Repopulating our digestive tract with a wide range of flora is far simpler and more powerful than taking probiotics. Here are the five basic Steps to Make Your Own Cultured Veggies:
Select your vegetables and herbs – The first step is to select firm vegetables you want to shred to make your blend. Cabbage should be the backbone of your blend.
Create your brine – I recommend using celery juice that you juice yourself in a juicer. Celery juice contains natural potassium and eliminates the need for additional salt. One litre of celery juice is adequate for 9 litres of fermented vegetables. However, if you prefer to use salt, you can add 1 ½ tbsp. of Himalayan salt to a quart of filtered or distilled water in lieu of celery juice. The water must be filtered or distilled to prevent the vegetables from rotting due to chemicals in tap water. Add starter culture.
Pack the jars – Once you have your shredded vegetables and brine mixture combined in a large bowl, tightly pack the mixture into each glass jar. Compress the mixture using a masher to remove any air pockets and top it off with a cabbage leaf, tucking it down the sides to help ensure your vegetables stay under the brine. If you are using a regular jar lid, cap the lids loosely as the jars will expand during fermentation due to gases produced. Putting the lids on too tightly can cause the jar to crack or explode. Ferment the vegetables – Allow the jars to sit in a relatively warm place for several days (ideally around 23° C).Your vegetables should be complete in three to four days. In the cold weather, they may need up to seven days to ferment. In the end, your “taste” test becomes the deciding factor.
Store and enjoy – Once you’re happy with the flavour, move your fermented vegetables to your refrigerator. This slows down further fermentation and will help keep the vegetables for two to six months. The longer you wait to use them the less crisp the vegetables will be. A refrigerated temperature of around 38° F will help lock in the flavour, texture and tartness.
Fermenting vegetables is like most everything else that you try for the first time it is a bit puzzling and gets easy with time.
Where to get starter culture?
Life Vitality can usually arrange it for you to collect from our center at 10 Sinaran Drive (Novena Medical Center), unit 11-17, within about 3 weeks.