. Mushrooms are coming in a close second to the beets as an all time favorite, but I am still playing around with the added flavors. The first batch I made might be a little bit too garlic flavored for me but I have a second batch going now. And Asparagus! MMmmm MM. It sure is tasty around here!
I recommend the book, A Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer Mcgruther ,The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas as you begin your fermenting experiments.
Fermentools would love for you to check out their line of fermenting supplies and recipes.
This is a sponsored post. This is still my honest opinion about the products Fermentools sent me for review. I feel that you will receive a good value for your money when purchasing products from Fermentools., along with great customer service, and valuable knowledge of the fermenting procedure. Please check them out today, and get started with fermenting your own Super Foods!
For more on traditional foods Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
For more information please visit Homestead Chronicles with Veggie Fermenting Simplified
Simply Living Simply with Lacto-Fermenting What and How
Pixie’s Pocket with Small Batch Lacto-Fementation
Brenda Hipkins says
I have done a wee bit of fermenting in a jar for sauerkraut and thought it such an easy process. I finally fermented some pickles for dill pickle; but, did it in a small crock and they turned out great. My husband really likes them, he says they taste like his grandmother’s dill pickles and he is really happy with the crispness. I am thinking that I would like to try Brussel sprouts, a carrot and cabbage combo, and perhaps this is the way to make my pickled okra and beets. One question – must these then be stored in the refrigerator or is it possible to process in a water bath? I need these Fermentools on my homestead!
Janet Garman says
Brenda I am going to ask that question and get back to you. I have been keeping mine in the refrigerator. I would guess the answer would be no since heat from the water bath canning would destroy the nutrients brought out by fermenting . But I am going to ask some of my fermenting friends their opinion
We’ve done crock pickles (too much garlic – the kids wouldn’t eat them), a kim chi-type cold and flu fighter, lemons (from Nourished Kitchen) and are now doing sauerkraut. I’ve also been making beer and apple cider vinegar for 2 years and wine for 4 years. I like experimenting with fermenting and would like to try more of it.
beverly conroy says
I haven’t tried this yet, but looks like a new fantastic way to preserve our veggies, cant wait to learn more about it.