Monday, November 26, 2012

Pickle Your Vegetables Using Salt (Lacto-fermentation)

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.

5. Once the juices have been released (approximately
30 minutes or so) put the vegetables into a clean
dry glass jar or crock. Be sure to submerge the
vegetables in their own salted juices.  It's
really important that the vegetables be covered
with the brine.

6. Store at room temperature in a dark, dry place.  The cabinet in my laundry room was perfect.  Loosen lid every day to release the build up of gases and to skim off any white mold.  The mold won't hurt you but it can make the finished product taste a little funky!

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.


  1. Thanks for stopping by! Do let us know how yours turns out if you give it a try :)

  2. I'm ready to make my second batch. Great for soups. I mix a variety of vegetables. Then when I'm ready to make soup i add a can of tomatoes and beans and any left overs to make a quick, soup.


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