Lacto-fermented pickles and vegetables are simple, delicious and easy to make. Plus, they have the added health benefit of homemade probiotics. If you’ve ever eaten (sour) pickles, sauerkraut or kimchi, you’ve experienced lacto-fermented food.
What is lacto-fermentation?
Lacto refers to lactic acid. All fruits and vegetables have beneficial bacteria, lactobacillus on the surface. In an oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment, the bacteria converts sugars into lactic acid, which prevents harmful bacteria and acts as a natural preservative. It’s also what gives fermented foods their sour flavor.
What can I lacto-ferment?
Cucumbers, carrots, radishes, turnips, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, beets, garlic, garlic scapes, hot and sweet peppers.
Is there vinegar in lacto-ferments?
Nope! Salt, water and the veggies – that’s all.
Is it mold?
Occasionally, there may be a white and fairly flat film present on the surface of your ferment. Most often this is not mold but kahm yeast (caused by not enough salt, improper washing of veggies or temperature). Simply, spoon it off and toss it – enjoy pickles. Always remember, your senses are the best test – if it smells and tastes okay, it’s probably fine to consume. A sour smell is normal – but an unpleasant, spoiled or rotten smell is not.
For more inspiration and information, please visit these sites…
What is Lacto-Fermentation?
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
The History and Health Benefits of Lacto-Fermented Food
56 Awesome Fermented Food & Drink Recipes
What are the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods?
Lacto-Fermented Garlic Scape-Dill Pickles
Vegan • Naturally Gluten, Grain, Soy & Dairy Free • Paleo
8-10 kirbie cucumbers, washed and flower ends removed
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1-2 sprigs fresh dill
2 tablespoons sea salt
Enter in your ingredients here.
Carefully, insert kirbies into quart-size mason jar – long ways, but only fill half the jar.
Add garlic and dill; finish stuffing jar with kirbies.
Add salt and enough filtered water to cover the top of kirbies.
Close the jar and shake really well. Open the jar and add more water if needed.
Close jar, place in fridge and let it ferment for 1-2 weeks. Or, place jar in cool dark place (65° to 70° is ideal) and allow to ferment for 2 weeks. Note, if your home is too hot, it’s best to go straight into the fridge.
Feel free to taste the pickles after 3-5 days and every 2 days thereafter. This way, you can enjoy them at your desired level of “tang/sour”.
Radical Homemaker Quick Tips:
- Fresh, unsprayed, homegrown or organic veggies are best. Old or heavily sprayed vegetables may not ferment well.
- Kirbie cucumbers are best – the smaller the better.
- Thoroughly wash your kirbies – you don’t want any dirt getting into your pickles.
- Always use chlorine free clean water!
- Sea salt – not table salt.
- If desired, you can add 2 bay leaves and up to 1 tablespoon of mustard seed, peppercorn or coriander per quart jar. Hot peppers, tucked in, are great if you like it spicy