Fermented foods are the original
They promote a healthy
digestive system by supplementing the
symbiotic bacteria that live all along
our gastrointestinal tract. Making them
yourself is one of the easiest ways to eat
healthily on a budget.
“One of the best ways to save money
is to ferment seasonal produce”
No special equipment or even electricity
is required. You can start with just a few
basic ingredients you probably already
have in your kitchen. After that, it’s just
about creating an environment that
allows the good bacteria to flourish.
One of the best ways to save money
is to ferment seasonal produce at the
end of a growing season, when it’s most
abundant and prices are low. We’ve
provided a basic recipe and instructions
here, so you can tailor the process to
any ingredients you have on hand.
Try watermelon rinds, radishes, green
beans; add herbs; and try new spice
blends. The sky really is the limit!
If you want to learn more, “The Art of
Fermentation” by Sandor Katz is the
most comprehensive guide to DIY home
fermentation you can find. And we
have it on our shelves in the cookbook
section of aisle six.
Easy Fermented Pickled Vegetables
Makes 1 Quart-Sized Jar
Vegetables of your choice, cut into your desired size and shape (For example: cucumbers, carrots, beets, cauliflower,
onions or green beans)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 whole peppercorns
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 2 cups of water, room temperature
- 1-2 grape leaves (optional, to help keep pickles crisp)
- 1 quart mason jar or fermenting vessel
- Pack your veggies into your jar. Add the spices on top. Mix
the water and sea salt together until dissolved. Pour over the
veggies. Leave about an inch of space between brine and top
of the jar. All the vegetables must be submerged in the water.
- Put a top on your jar and leave on the counter for 4-7 days.
About once a day, open the jar to taste the pickles and
release gases produced during fermentation. If any mold or
scum has formed on top, simply skim it off. They’re ready
when they taste great to you and still have their crunch.
- Transfer to cold storage. Your pickled veggies will keep for a
month or more in the fridge. Enjoy!
3 Tips For Success
Use a really good real sea salt
that is coarsely ground. Finely
ground salt will leave you feeling
like you just took a trip to the
salt-lick. Sea salt has more good
minerals to boot.
Oxygen is the enemy when it
comes to ferments. Make sure
you use a jar or other fermenting
vessel that keeps out the oxygen
but allows CO2 to escape.
Purchasing an airlock at your
local hardware store will solve
this. So will adding a layer of
olive oil across the top of your
ferment, or using a clean rock or
ziplock bag filled with water to
keep your ferment submerged.
If you want maximum probiotics
in your ferment, you need to
let it sit on the counter longer
before transferring to cold
storage (this stops fermentation).
It depends on the recipe, but in
the average home temperature,
you can let it sit for up to a
month in your pantry before
refrigerating. It will be ready
when it tastes and smells good
to you. Just keep monitoring and