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.
Cultured 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 the veggie starter culture Cutting Edge Starter Culture and it will load up your veggies with this important good bacteria.
L. Plantarum is extremely hardy and survives the stomach acid with ease. It can make the full trip from your mouth – to intestines – to the colon – to colonize you in a powerful way. L. Plantarum is a welcome guest that works mightily for you by fiercely attacking pathogenic (bad) bacteria in our bodies. It will strengthen your good bacteria by killing the bad guys and then helps your own good bacteria grow stronger. It helps them to be more resistant to future invasions of pathogens. It's important to note that this is a transient bacteria which means it will only last a few days in the body so it's important to consume it often.
The problem with killing 99.9% of bacteria is that most of them protect us from the few that can make us sick. ~ Sandor Katz
L. plantarum helps remove pesticides from non-organic vegetables. It can live in your gut and keep pathogenic disease-causing microorganisms from flourishing. It's exciting that microbes can help us by removing pesticides from our vegetables. It can be a hardship for people to always buy organic, but the healthy bacteria L. plantarum can remedy this. L. plantarum helps remove pesticides from non-organic vegetables.  The L. plantarum bacterial strains studied from fermented vegetables in kimchi were found to be capable of degrading four different organophosphorus insecticides by using them as a source of carbon and phosphorous. 
Be grateful, ferment your vegetables, love others.
Cholesterol, Candida, IBS, Crohn's, Colitis, and More
Studies 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.
Ferment any vegetable and the chances are very good it will start changing you from the inside out. 🍆🍠🌶🥒
Adding Prebiotics To Your Veggies
You may have noticed I add a lot of fruits and extra veggies to my cultured veggie recipes. Things like jicama, lemon, blueberry, apples, garlic, carrots, and Prebio Plus are all prebiotics that help your ferments become stronger.
These prebiotics act as a fertilizer to promote the growth of the good bacteria in your gut. This is essential to the health and function of your immune system. You want a diverse selection of good bacteria in your gut, and eating cultured foods accomplishes this. With the addition of prebiotics, you have a super-strong combination that boosts your immune system. Prebiotics also strengthen your ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, and other minerals usually lacking in our diets. Learn more about prebiotics.
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Lactobacillus Plantarum is a very powerful good bacteria. It can remove pesticides from fermented food, lower cholesterol, help with candida, help with IBS, and is a welcome guest that works mightily for you by fiercely attacking pathogenic (bad) bacteria in our bodies. It will strengthen your good bacteria by killing the bad guys and then helps your own good bacteria grow stronger. Listen in to hear more benefits and to find my many recipes for this powerful good bacteria.