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Fermentation is a process that involves microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, breaking down carbohydrates in foods — a technique that results in those foods developing a tart flavor. Sauerkraut is probably the first food that comes to mind when you think about fermentation. However, many other foods can be fermented, including pretty much any vegetable.
Because fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria, they offer numerous health benefits, including better digestion and stronger immunity.
Fermenting vegetables is pretty straightforward. Simply pack your produce in a jar, cover the vegetables with a salt brine, add a weight, cover the jar, let the vegetables ferment at room temperature for several days or weeks, and then refrigerate them to stop the fermenting process.
Make sure all the vegetables are submerged in the brine while they ferment. If they’re not fully covered, mold may form on them. This is why fermentation weights (available online and in retail stores) are required. If you don’t have weights, you can place a smaller jar filled with water inside the canning jar.
The following recipes, from the Capper’s Farmer archives, are made in canning jars, but if you have a fermentation crock, by all means, feel free to use it.
To learn more about fermenting, subscribe to our newest sister publication, Fermentation.
More Fermented Recipes:
Traci Smith is a Capper’s Farmer editor. She enjoys doing crafts, hanging out with her Labrador retrievers, and trying new recipes.