A Beginner’s Guide to Fermenting Vegetables

Whether you are a master gardener or a raw beginner, eventually you will end up with a bumper crop of your favorite vegetables. While that abundance will certainly be welcomed, you may suddenly be faced with a problem you did not expect. When your garden is overflowing with green goodness, it can be hard to use all those wonderful vegetables before they go bad.

You could always treat your friends, neighbors and coworkers to free veggies, but even that may not be enough to use up the overflow. You could do like your grandma did and can the excess, but the canning process can be complicated and time consuming Fermenting vegetables is an easy way to deal with the abundance, and once the fermentation process is done, you can enjoy your favorite vegetables long after the growing season is over.

Fermenting is simple, and it is a great way to preserve the nutritional value of the veggies you have so carefully nurtured all season long. Fermented foods are delicious but did not you know they are good for your digestion too? The fermentation process aids digestion, giving your body time to absorb additional nutrients and benefiting your health in a number of important ways.

There is a reason so many cultures, from the ancient Chinese to the modern Europeans, have made fermented foods part of their daily diet, and plenty of reasons you should too. Lovers of fermented foods know that the bacteria in those foods can enhance the mineral content of already healthy vegetables, making those nutrients more available to the body, aiding digestion and creating a healthier daily diet. do not need a lot of specialized equipment to get started.

You will need a few basic supplies, starting with a quality fermentation vessel and a good set of knives for chopping. You can easily find everything you will need online, so you can start fermenting right away. When you are ready to start the fermentation process, you will need to carefully prepare your vegetables. You can grate, shred, chop or slice the veggies, so feel free to experiment and see which method best suits your individual taste.

You will also need to decide which fermentation method you want to use. You can use simple table salt, whey or a pre-mixed starter culture, and each method can work very well. If this is your first foray into fermentation, you might want to look up a few recipes and use the recommended medium.

No matter which fermentation method you choose, water will be key to your success. You will need to create a brine or mix of starter culture and water, and the water you choose must be free of contaminants. Once the brine has been properly prepared, you will want to fermentation vessel.

No matter which vegetables you are working with, maintaining an anaerobic environment during the fermentation process is key. The final step is to move the fermented vegetables to cold storage. Once the fermented veggies are properly stored, you can enjoy an abundance of goodness all winter long.