I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to learn how to ferment vegetables. Considering how easy it is, and how good they are for you, I should have done it a lot sooner! My Dad has been making his own sauerkraut and fermented veggies for several years now and I was lucky enough to learn from him. One year he even showed up to my then, soon-to-be sister-in-law’s house for Christmas dinner with his most recent concoction. I’m sure they thought we were the weird hippies from Northern California, but everyone was a good sport and gave it a try!
So why fermented vegetables? Traditionally the fermentation process was created in-order-to preserve food, but in the last century or so we have moved away from including these nutrient-dense powerhouses in our modern diet. Fermented, or also known as cultured vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and good-for-our-gut probiotics. These probiotics are created in the fermentation process when, in an anaerobic state, bacteria begins to break down the starches and sugars that are contained in the food. Eating a small amount of cultured foods every day is enough to give us our necessary dose of probiotics, instead of taking a supplement. It’s a great way to support our gut health and therefore the overall health of our body with real food!
This recipe can be used with any vegetable that you choose. You can do single veggie ferments or make your own combinations. It’s completely up to you and something that can be a lot of fun to experiment with! Measurements will not be exact since that isn’t my style, but you’ll just have to be smart and use your own judgement and common sense! You can do it, I promise!
Golden Beet, Kohlrabi and Ginger
Veggies of your choice
Mason jar or glass jar of your choice
Small glass or fermentation weight
- Boil several cups of water ahead of time to ensure all chlorine has been removed from the water. In terms of amount, just make sure it’s enough water to fully submerge the veggies when you add them to the mason jars. Wait until water cools to room temperature before beginning the rest of the fermentation process.
- Once the liquid has cooled add a generous amount of salt to the water. (If you are looking for that explains exact ratios of salt to water check out makesauerkraut.com. She gives clear guidelines) https://www.makesauerkraut.com/how-much-salt-use-to-make-sauerkraut/
- Peel the skin off the raw beets, kohlrabi and ginger. I used three beets, two kohrabi and a small section of ginger. This yielded me almost two 24 oz. jar-fulls of cultured veggies.
- I wanted my vegetables to be as thinly sliced as possible so I used my Spiralizer with the largest blade and then diced them up into pieces. But you can simply just cut thin slices with a regular ‘ole kitchen knife. You can also do small chunks as well. Whatever you prefer for the texture. I like the crunch of something very thinly sliced.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the glass jar. I like to use the wide mouth Ball mason jars in either the 24 or 32 oz. size. You want to make sure to pack the mixture in as tightly as possible.
- Then add just enough of the salted water to the jar so that the veggies are completely submerged. This is very important. They need to be in an anaerobic state. In-order for the submersion to stay, you want to make sure to weigh down the mixture with something. I just use a smaller jar filled with water that fits just inside the larger jar. You can also buy fermentation weights specifically for this job!
- From there it’s just a waiting game. Leave them on plate or a small baking sheet on the counter. Somewhere where it won’t be too hot. This food is “alive” so the liquid may bubble over the edge. That’s totally fine! Some people like to do a shorter fermentation time. About 3-5 days. I like mine to go longer than that. I usually do almost two weeks. After that you want to put it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process so it doesn’t completely break down. It should keep for months in there!
I love having mine with my breakfast, I think cultured veggies pair really well with some fried eggs and veggie scramble. I also love starting my day with that much nutrient-density!