How to Quickly Fill Your Fridge with Probiotic-Rich Cultured Veggies


How To Have a Veggie Fermention Day (8)

Cultured vegetables add not only probiotics, but also vitamin-rich vegetables, sour-salty flavor, and intense color to every meal. I don’t consider a meal complete unless it contains some sort of fermented food with live cultures, whether that’s milk kefir, high quality yogurt, kombucha, or fermented vegetables like those shown here.

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When I make cultured vegetables, I like to do a big bunch at once. They are very simple to make, and odds and ends of each veggie can be combined at the end to make one jar of special mixed cultured vegetables, with a different flavor each time! Directions here make 2 quarts sauerkraut, 1 quart pickled ginger carrot sticks, 1 quart beet kvass/pickled beets, 1 quart salsa, and a pint of mixed veggies.

Equipment needed:

* Mason jars (I like pint, quart, and half gallon) or fermentation crocks

* Cutting board

*  High quality knifes: Paring knife and 8″ Chef’s Knife

* Water filter, or filtered water

* Colander for rinsing vegetables

* Peeler for peeling beets

* Food Processor for slicing (optional)

* Not needed for this, but I always get questions about my continuous brew Kombucha crock in the picture above. It can be found here. It’s awesome.

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Vegetables needed:

Cabbage, purple or green, 1 head

Carrots, 1 pound

Roma tomatoes, 4

Onion, white or yellow, 1

Pepper, desired hotness for salsa (anaheim is what I used here), 1-2

Cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh, optional

Beets, 3

Ginger, fresh, 1 tablespoon

Garlic, 1 head

Sea Salt  (sea salt can be purchased here)

Bubbies ferments, or another current cultured vegetable (optional)

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Directions for Batch Cultured Vegetables:

Cultured vegetables are very forgiving. I use less salt than Nourishing Traditions calls for, and my ferments are still great, just less salty.  Don’t feel like you have to be perfect in this, it’s an art, and about finding what your family likes.


Scrub carrots, remove ends, cut into carrot sticks. Place in a quart jar.

Add 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and diced or cut into thin rounds.

Add 1 tablespoon coarse or fine sea salt.

Fill to within 1 inch of the top with filtered water.


Chop: Tomatoes, onion, cilantro, 1 clove garlic, pepper. Mix with 1 tablespoon sea salt.  Pack into a jar (I layered mine since I think it’s pretty).

Beet Kvass/Pickled beets: 

Peel and then coarsely chop beets into about 1/2 inch cubes, I’ve been told not to grate or dice them to prevent the kvass from becoming too alcoholic.

Add 1 teaspoon sea salt to pint jars, 1 tablespoon to quart jars.

Fill to within 1 inch of the top with filtered water.


See directions here.

Odds and Ends: 

Place whatever veggies didn’t fit in with your other jars into one more jar. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt if a quart, 1 teaspoon if a pint. Fill to within one inch of the top with filtered water.

Fermenting (final step): 

Optional: Add 1 tablespoon of pickle juice from pre-made ferments.  Screw on air-tight lid.

Allow ferments to sit at room temperature for desired length – the amount depends on the amount of sugar in the vegetable (beets and tomatoes are high), and the temperature of your house.  I recommend 1-2 days for beet kvass and salsa, 10 or more days for cabbage and carrots, then transferring to the fridge.


How To Have a Veggie Fermention Day (2)

The health benefits of probiotics and how they help leaky gut:

Probiotics are becoming better known now, even mainstream doctors are recommending yogurt with live active cultures, or a probiotic supplement, after a course of antibiotics. I see yogurt advertised on TV to help with digestion.  These fermented vegetables are full of probiotics, which not only preserve the veggies, but also break down some of the fiber to make the vitamins more easily assimilated, and provide more varieties of friendly bacteria for your health.

Many are starting to question the overuse of antibacterial soaps and too many prescriptions for antibiotics.  Too many antibiotics, toxins, and antibacterial products can cause a gut to be leaky. A leaky gut can cause all kinds of health problems, from eczema to mental difficulties, chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, and even food allergies.  To learn more about the leaky gut, and what you can do to fix it, click here to sign up for a free webinar with me and the Solving Leaky Gut team.


How to make 5 kinds of Probitioc Rich Pickled Veggies in just an hour


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  1. Blessed Mama says

    Thank you! I’ve been thinking about trying fermented veggies for one of my children… but with 6 kids, tackling new projects can seem so overwhelming! This looks so quick and easy!!

    • Cara says

      You can do it without the starter juice, or you can buy Bubbies brand pickles or kraut, it’s usually in most health food stores, in the refrigerated section.

  2. Alexandra says

    I took these same steps when I tried my own fermented veggies for the first time from the recipes in your GAPS 30 day intro book. They all ended up totally rancid by the time I opened the jars. Any tips?

    • Cara says

      Have you had fermented vegetables from the store before? They taste a little ‘spritzy’, but they shouldn’t have had mold or anything, can you describe them more and maybe we can figure it out?

      • Alexandra says

        I have had fermented veggies from the store. They do have a fresh and spritzy flavor. When I make them and open the jar after the alloted time they are not moldy but smell rancid and spoiled. I’ve heard some people put some kind of weight on the top to keep the veggies under the water. Is the issue that a few pieces of veggies stick out of the water and this causes them to go bad?

      • Alexandra says

        I have had store bought fermented veggies. They are spritzy and fresh. When I open my ferment jars they are rancid and stinky. I can’t even get my face up to it. Have bad bacteria taken over the good? I’ve read that some people put some kind of weight on the top of the veggies before closing. Is the issue that a few pieces of cabbage stick out of the water?

        • Cara says

          Yeah, they shouldn’t be like that, sour is good, or even smelling slight alcoholic is fine. The cabbage should be totally under water, I bet that was the issue.

  3. Cynthia C says

    For the salsa, Did you add any liquid? Or did you just toss the salt into the mixed up veggies? Thanks

  4. Kathy says

    Do you recommend a culture starter such as the one sold by Body Ecology? I have a little bit of the “fear factor” to get over and want to do it right the first time so I don’t have to throw anything out. Thanks so much!

    • Cara says

      I have never used them, but trust the Body Ecology brand, so I’m sure they would work well :)

  5. Karen says

    I always thought that whey had to be used to ferment vegetables (as Sally Fallon describes in her book Nourishing Traditions). If fermenting can be done with just salt, then what is the purpose of using whey?

    • Cara says

      It has starter cultures in it, I’m using pickle juice instead here. In Nourishing Traditions Sally says to use double the salt if you’re omitting whey, but I find that makes the veggies way too salty for us, and I experimented with using less while we were dairy free.

  6. Natalie says

    This looks so much simplier than I expected :-)
    Following on from Karen’s question above; if whey has starter cultures then does adding only salt have the same desired affect that we hope to get from fermented foods? Will the salt version be the same as the whey version? Perhaps you can elaborate on why whey, please? Thanks

    • Debi says

      I would also like to know if the salt version be the same as using whey. I have only used salt to make cultured veggies, and especially is a little too salty for making beet Kvass even just using 1 tbl. per quart jar.

  7. says

    Hi. Great post! I just made the beets recipe and was wondering, how do you know when it’s done? I know you said 2 days but are there any indicators that it’s done? I’ve never done this before but have always wanted to ferment my own veggies. Thanks again for the great info!

  8. Maggie says

    Hi, this is a great DIY for fermented veggies. I have found that you must be sure that all your tools and jars be sterile and all the veggies super washed and clean. If there is any kind of contamination, the jars will spoil. I leave lids off also, and put a new piece of nylon hose (knee highs) over the top of jar to keep stuff out along with a ziplok bag filled with water down in the mouth of the jar to keep everything under the brine.

  9. Erin says

    How do you know when the beets are ready.? You leave them out for 2 days and then how long in the refrigerator til they are ready?

  10. says

    I use BLIS K12 probiotic, great probiotic from New Zealand. The explains that BLIS K12 is for the mouth, first line of defense in the mouth. Mouth is the gateway for harmful organisms that causes lot of illnesses.

  11. Mary says

    Hello, this looks so easy. But i a have a couple of questions, ( I should say a ton of questions, :-) ), i hope you could help me. Do i need to sterilize my jars to ferment?, Do i need to loose the caps frequently, or just let them sit at my counter?. I am totally new in this process, so i am a little bit scare. I just bougth a case of pint mason jars and i do not know how to star lol. Thanks. You and your blog are really helping me in the process.

    • Cara says

      Hi Mary, I just wash the jars so they’re ‘kitchen clean’. I don’t open the lids until I”m ready to eat the food


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