With only 2 ingredients, these 10 simple lacto-fermentation recipes will boost your gut health. Follow this simple process to lengthen the shelf life of the vegetables that you have on hand.
The lacto-fermentation process is simply the process of allowing vegetables to sit in a salt-water brine for about a week. This allows the good bacteria on the outsides of vegetables to grow. When we eat fermented vegetables, this good bacteria is probiotic to our guts, which support overall gut health.
Much simpler than buying expensive probiotic supplements, fermenting vegetables (or milk – aka kefir!) is a great way to consume probiotics naturally.
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Why Ferment Vegetables?
To preserve the summer harvest – fermented vegetables can be eaten much longer than fresh vegetables.
Good for your gut – some of the probiotic benefits of eating fermented food include supporting your immune system, improving our moods, and maintaining the overall health of our bodies
Experience new flavours – fermented vegetables have a lovely tangy flavour
Quart Glass Jars
Fermenting Weights – or a ziploc bag with water or something heavy in it like a rock
Unadulterated Salt – like pink himalayan sea salt
For each vegetable, the process remains basically the same.
Remove any peels, chop the vegetables, and add them into a quart glass jar.
Create a salt water brine and pour the brine over the vegetables.
Place the fermenting weight on top of the vegetables and make sure all of the vegetables are below the brine.
Add a loose lid, and leave the glass jars to sit on the counter for about a week.
Then, taste the fermented vegetable to see if you like the flavour.
If you do, remove the weight, tighten the lid, and place in the fridge. They will last about 3 months.
For complete measurements, see the printable recipe card below.
Here are 10 vegetables to try fermenting
Tomatoes are a great vegetable to ferment because it extends their shelf life. Here’s a simple recipe for fermented tomatoes.
How To Serve
On pizza – Top a homemade pizza with cheese and fermented tomatoes.
On sandwiches – Slice up fermented tomatoes and add them to a sandwich with cheese, lettuce, and meat of your choice.
Carrots are a simple vegetable to ferment and fermented carrots taste wonderful. They are still crunchy but have a tangy sweet flavour. Follow this recipe to make your own fermented carrots.
How to serve
As a snack – Fermented carrots are delicious as a simple healthy snack.
In salads – Slice up the fermented salad and add it to a fresh salad.
Fermented onions are delicious on top of homemade burgers or hot dogs. Perfect for summer, they have a fresh, tangy flavour. This recipe for lacto-fermented onions is super simple.
How to serve
On top of hamburgers or hotdogs
In salads – Add to any salad for an extra tangy flavour.
Fermented jalapenos are a great addition to pizzas, bread dough, or on top of homemade nachos. They’d also be great on a charcuterie board with soft cheese and crackers.
5. Cucumbers (aka Pickles)
Slice up cucumbers lengthwise and add to a glass jar. Pour the salt water brine overtop, add a weight on top, and leave on the counter for a week. Then add them to sandwiches or each them as a snack.
6. Cabbage (aka Sauerkraut)
Shred one (or many) head(s) of cabbage and add 1 tablespoon of salt per head of cabbage. Mash it down until liquid starts to seep from the cabbage. Add the cabbage to a glass jar, add a weight to keep the cabbage below the brine, and leave on the counter for a few weeks. Enjoy as a healthy and tasty side dish.
Slice up the radishes and add them to a glass jar. Pour the salt water brine overtop, add a weight on top, and leave on the counter for a week.
These are great on salads or as a side dish.
Add garlic cloves to a glass jar, pour the salt water brine overtop, add a weight on top, and leave on the counter for a week. Use the fermented garlic in the same way you would use regular garlic. We like it on pizza and in stir-fries.
Slice the zucchini and add to a glass jar. Pour the salt water brine overtop, add a weight on top, and leave on the counter for a week.
Fermented zucchini makes a delicious sidedish.
Peel and chop up the beets and add them to a glass jar. Pour the salt water brine overtop, add a weight on top, and leave on the counter for a week.
These make a great addition to salads and are also nice eaten plain as a side dish.
When fermenting vegetables, it’s very important to use enough salt when creating the brine. Make sure to use 2 tablespoons of unadulterated salt per quart of water.
It’s also important to keep the vegetables under the brine. Make sure to use a fermenting weight or ziploc bag with water or something heavy (like a rock) to keep the vegetables under the salt water brine.