Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Fermenting Vegetables

I have been waiting for a certain book to arrive before I could complete this post and today it came.  Rather than purchase those yoghurts or probiotic drinks that also contain stuff you might not want to consume in the search for a healthy diet/lifestyle, I have decided to cultivate my own probiotic enzymes with ingredients that I know where they come from.

I began before the book arrived and then hesitated because... look at this funny white stuff that has formed on the top of my pickled carrots!  What's that all about then?

It would seem that it is normal.  It isn't mould.  Mould is quite different.  For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of fermented foods I would merely mention Saurkraut.  If you have never tasted it, then you should at least give it a try.  and not the stuff that comes in tins or jars from the supermarket, that doesn't taste anything like the real thing (I have made this previously and its crunchy and surprisingly yummy).  I can't wait for my latest batch to be ready to team it up with hot dogs (did I say I was trying to be healthy?  clearly I lied!).

The principals of fermenting veg are very simply that you add salt to fresh veg and squeeze out the natural juices which then cover the veg and begin the fermenting process.  The veg goes through several stages of fermentation all the while producing beneficial enzymes and probiotic bacteria that aid in the digestion of not only the veg you have fermented but also anything else you are eating at the same time.

The subject is vast and the range of foods that can be fermented equally wide.  I am not going to give instructions because for that you really need a good book.  the internet is full of advice.  read several sites before following any recipes because there are some differences in techniques.  But suffice to say it is very hard to poison yourself with this method of pickling, which for me is like showing a red rag to a bull.  I ran out of fermentation lids or we would have a lot more stuff pickled and in the cupboard by now!