Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Grandaughter Will Eat Vegetables; If they are Fermented!

       She is 2 1/2 and is very fussy about vegetables much to her mother's distress.  I visited them recently and her mother and I put together some fermented vegetables.  It was a traditional  recipe my daughter-in-law liked with some canning spices and a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs.   I convinced her to try fermenting this recipe instead of using sugar, distilled vinegar and cooking them by water bath process.

       We put her recipe all together then used chlorine free water and 1 tablespoon of Real Salt per quart.  We used  wide-mouth quart jars and found some drinking glasses. whose bottoms fit within an inch, the openings of the wide-mouth jars for the fermenting process.  The glasses fit into the jars just enough to keep the floating vegetables down under the brine.  I wish I had taken a picture of them.  

     I had to leave so did not see or taste the results.  When I got home I repeated a similar process and left them to ferment 5 days, repacked the vegetables into 4 quart jars, lightened lids,  then cold storage for another 5 days.   I kept one quart in my fridge after tasting them and the other 3  quarts are in my basement.  They are wonderful!

     Now  here is the punch line.....when my son called me, I asked him how those "pickles" turned out and he excitedly told me that they turned out great but the best part was that  SHE ate them and asks for more!   My fussy granddaughter will eat vegetables prepared this way!   Is the spices?  Is the salty?  is it the texture?   They don't know.  Could it be her body wants the pro-biotics?  Don't know....it is a wonder.  I am hoping  that this might be a good motivation for other frustrated parents or grandparents to try no-cook, vegetable fermenting. 

     You will need.....Chlorine-free water,  a variety of vegetables, some pickling spice, some Real Salt or other mineral rich sea salt, and some clean glass jars.  

For 4 quarts of pickles ; 2 large 2-quart jars 
4 carrots peeled and cut into sticks
4 stalks celery trimmed and cut into 3 inch sections
10-12 peeled garlic cloves
half head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 low to medium  heat peppers sliced long and seeded
half head of green cabbage cut into small wedges
1 large turnip partially peeled and cut into sticks
2 medium onions cut into quarters or small pearl onions peeled
2-3 sprigs of fresh dill
4 TBS "pickling spice"
4 TBS Real Salt or other mineral-rich sea salt
2 quarts or more of chlorine-free water

     Clean, trim and chop vegetables and pack clean jars.  Press down with your fist.  Make sure each of 4 jars gets garlics and fresh dill and the "pickling spice".  Dissolve the salt into 2 quarts of chlorine-free water and then fill the jars to within 1 inch of top.  The vegetables will want to float so this is where you need something clean and heavy to weight down the vegetables under the brine.  The "starter" is all ready on the the vegetables.   The starter is friendly Lactobacillus bacteria and it is on all healthy, produce from a healthy garden.  They eat or consume the sugars from the juice of the vegetables.  Normal rinsing of garden vegetables will not wash them off.  You have to sterilize the vegetables with come chemical or cook the vegetables to kill them off.

       For fermented "pickles" we want those bacteria on the vegetables and on your hands and knives and chopping board.  They are very salt tolerant.  The salt water or brine protects them while they consume the vegetable sugars and produce all the wonderful vitamins and bio-enzymes that are so good for us.  They also produce Lactic acid which preserves the food and tastes so good....kinda like vinegar but not as harmful and acidic.  It's actually alkaline which tastes like acid vinegar but is very good for our bodies.  Fermented vegetables, is how our ancestors processed much of their garden produce to last through the winter and with it's minerals and vitamins they were able to retain their health until they could get spring produce and  the next harvest.  They used big ceramic crocks with crock plates that fit and held the vegetables down under the brine.

     The  'air-lock' systems you see in my pictures were constructed from Tattler Lids which fit our wide-mouth jars so well and air locks from a beer brewing company. If I did not have these, I would use glass jars, marbles or something else heavy that will fit the jars.  These are just so convenient.    The fellow ferment er that constructs these and sells them is Dr. Kyle Christensen of Utah County.    A set of 2 he sells for s13.00.   He can be reached at email address;    kylesinthegarden@gmail.com


1 comment:

  1. Have you used the French canning jars...fido. I am new to fermenting and every time I try to make ginger carrots and leave them out a week locked in the fido jar with half inch space on top, but they look yucky and slimy and cause gurgle tummy problems. So I throw them out,
    I read a lady's blog who did lots of experiments with different types and she said she uses fido. D you have a post about the basi method of doing kraut with a fido jar?