Fermented Vegetables

I did not know the importance of probiotics until I missed them! When I was vegetarian my main source of probiotics was the greek yogurt but when I turned vegan my consumption of probiotics was minimum or none. Months later my digestive system started to suffer the consequences and I heard about kombucha. Kombucha helped me a lot but it was difficult for me to obtained it because there are few people who sell it. Then, on my trips to United States I discovered probiotics drinks and vegan greek style yogurts at the Whole Foods. When I came back at Puerto Rico I could consume the vegan greek style yogurts that are packed with the necessary probiotics that the body need. At Freshmart, I also found probiotic shots. Therefore, I started consuming probiotics again. Consuming probiotics is like a treatment, you must consume them daily in order for your digestive system and overall health to improve.

A few weeks ago, I met a special couple in a farmer’s market in which I was selling my Nuts Spreads. We started talking and had an enrichment conversation. We share many ideas, recipes, and I learned a lot of things about food. They even taught me that fermented vegetables is another source for obtaining probiotics and they told me their recipe. At home I researched again for a fermented vegetable recipe and make it ahead. Even with my doubts, I put cucumbers in a jar with water and salt. Suddenly, I mentioned my fermentation experiment to my “cyber friend” (I say this because we have known each other for more than a year but have not seen in person yet!). For my surprise, he is an expert on fermentation! (of course, he graduated from microbiology!) So he guided me step by step on how to prepare fermented vegetables and the science of this natural process.

After 8 days my cucumber were ready. They tasted incredibly amazing. I was so happy and proud of myself! Now, I am experimenting with other vegetables such as carrots, red peppers and mushrooms!

Basically, to ferment any vegetable you need a glass jar, salt, water and any spice. Cut the vegetable, store it in the jar, label the jar with the date and wait approximately 8 days. It is very important that you do not open the lid to check them because that interrupts the fermentation process which is an anaerobic one which means that it does not requires oxygen and if you open the lid, oxygen can enter and mess up the fermentation process. (It happened to me, “fermentation for dummies”, my “cyber friend” explained to me why I cannot do that again xD)

This recipe applies to any type of vegetable. Remember that you can use any type of spice.

Ingredients:

main vegetable, for example, cucumber, red pepper, mushroom

water to cover the vegetable

sea salt, the quantity will depend on the amount of vegetable you use but approximately 1tsp is the standard

any spice such as: ginger, all spice, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano

Procedure:

1- Cut the vegetables uniformly.

2- Put them in the jar, add the water sea salt and spices.

3- Close the jar and shake it. Label the jar with the date.

4-  Let it outside for 8 days and voilá!

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