Lacto-Fermenting 101...Fermenting Vegetables
All you need:
A small mouth quart jar with a lid
Carrots (Peeled or unpeeled. Slice them or cut them into carrot sticks. Keep in mind larger pieces of vegetables require a longer ferment time.)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Kale or cabbage leaves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon your choice of dried herb. (Dill weed, Celery seed or Caraway seed work well for this ferment). Helpful hint: Wrap herbs and spices in a piece of cheesecloth and place into the bottom of the jar to prevent them from floating.
Fill jar halfway with layered carrots and onions. Add garlic and herb (if desired). Add remaining carrots and onions packing tightly. Leave approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches headspace in jar. Completely cover veggies with kale or cabbage leaves. Cut 2 carrot or celery sticks and crisscross over kale/cabbage leaves tucking them tightly into the shoulders of the jar. These will act as a weight to keep your vegetables submerged under the brine. There should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches of headspace in the jar.
For the brine:
1 tablespoon sea salt (we prefer sea salt, particularly finely ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt since the minerals aid in the fermentation process. Salt should not contain Iodine or ant-caking ingredients).
2 cups filtered water (Do not use tap water containing chlorine or fluoride).
Dissolve sea salt in water and pour over veggies completely covering them while leaving about an inch of headspace.
Place lid on jar. We prefer plastic storage lids manufactured specifically for mason jars. The salt brine will eventually corrode metal lids.
Place jar on a plate at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. During the fermentation process brine can leak from jar.
Burp jars daily by opening lid to release pressure created by the fermentation process. Make sure veggies are submerged in brine at all times. Add additional brine if necessary.
Some vegetables are very active and you will notice bubbles as they ferment. Some jars will bubble so much they appear to be in boiling water.
Ferment for 1 to 3 weeks. Fermentation time depends on temperature, atmospheric conditions...even a full moon!
Fermentation is complete when bubbling in jar begins to cease. Place jar in refrigerator. Check after 24 hours to make sure brine level has not dropped. Add additional brine if necessary to make sure vegetables are completely covered. Jar can be stored for months in refrigerator but these are so delicious they won't last that long!
Use this basic ferment recipe and get creative by trying different vegetables and herb/spice combinations!