Feast on This Fresh and Fantastic Fermented Veggies Recipe

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By Dr. Mercola

What do foods like natto, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, lassi and kefir
all have in common? Hint: It’s not an ingredient. Rather, it’s actually how all
of these are made: fermentation. According to the George Mateljan Foundation,
fermentation refers to an enzyme-controlled chemical process that breaks down an
organic substance into simpler parts, typically with help of bacteria, yeasts
or carbon dioxide.[i],[ii]

often have a unique taste and peculiar smell, which is why not a lot
of people are drawn to them at first. In some cases, they are even considered to
be an acquired taste.[iii]
However, different studies have attested fermented foods’ benefits when it
comes to improving your gut health and optimizing overall health naturally,
making a strong case for why they should be added into your diet.

You can start by making this Fresh and Fantastic Fermented Veggies
Recipe. Creating your own fermented vegetable mix at home is feasible and worth
the hard work you’ll be putting into it.


1 cup of freshly juiced organic celery

4 cups organic shredded mixed purple and green cabbage

1 medium organic sweet potato, peeled

1 to 2 small cloves of garlic

1 medium organic beet,

1 packet Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture


Shred all the vegetables.

Juice celery to create a brine, 1 cup for every
quart of vegetables.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of Kinetic Culture to the
brine. Pour the brine over the shredded vegetables and mix in a large bowl to
distribute evenly over all vegetables.

Pack into jar, compressing vegetables with a
masher to remove air pockets. Vegetables should fill jar to the very top. Add
more vegetables if needed to reach the top of the jar.

Top off with a cabbage leaf, tucking the edges
of the leaf into the sides so all vegetables are under it.

Add Dr. Mercola’s Jar Lid to top of the jar,
leaving it slightly cracked open.

Ferment at approximately 72 degrees for three to
four days.

When the vegetables reach desired taste and
texture, store in the refrigerator.

Note: In the winter, it may
take longer if surrounding temperature is colder. A temperature-stable
environment (such as inside an empty cooler) is recommended.

Fermented Veggies Are
Full of Health Benefits You Shouldn’t Miss

The concept of fermenting foods is not entirely new, despite what many
people think. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
highlights that:

Fermentation is one of the
oldest forms of food preservation technologies in the world. Indigenous
fermented foods … have been prepared and consumed for thousands of years and
are strongly linked to culture and tradition, especially in rural households
and village communities …

There is reliable
information that fermented drinks were being produced over 7,000 years ago in
Babylon (now Iraq); 5,000 years ago in Egypt; 4,000 years ago in Mexic;, and 3,500
years ago in Sudan … Fermentation of milk started in many places with evidence
of [other] fermented products in use in Babylon over 5,000 years ago … China is
thought to be the birth-place of fermented vegetables …”

Not only did the communities
mentioned above maintain their own food supply, but they most likely improved their health, too. It’s not too late
to try making fermented foods and discovering a treasure trove of benefits that
you can get from adding them to your diet. In general, fermented foods are
known to:

Deliver more bang for your
buck, since they contain 100 times more probiotics compared to probiotic

Detoxify the body by drawing
out toxins and heavy metals from the body

Restore normal gut flora
when taking antibiotics

Reduce risk for type 1 and type 2 diabetes,[iv]
brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, urinary and female genital tract infections
and infection from pathogenic microorganisms or Helicobacter pylori

Improve symptoms linked to
lactose intolerance and autism[v],[vi]

Improve conditions like
leaky gut, atopic dermatitis (eczema), acne and premenstrual syndrome

These foods provide a wide
and natural variety of good gut bacteria or probiotics, helping improve gut
health and preventing development of health problems. Nourishing your gut with
probiotics can play a role in maintaining optimal health, particularly by:

Combating inflammation and
controlling growth of disease-causing bacteria

Developing and operating the
mucosal immune system in your digestive tract

Controlling asthma and
lowering allergy risk

Producing antibodies that
combat pathogens

Absorbing minerals and
eliminating toxins

Benefiting mood and mental

Regulating dietary fat

Preventing acne and other
conditions like
obesity and diabetes

Lastly, fermented foods are
an outstanding nutrient source, particularly of B vitamins and vitamin K2. The latter is known to help prevent arterial
plaque build-up and lower your risk for heart disease. Other nutrients found in
fermented foods include:[vii],[viii],[ix],[x],[xi]

  • Beneficial enzymes
  • Conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (in
    fermented milk products)
  • High amounts of bioavailable minerals
  • Short-chain fatty acids that may boost
    immune system function

What Are the Most Ideal
Vegetables to Ferment?

Cucumbers and
cabbage are most often used for fermentation, although you are definitely free
to use your favorite vegetables, provided that they are organically grown,
high-quality and GMO-free, to ensure a better and healthier outcome. If you
can’t grow your own produce, talk to a local farmer who may sell organic vegetables.
Ideally, here’s a basic “formula” of what a good fermented vegetable mix looks

Red or
green cabbage
: This should be the “backbone” of any batch of fermented
vegetables that you’ll make. About 80 percent of the mix must be composed of
cabbage. You will need five to six medium-sized cabbages for 10 to 14 quart
jars of fermented vegetables.

When placing cabbage inside the
container, make sure the leaves are dense and tightly packed, and don’t forget
to set aside extra leaves for the jar tops to tuck all the vegetables neatly
into the jar.

hard root vegetables like
carrots, golden beets, radishes and turnips: These provide additional crunch and flavor to the mix. Peel the
skins first, because they have bitter flavors.

Other crunchy ingredients you can try
adding include red bell
and Granny Smith apples. If you like some spice, you can also add
one hot Habanero pepper, which will be enough for the entire batch. When
handling it, just make sure to wear gloves.

The fermentation process concentrates the pungent flavors, so you really
want to only add small quantities of aromatics as a finishing touch. Peeled
garlic, peeled ginger and/or herbs like basil, sage,
rosemary, thyme or
oregano will work. You might want to skip adding onions since they can deliver
an overpowering flavor.

Whole dulse or flakes are good additions to fermented vegetables.
If you have wakame and/or sea palm you can add these too, although they need to
be presoaked and diced into the desired size. You can also use arame and hijiki,
but because they have fishy flavors, be cautious when adding them to the rest
of the vegetables.

These Fermenting Tips Are a
Must in Your Arsenal

Take note of these other tips that’ll help you produce fresh and
excellent fermented vegetables:[xii],[xiii]

Wash and prepare vegetables
to remove bacteria, enzymes and other debris. The

vegetables may be grated, sliced, chopped or left as a whole.

However, be consistent with their size and shape, since that can
impact the speed of fermentation and texture of the finished product.

Pint and quart jars can come
in handy:
Large, glass Mason jars with self-sealing lids are the most ideal
for fermenting vegetables.

You’ll need containers that have a wide mouth that should fit your
hand or another tool like a masher, so you can tightly pack the vegetables
and remove air pockets.

Avoid using plastic jars since they can leach chemicals into the
food. The same goes for metal containers because they can be corroded by
salts mixed with the vegetables.

Try using a stone crock: You
can use this if you want to make larger batches. At least 5 pounds of
vegetables can be fermented in a 1-gallon container, so a 5-pound crock can
hold a batch that weighs 5 gallons.

Prepare your brine: Fermented
vegetables may need to be covered with brine. You can ferment foods using
natural and unprocessed salt like Himalayan salt, salt-free brine (a starter
culture mixed with celery juice, which may be enough for 10 to 14 quarts of
fermented vegetables) or a starter culture only.

When adding brine to your vegetable mix, ensure that the vegetables
are completely covered with it, and poured all the way to the top of the jar
to eliminate trapped air.

Allow the vegetables to
“ripen” for a week:
After packing the vegetables down, wait for a week or
more to allow the vegetables to “ripen” and the flavors to develop.

Put the lids on the jar loosely, since they will expand because of
gases produced during fermentation. The jars should be placed in a relatively
warm location with a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of

Allot three to four days for the vegetables to ferment during the
summer. In the winter, set aside seven days for the vegetables to “ripen.”

Move the vegetables to cold
Move the fermented vegetables to the refrigerator when they are

Telltale signs that your vegetables are ready include bubbles that
appear throughout the jar and development of a pleasant sour aroma and

Vegetables with a rotten or spoiled odor should be tossed out, and
the container must be washed immediately. Afterward, you can try your hand at
making another batch.

Labeling is important: There
might be instances when you’ll forget when you’ve made a particular batch and
what its ingredients are.

When labeling, include the ingredients, the date when the batch was
made and how many days were allotted to ferment the vegetables.

One last tip: When serving fermented food, always use a clean spoon
and never eat straight out of the jar, since the entire batch can be
contaminated with bacteria from your mouth.

Don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family, so
they too can start making their own fermented veggies and start reaping the
wholesome benefits.

Source:: Mercola Health Articles