How to Make Cultured Vegetables
- You first must choose the vessel you will want to use to ferment the vegetables. You can use a canning jar with a lid, a crock with a lid, a clamp down jar that has a gasket, or my favorite is a jar with an airlock lid. Airlock jars creating a low-oxygen, or, anaerobic environment, in which lactic-acid bacteria may thrive. It creates the best results with less chance of mold, but this is not absolutely necessary.
- You will then choose to use a culture to ferment or to ferment without one. You can certainly make them without a culture but the good bacteria will stay at a higher level longer if you add a culture. This will also increase your own body’s ability to use and grow these good bacteria inside of you. The one that I believe does this the best is Cutting Edge Cultures. The three fermenting methods are listed below.
Using No Culture
You can make culture vegetables by simply chopping or placing vegetables in vessels, then submerging them under water making sure the vegetables are covered with water. You must add salt with this method because the vegetables with the acidifying bacteria create the probiotics that preserve your vegetables. Salt is important because without a starter culture it helps ferment the vegetables and create the right environment for fermentation to take place. This creates and environment that is safe. The good bacteria dominate and keep out harmful pathogens. You must leave two-inches of room at the top of the container for expansion inside the jar; otherwise the vegetables will expand and can over flow. Allow this to ferment on your counter for six to seven days. Then place the jar of vegetables in the fridge where they will last for at least 9 months.
Using Kefir whey
If using the whey from kefir make sure that it is fresh for the best results. Click here to learn how to make kefir whey. The amounts of whey you use will vary according to how big your jars are. Chop and place vegetables in vessels, then submerge them under water and make sure the vegetables are covered with water. Then you will add your kefir whey. You must leave a two-inch room for expansion inside the jar. These will expand and can over flow. Follow directions on each recipe as to how long to leave them fermenting on your counter. Then place the jar of vegetables in the fridge where they will last for at least 9 month.
Using a Starter Culture
This is my favorite method for making culture vegetables. Cutting Edge Cultures is my favorite starter culture. It’s stronger than anything else I’ve used. Cutting Edge Starter Culture is a synergistic blend of carefully selected bacteria strains. One of the key criteria used to evaluate this blend was how quickly and by how much the acidity increased after fermentation began. The faster you can drop the pH in your homemade fermented vegetables, the healthier and safer they will be. Cutting Edge Cultures does this better than any other product on the market, which gives you more probiotics in your culture and allows them to stay stronger for longer due to the extra strong good bacteria this culture provides.