What is fermentation?
Fermentation is an ancient old method to preserve food, mainly vegetables. It’s not only a good way to lengthen the life span of seasons veggies but it is also extremely healthy for us because of the natural and good bacteria that builds in during this process of fermentation. Same kind of bacteria you can find from for example yoghurt. For fermenting vegetables you will only need some sort of vegetable and a quality salt (without added iodine or other additives that even salt has!). German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi is the most world-wide known fermented dishes that there is.
Why do we need good bacteria?
The food we eat affects our health, obviously. The problem in the western world is that our diets are pretty much too simple. We love to eat loads of meat as our protein and something to go with it, carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta, fries you name it. We love unsaturated fats that we get from dairy and meat (that are also the cause of many diseases like overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke etc). But the most important of all is many times missing. Vegetables, fruits and berries that human bodies needs the most to be healthy, not to forget water. Vegetables and fruits has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers that makes our bodies function better also gives us energy and helps the digestion function well.
When we look more closer to the western diet we see that this kind of diet not only makes us overweight, drowsy but also our guts poor. The more variation in food, the more different vegetables, root vegetables, fruits and berries you eat the more it builds positive bacteria in your gut that fights against the negative bacteria that can makes us sick. They simply strengthens your immune system. One simple rule is that the more different colors you have on your plate the better the meal it is for you and your gut. It is also nicer to look at than a meal with pasta with chicken and cream. No colors!
I used 900g of carrots and 20g of Himalayan salt
1.Peel and wash the carrots or other vegetables of choice. Wash properly the jar you are using for fermenting with dish soap and hot water. If any bad bacteria gets in to the jar it can create mold and fermenting will be ruined.
2. Grate the peeled carrots with a grater in to a bowl
3. When all the carrots are peeled add the salt and press the carrots so that the liquid starts to run out. The idea is to have as much water out of the carrots as possible
4. Put the grated carrots in to the jar layer by layer and push them tightly after every layer
5. Add the rest of the carrots with remaining liquid and push the last layer tightly again. You should have the carrots under the liquid at this point
6. Now you will need a freezer bag or other unused plastic bag as a weight. Fill the bag with water and enclose the bag in the end of the bag so the water gets space to move in the bag during the fermentation process. During fermentation the liquids in the jar will start to build gas and carbonic acid so it lives a little. And the probiotics!
7. Enclose the jar and put it somewhere dry and avoid direct sun light for two weeks. During these two weeks you can open the jar couple of times to let out the pressure and close the jar again. Attention! Some liquids can burst out so open carefully. And do not be scared of the smell.
8. After the two week period put the jar in to you fridge. It will be ready to eat after couple of days but the longer you will keep it there before eating the better the sourness gets!
9. Enjoy the fermented carrots/vegetables as a part of your daily meals. As a salad or on top of a sandwich
If you wonder about something, just hit me a line. Happy fermenting!