Jun 7, 2011

Try It Tuesday: Lacto-fermenting

lacto-fermeted radishes and carrots
 A very easy way to preserve foods in season is to lacto-ferment.  The method sounds intimidating.  After all, who uses the words "lacto-fermenting" on a daily basis?

Let me encourage you to just try.  Try it.  You just might like it. In a weird way, I think it's a bit addicting.

Hi, I'm Julie and I like to lacto-ferment food.

My latest experiment was with radishes, kohlrabi, carrots and garlic.  Initially my plan was to lacto-ferment radishes.  But I didn't have enough to fill a jar.  So, I started rooting through my refrigerator thinking, "what goes with radish?"

After running everything through my food processor, I sprinkled a tablespoon of Real Salt over the bowl.

Next I needed some whey.  You can get whey by lining a mesh colander with a paper towel or coffee filter and filling it with yogurt.  Gravity causes whey to drip out.

However if you have other lacto-fermented veggies in your fridge, you can skim whey from those jars.  I happened to have an almost empty jar of kimchi.  I used the remaining juice (about 1/3 cup) to inoculate my new batch of radish/carrot/kohlrabi/garlic mixture.
My mixture fresh out of the food processor.
Squish everything around in the bowl then pack it into a quart jar.  If the liquid doesn't cover the top of the veggies, then pour a bit of filtered water to cover it all.  Tap water has chlorine and fluoride which could harm the beneficial bacteria in the whey.

Let your jar sit on the counter for 3 days and lacto-ferment...or do its thang.  On the third day, open the jar and taste.  If it is tangy to your liking, it's done.  Refrigerate.

What to do with this mixture?
It's yummy straight from the jar.  Just a few tablespoons per meal enhances digestion.

I will mostly use it on salads - or anywhere I'd like to add a pop of color or zing of garlicy radishy taste.  It was perfect in my brown rice salad.


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  1. Question: I have some really yummy fermented carrot chips in a spicy, garlic liquid in my refrigerator...and I want to make your recipe for lacto-fermented peppers. Can I use that liquid in place of the whey? Does it work just the same? Thanks!

  2. Ms. Art Teacher - yes you can use the liquid in place of whey. I do it all the time. :) Even when making lacto-fermented mayonnaise.

  3. I just wanted to mention that Lacto-fermented veggies come out so much better when using an airlock system. Kraut Kaps(for Mason jars) are comprised of food safe components. Be cautious of other lids or DIY projects as most use petroleum based grommets and Tattler brand lids which contain formaldehyde.
    Whey is mainly used to inoculate your vegetables during open crock fermentation to help guard against undesirable bacteria, molds or yeast. With an airlock system you do away with that risk and the difference between a plain salt, airlock ferment versus an open crock whey ferment is incredible!
    For more details on Kraut Kaps:



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