- Vegetables, (thoroughly-washed, preferably organic)
- Pure salt (fine grind will dissolve easier)
- Pure, unchlorinated water
- One sachet* of Cutting Edge Cultures' starter culture per 5lbs of vegetables
- Large pot or bowl
- 2 small containers to dissolve the salt and the starter
- Clean fermenting jars/crocks (with lids)
- Optional: nonporous fermenting weights
Don't have a starter culture for fermented vegetables yet? Get your starter here Each pouch contains 6 sachets; each sachet ferments 5lbs of vegetables
- Prepare your ingredients and fermenting jar or crock. (And thoroughly wash your hands.)
- Shred or slice your vegetables, using a sharp knife or a food processor.
- Dissolve the salt in half of the water.
- In a separate container, dissolve the starter culture in the other half of the water, stir well, and let the solution sit for 10 minutes to activate the bacteria.
- Add the starter and salt solutions to the prepared vegetables and mix thoroughly to ensure even distribution. Add herbs, spices or other ingredients to taste.
- Tightly pack the mixture into your jar or crock and press down well to make sure that there are no air pockets. Leave some headspace for the mixture to expand.
- The juice from the mixture should cover the top of the vegetables. (If needed, add more of the solution of water and salt, until the veggies are submerged. There's no need to add more starter. Dissolve 3/4 tablespoon of salt in 1 quart of water and add however much is needed. Press down several times to help with even distribution.) Leave a headspace of 2 inches above the juice, to allow for expansion. If you have a non-porous weight that fits neatly into the container, place this on top of the mixture to keep the vegetables submerged.
- Put the lid on the jar or crock and let it ferment at room temperature (70F) for 7 to 10 days. The mixture should form bubbles and may expand as the fermentation proceeds.
- Store in the refrigerator or in a cool place once fermentation is complete. The fermented vegetables are ready to eat at this stage, but will improve as they mature at around 40F. You’ll notice that the flavor improves and mellows over time.
* Special fermenting jars with airlock lids, or crocks with water seals, are ideal for fermenting vegetables. They allow the gas from the fermentation to escape, without exposing the vegetables to the air. But regular mason jars or jars with clampdown lids work well too. Use what you have, and start fermenting!
Note: Store the starter culture in the refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to use it.