Fermented foods are making a comeback, especially here in Seattle. Are you like me and see more and more folks drinking kombucha in place of soda, enjoying pickled veggies, and trying their hand at homemade sourdough breads? Fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, kimchi, miso, and tempeh provide our bodies with beneficial bacteria known as probiotics; good bacteria which help restore gut balance and aid in digestion. Fermented foods help our bodies absorb nutrients, and actually enhances certain nutrients during the fermentation process. Fermentation is actually a naturally occurring process, and at it’s simplest form is the breaking down of sugars to acids (vinegar) and gases, or alcohol.
Let’s be real, though… I AM the “folk” not only consuming more fermented foods, but actually experimenting with homemade fermentation myself. All you need to start your own “fermentation station” at home are ripe ingredients and time! And probably some extra counter space as containers will need to sit out for a while. Here is a quick recipe to try at home when you have extra produce on hand you’d rather not throw out in the compost:
General Vegetable Fermentation
- about 3 cups vegetables (any 1 vegetable or combination)
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 cups water
- large jar with lid (half gallon Mason Jar with lid)
- 2 garlic cloves, pealed
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Combine salt and water and stir until salt is dissolved. If using hot water, proceed once water returns to room temperature.
- Combine all ingredients jar and pour salt water mixture over vegetables. Add more water until vegetables are completely covered, while also leaving 1 inch of space at the top.
- Secure tightly with lid and let sit at room temperature until taste is satisfactory. Check in on the fermentation process occasionally and skim off any scum or mold that may form at the top.
- Refrigerate when desired taste and tenderness has been reached.