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.
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.
* Mason jars (I like pint, quart, and half gallon) or fermentation crocks
* 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.
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
Ginger, fresh, 1 tablespoon
Garlic, 1 head
Sea Salt (sea salt can be purchased here)
Bubbies ferments, or another current cultured vegetable (optional)
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.Carrots:
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.Salsa:
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.Sauerkraut:
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.
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.