Lacto fermented vegetables and a recipe for Red cabbage, lemon and ginger picklesPosted: November 5, 2011
Please respect Copyright Holly Davis, these notes and recipe are for personal use only
Why might you make and eat lacto fermented foods?
The lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli preserves the vegetables or fruits and increases their digestibility. This also puts beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract, which promotes the growth of healthy digestive flora throughout the intestine. This aids digestion and the absorption of other nutrients.
The fermentation process can increase the vitamin levels by as much as 100 times!
Useful enzymes are produced in this process.
Antibiotic and anticarcinogen substances may also be created.
Eating a little fermented food with every meal can aid digestion, particularly of fats.
Eating lacto fermented foods can also reduce the desire for refined sugars.
Oh and they taste fabulous and are a great meal enhancer!
Here is the basic recipe to lacto ferment vegetables
There are many variables when making these foods, always begin with the best quality freshest foods and avoid contaminants.
To make a batch of pickles you will need:
A good board and very sharp knife and / or a food processor with vegetable chopping attachments
Sterile glass jars with airtight lids.
Fresh vegetables clean and dry, chop according to your preference. Root vegetables and cabbages are ideal but softer veg can also pickle well.
Celtic Sea salt approximately 1% of total weight of the vegetables. (If you prefer not to use any salt make sure you add the whey or culture. The presence of the salt prevents putrefying bacteria growing while the beneficial bacteria increase their numbers) personally I prefer the flavour with salt.
Lemon zest is a favourite addition of mine, finely sliced
Spices of your choosing (optional) i.e.chilli, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds.
Home made whey, to introduce lacto bacillus more consistently and rapidly.
Plantarum bacteria culture (‘Culture’ is available from Donna Gates Body Ecology Stockists online at www.bodyecology.com )
Or my preferred method : With no addition of a culture, allowing for the capture of organisms present in your kitchen. Often this works well and occasionally you might lose a batch due to having caught some putrefying bacteria. (You will know if this has happened because your pickle will smell awful and possibly also have become slimy, there is no danger you will want to try them!)
Lacto fermented vegetables can be kept many months when stored correctly and in a cool dark place.
Red Cabbage lemon and ginger pickles
Copyright Holly Davis
1 large fresh organic red cabbage, sliced finely
1 knob organic ginger, grated
1 organic lemon, zest only
Sea salt (1% of total weight of cabbage)
Chop the vegetables
Add the salt and rub in a loving but vigorous manner; until the cabbage has released plenty of liquid
Mix very well with the other ingredients
Contain completely covered in liquid in sterile glass jars, push vegetables down firmly so they are tightly packed and covered in their own juices
Ensure there is a good 5cms between the top of the vegetables and liquid and the lid of the jar as they expand a little during fermentation.
Lid tightly and leave on the kitchen bench 4-7 days depending on the weather. 18-20˚C is ideal (fermentation takes longer when the weather is cold)
The mix will bubble and if you were to open it, it would smell rather unpleasant for the first few days, don’t open the jars now as the process is anaerobic and oxygen at this stage may cause them to spoil. With red cabbage you will notice it turn from purple to bright pink, this is due to the action of the acid produced by the lacto bacteria.
On about day 5 you can place the pickles in the fridge and store there as you use them. Be sure to use only spotless utensils so you dont contaminate the mix.
The flavours continue to develop over several months but these can be eaten any time after the fermentation process has completed, say around 5 days
Note re something course participants are often confused by: Lacto bacillus are not dairy food; though they grow happily in milk products. Lactose is the sugar in dairy food it is not present in lacto fermented vegetables unless you add a dairy product such as whey.