zuchinni sweet potatoBe grateful, ferment your vegetables, love others.

I have been getting a lot of letters asking if you can ferment vegetables with water kefir or kombucha. You can ferment vegetables with these two different cultures, but the vegetables tend to get mushy and don’t last very long. You will get different bacteria and you will also be diminishing one of my very favorite bacteria that makes cultured vegetables so strong and unique, Lactobacillus Plantarum.

Click here to see the different bacteria and yeasts in kombucha and water kefir.

Cultured VeggiesCultured veggies make their own  Lactobacillus Plantarum without a starter culture; but as I have repeatedly noticed, these ferments are never as strong as the ones that add more bacteria from starter cultures to keep the levels of these good bacteria at a higher level longer.  L. plantarum is found in these veggie starter cultures, Cutting Edge Starter Culture and Caldwell’s starter, and is just the coolest bacteria ever. It helps remove pesticides from non-organic vegetables, and L. plantarum can live in your gut and keep pathogenic disease-causing microorganisms from flourishing.

Rosemary picklesStudies have consistently shown that L. plantarum is resistant to most antibiotics. It also has potential cholesterol-lowering activity. It’s pretty powerful and can even knock out food poisoning (as I myself have seen several times) and is a powerful weapon in controlling candida in the body. It is also good for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), easing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, and healing colitis. You can make cultured vegetables with water kefir and kombucha, but the abundance of other strains of bacteria will crowd out the most important star of the show –  L. plantarum. Bacteria like room to grow and thrive and with the addition of so many other cultures in kombucha and water kefir, I think it is best to stick with what cultured vegetables do best, make lots of L. plantarum. Diversity is good; but when it comes to cultured vegetables, getting plenty of L. plantarum in your gut is a very good thing.

Here is one of my favorite summertime recipes with lots of L. plantarum.

Blueberry Spinach Kraut
Blueberry Spinach Kraut Print Recipe
CulturedFoodLife.com
This pairs well with sprouted tortilla chips. They are becoming more popular and there are several on the market now. I am loving Unbeatable Blue Tortilla Chips.~Donna
Materials
Ingredients
  • 1/2package Cutting Edge Culturesor use 1/4 cup of kefir whey
  • 1/2cup cranberry blueberry juiceYou can use just cranberry juice or just blueberry juice.
  • 1/2head green cabbageshredded or chopped finely
  • 1tablespoon organic Herbamare seasoningyou can just use salt if you don't have this
  • 1handful spinachchopped or shredded
  • 1large shallotchopped finely
  • 1-1/2cups blueberriesfresh
  • Waterfiltered
Servings: quarts
Units:
Instructions
  1. Mix the Cutting Edge Culture or kefir whey into the cranberry blueberry juice and mix well till culture package is dissolved.
    Mix the Cutting Edge Culture or kefir whey into the cranberry blueberry juice and mix well till culture package is dissolved.
  2. Place the shredded or chopped cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with Herbamare seasoning (or salt).
    Place the shredded or chopped cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with Herbamare seasoning (or salt).
  3. Add the next 3 ingredients and mix together well. Firmly pack the mixture into glass canning jars, splitting it evenly between the two, leaving an inch or two for the cabbage to expand when it ferments.
    Add the next 3 ingredients and mix together well. Firmly pack the mixture into glass canning jars, splitting it evenly between the two, leaving an inch or two for the cabbage to expand when it ferments.
  4. Add the starter (or whey) to chopped vegetables in jars and fill the jars with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.
    Add the starter (or whey) to chopped vegetables in jars and fill the jars with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.
  5. Seal jars tightly and let sit on your counter for 6 days, then place in refrigerator.
    Seal jars tightly and let sit on your counter for 6 days, then place in refrigerator.
  6. I like the taste best after it has been in the fridge for a few weeks. It gets better with age and at 4 to 5 weeks it is super tasty.
    I like the taste best after it has been in the fridge for a few weeks. It gets better with age and at 4 to 5 weeks it is super tasty.
CulturedFoodLife.com
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