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19 March 2019

How to ferment vegetables at home

Fermenting vegetables at home is a great way to reduce your food waste, improve gut health and save money.

Step 1: Choose your fermentation equipment

Fermenting vegetables does not require a lot of specialised equipment. Vegetables can be fermented in a dedicated fermenting crock, a clean glass bowl or glass mason jar.

Step 2: Prepare your vegetables for fermenting
Almost any vegetable can be fermented aside from vegetable high in chlorophyll, like kale or spinach. You can ferment one vegetable alone or create a mix of vegetables, along with complimenting herbs and spices. Grate, slice, chop, or leave small vegetable whole. The different ways you prepare the vegetables will produce different results.

Step 3: Use salt, whey or a starter culture

Salt and water is all you need for lacto-fermentation, with sea salt being the best option. Many recipes call for fresh whey as a ferment starter, but it isn’t necessary. Using salt will give the same result. You can also use a vegetable starter culture for a faster fermentation, but it isn’t essential.

Step 4: Use water to prepare the brine

You will need enough brine to be able to submerge the vegetables completely. The best fermentation results are achieved with a 2% brine. For every 100 grams of vegetables, you need 2 grams of salt. Filtered water is essential, in particular, water that is free of chlorine, chloramines and fluoride. Chlorine and fluoride will not support a healthy ferment as they kill the microbes.

Step 5: Weigh the vegetables down under the brine

Once the vegetables have been prepared, place them into the chosen fermentation vessel and weigh them down under the brine. Keeping them in an anaerobic environment during the fermentation period is important. Use a small glass, ceramic cup or plate to keep the vegetables submerged.

Step 6: Leave the vegetables to ferment at room temperature before moving them to the fridge

The fermentation time will depend on numerous factors, including temperature, the quantity of salt and the nature of the vegetable. After leaving the vegetables to ferment at room temperature for three days, taste it. If they are not as acidic as you would like, leave them and taste after another three days, and so on. Once you are happy with the taste, move them to the fridge.

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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