Now is the perfect time to start exploring some new healthy kitchen hobbies like fermenting veggies! I absolutely love fermented vegetables and I always include them in my S.O.U.P. Cleanse because of all of their amazing health benefits. The main idea of fermenting is to create an environment that is inhospitable to the microbes and enzymes that would normally cause food to decay and potentially make you ill while increasing the nutrient quality of the food and the levels of good bacteria.
The probiotics (the live beneficial microorganisms produced during the fermentation process) carry out functions that make the minerals in cultured foods more readily available to our bodies. The good bacteria also produce enzymes that are beneficial for gut health, digestion and balancing the immune system. Beyond physical health, the benefits that the microbiota in fermented foods have on gut health can also enhance mood and foster better mental health. Plus, they help to curb sugar and carb cravings.
The fermenting process can be as easy as these seven steps:
- Choose and prep veggies and optional spices by chopping/ slicing them. I love pickling cauliflower with garlic and jalapeños.
- Add prepped veggies and spices to a standard ~16oz glass jar.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of a lime juice to the jar.
- Heat your choice of vinegar in a saucepan. I use a blend of apple cider vinegar and distilled white vinegar. Make sure it will be enough to fill all of your jars of veggies.
- Add some honey and salt in the heated vinegar mixture until dissolved. I use about 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of salt per jar of veggies. This will be your brine.
- Add the brine to your jar until the vegetables are completely submerged. If you are fermenting cucumbers, you may want to cool the brine first to keep them nice and crunchy.
- Top the jar and let the veggies ferment anywhere from four to six days in 68-degree to 72-degree Fahrenheit temperature. The longer they sit, the tangier they become.
Fermented veggies are a fantastic snack. You can eat them right out of the jar, use them to top salads, or include them in your favorite sandwiches. Enjoy!