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Life-Changing Fermented Vegetables

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A clear jar of beautiful laco-fermented vegetables

Lacto-Fermentation. Easy. Probiotic-Rich. Distinctive. Life-Changing Fermented Vegetables.

Don’t be scared by this slightly intimidating process called fermentation. A while back I had no clue what it was either—until I tried it. Wow!

Don’t bash an idea, or a scientific experiment, until you make it, try it, and taste it over and over again. Try these simple Life-Changing Fermented Vegetables.

If you have digestive issues, this could become the easiest method to add extra probiotics to your diet. It’s the best form of natural probiotics. The vegetables are created by nature, the recipe is prepared by yourself (so you know what’s in it), and once the fermentation process does its magic the cultured vegetables can be enjoyed by all. Plus it’s such an easy way to naturally preserve your surplus of lovely vegetables.

Store-bought pickles 

Did you know that pickles, found at the grocery stores are usually not fermented?

Most have added ingredients to help with preservation such as vinegar, whey, refined sugar, to name a few. Some are made with mostly vinegar to create the pickle flavour you have come to love.

Is the heating process bad?

If you are anything like me, you might worry about what the heating process does to your beautiful pickles. You might be wondering if it’s necessary to heat your jars of veggies in order to enjoy a crunchy pickled vegetable?

Does the heating or cooking process take away from all the fresh nutrients vegetables provide? Well, I think it can. So let’s give this method a try from now on, ok.

Jars of beautiful laco-fermented vegetables

Life-Changing Fermented Vegetables

I’ve been wanting to share some of my expertise with fermented foods for a while now. A few years back I took a course called the Fundamentals of Fermentation with the Academy of Culinary Nutrition to better understand and appreciate the power that naturally fermented foods can offer.

I’ve been testing everything from Kombucha (fermented tea), water kefir, seed cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, vegetables, to baking many loaves of gorgeous GF sourdough.

If you follow my posts on Instagram, watch my videos on YouTube or if you join my private GFV Facebook Baking Group you’ll get to see many of my Gluten-Free Vegan Sourdough bread recipes. The sourdough bread recipes are prepared with a gluten-free starter (fermented wild yeast).

Top view of 3 jars of beautiful laco-fermented vegetables showing pickling spicesA great way to start

We’ve all heard about the benefits of adding probiotics to our diet. Even increasing the amount we take. But if you have kids, the idea of supplementing with pills is not always the easiest. What if you could do it with foods instead. Seems possible right?

The purpose of my post is not to intimidate you with the power of fermentation but to hopefully teach you the easier recipes to try. This Life-Changing Fermented Vegetable recipe is a great one to start with.

Improved digestive health

Do you know someone that always has stomach issues, that can’t seem to digest anything normally? Or what about someone that is always sick?

Enjoying a small serving of fermented foods like kimchi with a rice dish, or as a condiment on a plant-based burger are great ways to improve common digestive issues and foggy mood symptoms.

More ways to enjoy these probiotic-rich veggies are to add some in a sandwich wrap, or tossing a bit of sauerkraut in a green salad, to enjoying a small cup of naturally fizzy Kombucha, with your meals—each day.

The enzymes will help you absorb nutrients and the good bacteria of the cultured vegetables can improve digestion over time. 

Take charge

We need to take control of our health and help our body and immune system get stronger. Consuming probiotic-rich foods can help fight off any unwanted illnesses.

Being strong is not just about healthy eating. It’s about finding ways to reduce stress, to help refocus our bodies due to our busy lives.

In addition to eating wholesome nutrient-dense foods like my Warm Winter Salad, exercise is crucial!

Adding walks to our daily routine can help our minds stay clear, keep our health on track, and our digestive system working and happy. If you can handle a light jog, playing soccer with your kids, to signing up for a local yoga class then do so.

Every little effort we take can help our mind, our gut, and especially our brain.

Share your experience

When you try this Life-Changing Fermented Vegetable recipe, please share your experience with me, with us. You can leave a comment on this recipe page, or share a picture on Instagram. If you do tag it @freshisreal_ with the hashtag #freshisreal.

Troubleshooting fermentation

There are amazing resources on the web about fermentation. Please note that not all are created equal so read the ingredients, understand the different methods explained. Plus always double-check all the ingredients for allergens.

This website contains great information about fermentation – Cultures for Health

Fresh is Real is about leading a mostly plant-based lifestyle while preparing recipes that are completely allergen-friendly.

Always feel free to ask me questions on Facebook, Instagram or in the comments below.

Allergen Notice

Some recipes on the web include whey. It is not necessary to use whey with fermentation to achieve pleasant flavours. When using pickling spices please note that some include mustard seeds. If you have allergies or food sensitivities to mustard it will be best to make your own pickling spice combo to exclude this allergen.

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Life-Changing Fermented Vegetables

  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins (+ fermentation time)
  • Yield: Jar(s)
  • Category: Snacks, Sides
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Raw, Plant-Based, Allergen-Friendly
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Simple steps to making the most delicious, naturally fermented pickles and vegetables. This raw lacto-fermentation process is easy, even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen. Impress your family with beautiful jars of preserves. You must try fermenting if you have a surplus of fresh produce from your garden or local Farmers’ Market. Whey-free, approved by kids, gut healing, and allergen-friendly.


Ingredients

Vegetables of choice such as:

  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Green Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Wild Garlic
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic

– Picklings Spices
– Fresh herbs (e.g., dill, thyme)
– Sea salt


Instructions

  1. Prepare the jars and lids you will be using and make sure they are clean.
  2. Fill your jars with non-chlorinated water (spring water is great).
  3. Pour out the water from the jars into a measuring cup, then into a large bowl (keep track of the number of cups), add 1/2 tbsp – 1 tbsp of sea salt per cup, add to a large bowl and let sit.
  4. Prepare (wash, trim, slice, or leave whole) your vegetables the way you will enjoy eating them.
  5. Place the vegetables in the jars, push down on them until tightly packed, we don’t want them floating up. At times it’s helpful to do a layer of vegetables at the top of the jars to help prevent escapes. In one of the photos, you will see that I used slices of turnip and radish to help hold down the contents.
  6. Add pickling spices of choice, fresh herbs such as dill, and fresh garlic is great. Then fill your jar(s) with the salty water until all your vegetables are submerged.
  7. Leave the jars out on the counter secured with lids, in warmth, covered with a tea towel for 3-5 days.
  8. It’s usually safe to transfer the jars to the fridge after 3-4 days. I wouldn’t go more than 5. And that’s it! You can taste them, but the fermentation slowly continues even in the refrigerator. So your pickles will taste even better after a few weeks or months.

Notes

*If you only have chlorinated tap water, I suggest filling a bowl or large jar and letting the water sit overnight to the open air. This method will help dissipate the chlorine.

**You might have to burp your jars daily until you place them in the fridge. You will notice the lids will bulge if burping is required. If you don’t too much pressure will build. The extra gas could mean a slight eruption (occasionally volcanic) once opened. Beware!

Consume your ferments within the next six to eight months. If unopened, your cultured vegetables could probably last longer.

Always use clean utensils when enjoying veggies, don’t add unwanted bacteria (the mouldy kind) to your jars.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for including that long list of vegetables that you can use to ferment! I hadn’t even thought of a few of those on the list before. Can’t wait to try all of these out next time I go to do a fermenting project! My family loves the veggies once they are done!

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  2. I’m using the old standard glass jars with the glass lids. Do I seal them tightly, , and then just burp them daily?

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  3. Once veggies are tightly packed in the jar, do i add salted water in the jar? Is that step missing? Thanks!

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    • Hi Meerah! If you read steps 2 and 3 in the recipe, you will get the details to add sea salt to some water to create a brine to add to your veggie-filled jar. You can also add garlic, fresh herbs and pickling spices to flavour the brine and veggies.

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    • I was thinking the same thing! It doesn’t say in the steps to add the water back into the jars. Its why I came to the comments!

      I can’t wait to try all of the fermented things!

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  4. After eating the fermented vegetables or fruit. What we do with the water. Any idea. Any goodness in it. Thanks.

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ALLERGEN NOTE

Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens YOU AVOID. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions.

Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.