My husband was reminded of one of the traditional ways that his grandmother preserved vegetables when he heard Sandor Katz on a NPR broadcast. Mr. Katz is an expert on fermented foods so I encourage you to check out his (click here) site.
Simply put, lacto-fermentation means you submerge vegetables into a salty brine (using either unchlorinated water or the vegetable's own juices). The salt wipes out the bad bacteria that could harm us and allows the lactobacillus organisms to convert lactose and other sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid preserves the food and gives it an amazing tangy taste.
Fermented foods are not only extremely tasty, they are good for you! You can find out more about fermented foods here ~
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods
My Experiment ~
Excited to try a new way to preserve some of our garden harvest I quickly found some simple instructions online for saurekraut and adapted; thank you Keeper of the Home!
|1. Start with firm ripe vegetables, be certain to|
remove any dirt with a good rinsing.
2. Grate vegetables with a cheese grater
or food processor.
|3. Sprinkle layers of vegetables with salt. |
Most recipes give a ratio of 5 lbs of vegetables
to 3 Tbsp salt.
I really didn't measure. I just sprinkled a layer with
salt and added another layer of vegetables, so on
and so forth. Easy enough!
|4. Let the salted vegetables sit at room temperature |
in a bowl and periodically tamp the vegetables down
to help release the natural juices.
|7. Once your product tastes more sour than|
salty and is bubbly, you can transfer to the
refrigerator. Eat and enjoy!
It should be perfectly safe for several months.