Updated: Sep 23, 2018
My Favorite way to get beneficial probiotics.
Lacto fermentation sounds like an impressive foodie weekend task but truthfully it is ridiculously easy and the results are loaded with beneficial gut bacteria. Kids often love lacto fermented veggies too (especially if they like to eat pickles) which is a bonus for parents who are trying to get their kiddos to eat healthy foods!
Add to a clean glass jar with a fitted lid:
Chopped fresh raw veggies rinsed/cleaned with filtered water: carrots, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower all work well (but don't be scared to experiment).
herbs and spices: fresh dill, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, chile peppers (if you like it spicy), bay leaf or peppercorns.
Brine made of 3 TBSP of sea salt dissolved in 1 quart of filtered water. Fill and leave about an inch of air space at the top. Find a weight to keep the veggies submerged while on your counter (I used a smaller canning lid that fit in the jar)
** It is important to use non-iodized salt that has no added caking agents and filtered water as the iodine, caking agents and chlorine from tap water can inhibit fermentation.
1-2 grape leafs if you have them to keep your veggies crisp.
Cover tightly and leave on your counter. Open lid or "burp" the jar daily and check veggies by tasting. If you like them, remove weight in jar and refrigerate. You may leave them for 2-7 days on the counter. I prefer 2-3 days but to each their own! You should notice a few bubbles in the jar floating to the top. This indicates that fermentation is happening! Fermentation speed will change seasonally with the changing temperature- faster when it is warmer and slower when it is cooler. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Enjoy with dinner as a side, as a mid day veggie snack or as a topper to a rice bowl or salad.
These also make a beautiful veggie gift when adored with a gift tag tied on with raffia with instructions for counter top fermentation.