Homemade Fermented Vegetables 101
Make Your Own Delicious, Homemade Fermented Vegetables
Are you ready to start making your own homemade fermented vegetables? We are! Fermented vegetables are a great source of probiotic nutrition for the whole family, and although the process is intimidating for many first time fermenters, it’s easier than you think.
Before you can start fermenting, you need to gather a few ingredients:
- 5, 10, or 20 pounds of your favorite thoroughly-washed organic vegetables (even chayote works!) [view tip]
- Pure salt [view tip]
- Pure, unchlorinated water
- One sachet* of Cutting Edge Cultures starter culture per 5lbs of vegetables
*Each box contains six sachets
You’ll also need a few supplies:
- Large pot or bowl
- Medium pot or bowl
- Clean fermenting jars or crocks with lids
- Nonporous fermenting weight(s) (optional)
Now it’s time to have a little fun making homemade fermented vegetables. Before you get started with the ingredients, thoroughly wash your hands. Remember, what’s on your skin will soon be in your food. [view tip] Once your hands are clean, it’s time to get to work. Follow the instructions below to make scrumptious homemade fermented vegetables with a texture and flavor the whole family will love.
Let’s Get Started!
You don’t have to shred or slice your vegetables to ferment them, but many people prefer the taste and texture that cutting your vegetables in advance can create. If you’re one of them, cut your vegetables now.
- In your medium bowl or pot, dissolve the salt in 2 cups of water per 5lbs of vegetables.
- In the large bowl or pot, dissolve your starter culture in 1 cup of water per 5lbs of vegetables. Let the solution set for 10 minutes to wake up the bacteria and get them ready to start fermenting.
- Add the starter and salt solutions the the prepared vegetables and mix thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
- Add herbs, spices, and other ingredients (minced garlic is a great one!) 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 2 inches of headspace, but make sure that your vegetables are fully submerged in the liquid.
- Top your vegetables with a fermenting weight (if you’ve got one).
- Put the lid on your jar or crock and set aside to ferment at room temperature (70F) for 7 to 10 days. Don’t be surprised if you see bubbles in the brine during this time. This is normal, and a sign that everything is going the way it should. In some cases, your vegetables may even expand.
- Once your fermented vegetables are ready, put them in the fridge or another cool, dry place (40F). They’ll continue fermenting slowly, and the flavor will mature at that temperature, and may even mellow a bit.
Tips and Tricks for Making Tasty Homemade Fermented Vegetables
- Choose the right salt for fermentation. Pure sea salt is our favorite and the finer the grind, the easier it is to dissolve.
- Unchlorinated water is key – chlorine can kill the healthy bacteria that ferment your vegetables!
- Remember, anything that’s on your hands or in your jars and crocks will also be in your food. Sterilize and practice food safety while making your homemade fermented vegetables.
- Why do we place an emphasis on organics? Because the chemicals found in conventional produce can interfere with fermentation. Don’t risk it!
- A fast pH drop makes safer homemade fermented vegetables, which is why we worked hard to produce the culture with the fastest pH drop on the market today. The research on our culture is extremely encouraging, and Cutting Edge Cultures is excited to be a part of a future that lets everyone make homemade fermented vegetables reliably and safely.