One important secret to executing a great-tasting fermented vegetable recipe? Use freshly-harvested, organic, well-cleaned vegetables. After washing the veggies, spin them dry. It’s essential that you scald your equipment in boiling water before you use it.
“We really are enjoying our Veggie Culture Starter! We wouldn’t culture our veggies without it. Usually, we do sauerkraut, but we cultured some beets this time too! It makes it easy to have successful fermented vegetables.” – Dan
Ferment smart: Order your Veggie Culture Starter.
- 1 head green cabbage, shredded in a food processor
- 1 bunch kale, chopped very finely by hand
- 5-6 collard leaves, chopped very finely by hand
- 1/2 head cauliflower, broken in tiny florets or chopped very, very small
- 2-3 carrots, shredded in a food processor
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. celery seeds
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp. dried basil
We recommend always using a starter culture to ensure a perfectly potent end product:
- Dissolve a package of Body Ecology’s Veggie Culture Starter in a quarter cup warm (90°F) filtered water.
- Add Body Ecology’s EcoBloom to feed the starter if desired. You might also use a half teaspoon of rapadura sugar or a bit of honey.
- Let this starter mixture sit for approximately 20 minutes or longer while the L. plantarum and other bacteria wake up and begin enjoying the sugar.
- Add this starter culture to the brine in step 3 below.
- Begin preparing fermented vegetable mixture; combine all veggies, seeds, and herbs in a very large bowl.
- Remove approximately half of the above mixture, and put into a blender.
- Add enough filtered water to blender to create a “brine” the consistency of thick juice.
- Blend well, then add starter culture (described above) to this brine.
- Add brine with culture back into veggies, celery seeds, and herbs from step 1.
- Mix together well. Note: If your blender is small, you may have to do step 3 in two batches, but you only need to add the starter culture once.
- Pack mixture down into as many pint- or quart-sized glass jars as necessary. Use a potato masher or your fist to pack veggies very tightly. You want to force out most of the air.
- Fill container almost full, but leave about two inches of room at the top for veggies to expand.
- Roll up several outer cabbage leaves into a tight “log,” and place them on top to fill the remaining two-inch space. Clamp jar closed, or screw on lid very tightly.
- Let veggies sit at approximately 70°F or room temperature for at least a week. Two weeks may be even better. Refrigerate to slow down fermentation.
Fermented veggies will keep in the fridge for many weeks, becoming softer and more delicious as time passes. Eat at least a half cup of cultured veggies with every meal, and enjoy.