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Hello and Happy August! I’m back in action after a three week blogging break. I tried not to think about blogging too much while I took some time away from my screen, but why is that when you purposefully tell your mind not to think about something it naturally goes there?
I’m glad to be back in the swing of things in the online world, although I learned through my blogging break that time off the computer is like a refreshing beverage on a hot day. Thirst-quenching and sublime!
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Enough housekeeping. Let’s get to today’s recipe!
Lacto-fermented vegetables sound like a scary science experiment, but they’re actually ridiculously easy to make.
Fermented foods—also called cultured foods— are rich in good bacteria. The microorganisms (probiotics) in fermented vegetables are incredibly beneficial for the health and integrity of the gut. Fermented vegetables support the immune system at a fraction of the cost of probiotic supplements. Especially for those with a history of food allergies or sensitivities, fermented vegetables are an excellent healing food to incorporate on a regular basis.
Fermentation can take many forms, but perhaps the simplest method is using a basic salt water brine to preserve the vegetables while still allowing for growth of beneficial organisms. Once fermentation is complete, the vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for months!
I enjoy mine alongside just about anything—scrambled eggs, taco bowls, baked salmon, chili, and more. Enjoying a spoonful with meals aids in digestion and punches up the flavor.
A few tips and tricks:
- If you’re new to enjoying fermented foods, welcome! Introduce them gradually into your diet by consuming just 1-3 tablespoons per day in the beginning. This will give your digestive system a chance to become “friendly” with the new bacteria and reduce chance of an upset stomach.
- Use plastic lids for your jars instead of metal, as the acid and salt can corrode metal quickly.
- Keep fermenting foods out of direct sunlight.
- Every once in a while, though you may seem to do everything right, a batch of fermented vegetables just looks and tastes “off.” If your vegetables look or taste slimy or moldy, or if they have a very strong odor, discard them and start a new batch. They should smell and taste “sour” and briny, but it should not be overpowering. This happened to me once with green beans. The liquid looked pretty murky and the scent was stronger than usual. I tasted one and it just didn’t seem right, so I played it safe and discarded the batch. Use your best judgment!
Now’s the perfect time to start preserving the summer harvest. Grab some fresh produce and get fermenting with the recipe below. Enjoy!
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