Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Vegetables without Whey (plus video)



Lacto-fermented vegetables are cultured vegetables. You've probably heard of sauerkraut, kim chi, and sour dill pickles, right? These are all forms of lacto-fermentation. Many people use whey as a starter but it is not necessary given you use enough salt. You can also made salt-free cultured vegetables without whey as long as you use some sort of acid, such as lemon juice, to prevent spoilage before the lactobacilli take over. Making your own lacto-fermented veggies is so easy that once you start you'll be hooked!

Traditionally lacto-fermentation was used to preserve the harvest and store vegetables for the winter. If you have a garden full of cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, and green beans and don't know how to store them all, consider making a few batches of lacto-fermented vegetables. These veggies can be stored in your refrigerator for months....if they last that long!

Lacto-fermented vegetables provide a viable source of probiotics (at a cost well below most supplements) to heal and maintain a healthy gut. These beneficial microorganisms attach to receptors in our guts that send a signal to the immune system that says everything is okay, no need to overreact to foods and other things entering the gut, let's keep everything calm. If you are dealing with multiple allergies, chances are your gut is out of balance and is in need of a daily dose of beneficial microorganisms. These crispy, sour, salty vegetables are highly addicting and an easy, economical way to maintain a healthy gut. These vegetables are also important to include daily if you are following our Elimination Diet.



Lacto-Fermented Vegetables

We've tried fermenting all types of different vegetables. We have fun creating different flavors, some spicy and some not. Our current flavor addiction is beet-basil-dill-carrot-garlic. All of these vegetables combined in one jar is out of this world good....even if you thought you didn't like beets! I have tried using a salt brine made up from anywhere between 1 to 2 tablespoons of sea salt per 2 cups of water. I find that 2 tablespoons is too salty and slows down fermentation, so use anywhere between 1 and 1 1/2 tablespoons. It is very important that you use filtered water for all fermentation. Chlorine in water is great for keeping our water supply clean but not so good for allowing beneficial bacteria to grow and not so good for our guts and overall health.

1 glass quart jar with a plastic lid
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
2 cups filtered water

Any Combination of Raw Organic Vegetables:
chopped cauliflower
chopped beets
chopped carrots
chopped green beans
chopped bell peppers
sliced radishes
sliced daikon
sliced cucumbers
chopped turnips
chopped broccoli
chopped kale
chopped onions
chopped green onions
chopped garlic
cabbage leaves (for the top)

Any Combination of Herbs and Spices:
dried chili peppers
black peppercorns
bay leaf
fresh dill
fresh basil
fresh tarragon
fresh mint
sea vegetables (arame or hijiki) - use less salt if using these

First dissolve your sea salt in water in a glass jar or 2-cup glass measure. Then place you favorite combination of vegetables into a quart jar (you can use a larger cylindrical jar or ceramic crock instead, just double or triple the salt brine keeping the same ratio of salt and water). Add a few layers of herbs and spices too. I prefer to keep the peppercorns in the first layer, on the bottom of the jar, so they don't float to the top. Make sure you leave about an inch from the top of the jar.

Then cover with your salt brine, leaving about an inch to a half inch from the top. Fold a small cabbage leaf and press it into the brine so the water floats above it and the vegetables are completely submerged. Cover with a plastic lid (it is best not to use metal as the salt and acids can corrode it, though I have used them occasionally if that is all I have). Screw the lids on tightly. After day 2 or 3 begin to "burp" your jars once or twice daily to let excess gasses escape. You can do this by unscrewing the lid just enough to hear the gasses release and then quickly tightening it back up. You should see a bit of bubbling and some liquid possibly dripping out after about day three, depending on the heat level in your home. I like to place my jars into some sort of container, like a rectangular Pyrex dish, to catch any drips. Set your jars in an undisturbed place in your kitchen out of direct sunlight. I like to store mine on top of my refrigerator.

You can taste the veggies after about five days to see how soured they are. I prefer to let mine ferment for about 7 to 8 days in the winter and 5 to 6 days in late summer. I have also let them ferment for 10 or more days. Just experiment, there is no exact science with fermentation. After your veggies are soured to your liking place the jar (or jars) into your refrigerator where they will store for months.

Use your vegetables to top cooked quinoa, beans, and chopped leafy greens. Serve them atop grilled fish or chicken. Serve them with scrambled eggs for breakfast. I like to add them to salmon or chicken salads made with mayonnaise. And try to restrain yourself from eating the whole jar in one sitting....it may be a little too much salt all at once! You can also whisk some of the leftover brine with olive oil, a squirt of dijon mustard, and a dash of honey for a probiotic salad dressing! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

**UPDATE:  For many more amazing lacto-fermented vegetable recipes check out our new cookbook with a whole chapter dedicated to cultured foods, including lacto-fermented hot pepper relish, dill pickles, garlic-kale kraut, dairy-free yogurt, kombucha sourdough bread starter and many more! Our new Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook releases April 29th, 2014. You can order it here.


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104 comments:

  1. What a cool video guys!! thank you for sharing!!! TOM, that hair!! You're starting to look like my husband! Really enjoyed the tutorial. I've done this several times with cabbage, but never with other vegetables.. looking forward to trying it out!

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial, I am a visual learner and love to see it rather than read it. I am wondering if the cabbage leaf on top is required? Is there a substitute I could use as I don't care for cabbage?

    Thank again,
    Karen

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  3. this is wonderful! I have been wanting to try lacto-fermenting my own veggies for a while, but all the other recipes online seemed confusing or daunting. Thank you for such a straightforward, easy post. I can't wait to try it!

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  4. I've always wanted to do this but have been too intimidated. Thank you for making this simple! Looks so good!
    Heather Gerard

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  5. You mentioned in the newsletter fermenting without the salt, using Lemon Juice what might that look like in terms of lemon juice to water ratio. Also what do you think about using actual fermenting type products such as Body Ecology. I have used it with really good success but have been hesitant to do salt. I like the idea of Lemon Juice!

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  6. I'd like to know how the lemon juice to water ratio too as my kids complain about my veggies being too salty. Thanks!

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  7. Great video!! Thanks for making it so clear, so beautiful, and so smart. Roxanne Sukol MD "Your Health is on Your Plate" http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com

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  8. wonderful post! and love the video! just a question: i thought either cabbage or cucumbers had to be included in the fermented veggies in order for the proper bacteria to grow...can you clarify this?

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  9. This is great, I've fermented cabbage before with mixed results. It comes out different everytime. I'm going to give this a try. I was wondering where you purchased your containers, I've been looking for a good fermenting container.

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  10. Karen - The cabbage is there to serve as a "weight" and hold down the veggies so they stay submerged in the water (and also offer some beneficial bacteria). It is not meant for eating. Once the veggies are done, you remove the cabbage leaf and compost it. If you really don't want to use it you can place a smaller plastic lid on top of the veggies with a boiled rock or some other weight to keep the vegetables submerged.

    Tasharuu, Rochelle - I have not tried the lemon juice method with this type of lacto-fermentation so not sure if it could work. I was referring to the type where the majority of the vegetables used are finely ground cabbage. There isn't a brine as the juices from the cabbage are enough to cover the ground vegetables. I may need to experiment now and see if it works!

    Jennifer and Jaclyn - Lactobacilli are found on all vegetables and fruits in varying amounts. Cabbage and pickling cucumbers have a lot. I've fermented all sorts of veggies, even without the cabbage leaf present, and they all work.

    J - Those are just wide-mouthed quart jars which you can buy practically anywhere...your local food co-op, grocery store, etc. I also have a Harsch Fermentation Crock which I purchased through Azure Standard (free shipping).

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  11. Thank you, thank you! This is my new obsession and your video will be helpful. We made fermented veggies for the first time that were ready yesterday and the only problem was that we ate half the quart immediately!

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  12. This is great Ali, and awesome job with the video Tom!

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  13. I have wanted to try this for awhile now, but seeing your pretty photos and easy recipe is much more inspiring. Thank you!

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  14. I was wondering about the green beans. In traditional canning we are warned about them producing dangerous if not lethal toxins if not processed properly. Is this an issue with lacto fermation as well?

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  15. Star - I think you are referring to the botulism toxin. Green beans and other low-acid vegetables need to be pressure canned to destroy botulism. Botulism grows in low-acid, anaerobic environments. When you ferment fresh vegetables you encourage the growth of bacteria that produce acid. The acidic environment does not allow for botulism to grow. It is only something you need to be concerned about when canning, not fermenting. :)

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  16. If you ever come up with a way to make Natto at home I would love to see a tutorial. I loves me some Natto.

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  17. This is such a helpful post because I am on the Elimiation diet right now and needed something to give my Phase 1 meals a little extra kick. However, I was hoping you could clarify why some of the items not allowed in Phase 1 are not reintroduced lated in a subsequent phase. Specifically vanilla, vinegar, buckwheat, and mushrooms. I have noticed that this question has come up before in the comments list and I was hoping for a confirmation that they are ok after Phase 1. Thank you so much for all the work you have put into this website--it, (along with your cookbook), has been an incredible resource for me.

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  18. Wow you make it sound so simple and stress free. I've wanted to make these for so long but my fear of "canning" and poisoning everyone in the house keeps me rooted to my chair!!!

    You inspire me to just try it!!!

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  19. I'm trying this tonight!! I've made two jars so far. Do I need to scoop off "scum" before eating? Some other blogs say to do that, especially when adding cabbage in with the other veggies or can I just eat it right away? Thanks!!!

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  20. amazing!! what a wonderful post.
    I adore fermented veggies.
    peace & raw health,
    elizabeth

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  21. Ali,
    I've been lurking on your site for quite awhile. I love your recipes and I can't wait to try this. I've been wanting to try fermenting at home and really appreciate the video!!

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  22. Thank you! I have been looking to try making lacto-fermented veggies but have always been put off by the need for whey in recipes. Now I have a way! Can't wait to try it!

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  23. Just checked on my first batches of fermented veggies. They are on their seventh day and are definitely on their way to being very tasty. They're tasty now but need at least three more days.

    I tried one batch with lemon juice (4 tablespoons juice per 2 cups of water). They did NOT turn out. BLEAH! More lemon juice will be needed if this method is to be successful.

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  24. Besides making dressing with the brine, is there anything else that can be done with it? Can I use it again to pickle more veggies?

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  25. This is great! I'm getting together with some friends this weekend and trying it together ;).

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  26. I never thought about fermenting cauliflower! I love it pickled so I'm sure I'll love it fermented. Can't wait to try it.. thanks

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  27. Just another positive comment here on how easy this looks now! I have also been wanting to try this for a while and have been daunted by the details. I may just pick up some veggies and plastic lids on the way home from work today and get started. Thank you!

    Mollie
    www.thealmondflower.com

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  28. Thanks everyone for the comments! I am glad this post and video are helpful. Some things just have to be demonstrated by video. We are hoping to do more of this, time-permitting! :)

    Lindsay - You can check our elimination diet FAQ page to answer those questions: http://www.wholelifenutrition.net/id16.html

    Anon - Yes, if you find a little scum floating on the top, just scoop it out.

    Jacob - Thanks for experimenting with the lemon, I didn't think it would work, nice to hear you confirm this. As far as using the brine over....I have heard people doing this, however, you need to be careful about diluting the brine. Vegetables contain water, so your ratio of salt/water would be thrown off. You can add a few tablespoons of leftover brine to "start" your next batch. I've also added it to bowls of soup (a few tablespoons) for flavoring and nutrition.

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  29. I just tasted my first batch, they are fairly salty. Are they supposed to be that way? I used 1.5 tbls of sea salt. It has been 5 days. Thank you for sharing such a helpful video, we've been wanting to make these for some time but I've been a little to scared to try!!

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  30. Cecile - I would suggest screwing the lid back on and letting them ferment for a couple more days. When you are tasting predominately salt and not sour it means that they have not fermented long enough. Sometimes it takes 10 days depending on the temperature in your home. The cooler your house the longer it will take. Also, using more salt slows down fermentation. A couple of days from now they will be tangy and delicious! :)

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  31. Thanks for the video! Been reading about "ferments" here and there and hadn't had a chance to do any research. Your video jump started my understanding.

    Would you say that your list of veggies is fairly inclusive of what can be used? Maybe the better question is what veggies CAN'T be fermented? Is there this type of can/can't list out there somewhere?

    Thanks!
    Allie

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  32. Wow!!! first batch ready to eat and my veg are all fizzy!!! Taste's soooo good! I think fizziness is normal?? Fantastic 'recipe', especially the 10 mnth old love´s her cucumber this way. she smiles all over when she feels the tingle on her tongue :)

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  33. Hello I have a quick question about the Fermented Veggies. I made a batch of rainbow color betters and black radishes. I put them on the top of the fridge like but they received some sunlight this weekend. I live in Minnesota and we have not gotten sunshine until this weekend. Should I discard the veggies? I am afraid of food-borne illness. I am appreciated of your work. I love the cookbook! It sits on my kitchen console, when people come over they ask about the cookbook and I don't hesitate to pass along nothing but good reviews. Than you!

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  34. Allie - Most veggies can be fermented. As far as I know, potatoes, mushrooms, and winter squash are not good for fermenting. I don't know of any lists but you could check this site for more info on ferments: http://www.wildfermentation.com/

    Monifah - Fermented foods are so great for older babies, thanks for sharing how much your baby enjoys them!

    Lili - I wouldn't worry about a little sunlight at all. I had 2 jars on the counter once that I forgot to put up on the fridge, they had about 2 days of sunlight before I realized it. They turned out perfectly fine.

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  35. Thanks so much for this post. I am very excited to try it!

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  36. I was am super excited about this! I made up a jar about 4 days ago, but I have a question. Is the liquid suppose to get cloudy or did I do something wrong? I started three more jars yesterday and I would really hate to have to throw all of them away if I am doing something wrong.
    Thanks!

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  37. Tina - Cloudy is perfectly fine. Most of my ferments get cloudy...a sign of a healthy culture! There is natural sediment that can form during fermentation and when the jar is moved, the water can get cloudy.

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  38. Ali,
    Thanks for the reply! So excited for them to be ready!

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  39. Other sites talk about mold have you had any issues with mold growing on them?

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  40. Anon - we have not had any issues with mold. Here are some reasons that mold can begin to grow:

    -not enough brine covering the vegetables.
    -check after 3 days to see if you have enough brine, add more if needed
    -ratio of salt to water is off (veggies that contain a lot of water can throw the balance off)
    -if you are experiencing mold, use 1 1/2 tablespoons salt instead of 1
    -using chlorinated water can kill beneficial microorganisms trying to establish themselves.
    -Always use filtered water.

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  41. Ali - My favorite fermented veggies so far are carrots (with rosemary). Even my two-year-old loves them.

    I've used a couple of Tbsp of the brine as a starter on a couple of jars (thus dispensing with the cabbage) and things have turned out fine. I've even tried reusing just the brine for a batch and that worked out, too. Seems like you can get at least two batches of veggies out of a jar of brine.

    Here's something interesting that I've noticed. And this might be of interest to those people fermenting their veggies who are turned off by the saltiness. After I fermented the veggies for a week, I put them in the fridge. After being in the fridge for three or more weeks, the salt seems to fall out of solution and collect at the bottom of the jar. This leaves the veggies with a much less salty taste (just the tang of the fermentation). It's hard to wait this long, but the flavor can be worth it. I've duplicated this a couple of times.

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  42. So if we are off yeast for 28 days during the elimination diet how can we have fermented veggies in phase 1? I'm sensitive to baker's and brewer's yeast and I can't eat anything fermented. I'm very confused.

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  43. Little Monkey- Lacto-fermented vegetables are different that other fermented foods not allowed on an anti-candida diet, like wine, beer, and certain types of vinegar. These vegetables are teaming with beneficial bacteria - just the thing you want to be eating daily to overcome yeast overgrowth. The addition of the garlic and onions makes them especially beneficial for getting rid of candida. Raw sauerkraut and kim chi are also great! Enjoy!

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  44. where do you get those cool lids for pickling? do they fit on Mason jars?

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  45. I made these 2 days ago and they are bubbling away on the counter. I can hear them releasing bubbles from across the room! Does this mean they are ready to be transferred to the fridge, even though it's only been 2 days? If I move or shake the jar, there are tons of bubbles. It's not particularly not in my house. I used 1.5 T of salt. They seem very active. Just not sure if you can over-ferment on the counter by leaving them out too long - once they start bubbling?
    Thank you, Candice.

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  46. Quick question - are you supposed to wash and peel the vegetables before fermenting? (I'm wondering about beets and cucumber, specifically) I read somewhere that washing can remove some or most of the good bacteria...

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  47. Hi Ali! I LOVE your cookbook and love, love the fermented veggies I just made from your recipes here. My question is that I am wondering if fermented foods, using this sea salt method also contain natural yeasts. My son does not do well on these beneficial yeasts, such as S. Boullardi. I have been hesistant to give him the ferments, b/c of this. Also, are any of the "strep" strains naturally occuring in these lacto ferments? We are also avoiding the strep strains with him. Thanks so much!

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  48. I have a jar of baby carrots lacto fermenting on the counter. They are submered, no exposure to air. I put a plactic baggie of brine on top to weight them down.

    I read in the comments if the liquid gets cloudy (mine is after 4 days), it's OK. However, mine has also developed a white foam next to the plastic bad on the top sides (it isn't toughing the carrots). Have you ever had this happen?

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  49. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt and I have after 4 days, I have mold on the top. I have read from other sites to scoop the mold out and it is fine to eat. Your thoughts? I am allergic to mold.

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  50. Ok, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you all here.......

    Amy - those plastic lids can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Wide-Mouth-Plastic-Storage-8-Count/dp/B000SSN3L2/ref=as_li_tf_cw?&linkCode=waf&tag=wwwglutenfr0d-20

    Candice - It really takes at least 5 days to properly ferment vegetables so make sure to do it at least until that time, but sometimes it can take up to 10 days, even if you are seeing a lot of bubbling at 2 days. I sometimes ferment my sauerkraut for 4 to 6 weeks (which is most preferable for cabbage).

    Mork - I peel beets before fermenting but not cucumbers. I usually rinse off any dirt on veggies before fermenting.

    Angela - I believe that vegetable ferments do contain some beneficial yeasts as well as lactobacilli. I am not sure about the strep stains though, sorry!

    Lynn - I've never seen white foam on any of my ferments that I can recall. It may be fine, just scoop it out before consuming.

    Kelly H - If you are seeing mold then your vegetables are not properly fermenting. It may also be (see above comment for more reasons) that you have too much oxygen getting into your container. Oxygen allows mold to grow. If you see mold then I would compost your veggies and start over. Using a ceramic fermenting crock can produce better results. I love my Harsch crock! They are worth the investment. You can also use the Pickle-It jars to keep mold from growing: http://www.pickl-it.com/products/ . Hope this helps!

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  51. Why is chlorine from water bad and chlorine from salt is good?

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  52. I did a batch of pickles last year and they were mushy and effervescent. Only my daughter and I can stomach them (and our body must be starving for the probiotics). This year I got gerkins so they would be cruchier and hold up. It worked, I think they turned out as they should, but the REST of the family still likes the flavor of store pickles. Can you ferment with raw vinegar? The bottle says with mother?? I know my grandma used to make vinegar pickles but I'm assuming they really didn't have the nutritional value that I'm looking for. What about wild fermenting? Thanks!

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  53. Ali - which size Harsch crock would you recommend to a first time fermenter? Thanks!!! Ellen (Gluten Free Diva)

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  54. Hi Ali! I just purchased your book and will be trying the 28-day elimination diet soon. I just made 8 quart jars of veggies last night. I was re-reading through the instructions today to make sure I did everything properly and I'm thinking I might have used 1.5 teaspoons instead of 1.5 tablespoons. So, because I was second-guessing myself, I opened the jars and added one more teaspoon of salt per jar. Do you think they will turn out alright? How will I know? Did I totally screw this up? Thanks for your advice!

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  55. Hiya, have you tried this with leeks? what would be a nice combo of flavours to go with either full-size or baby leeks? I have an insane amount in my garden this year.

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  56. Hi I am hoping you can tell me if I did something wrong. I made a couple of batches of veggies and I find the taste great but my husband tells me they smell awful!apparently my bad sense of smell is working to my advantage here... He doesn't want me to open the jar in the house. So I am wondering if I should have let them ferment longer or is that just what they are supposed to smell like. I am hoping that I have done soemthing wrong because I am really enjoying these veggies. Plus, are supposed to open the jars every day to release the gases? Any help you can give me would be fabulous. I love your your recipes and am amazed what you get accomplished everyday!

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  57. Hi! I have fermented vegetables twice now. The first time, they came out salty and delicious. The most recent time there is a fizz to them. The smell was a noticeably stronger odor, which may be because there was some garlic in the mix (as well as onions). I ate some and my digestion has been a little off (but this may be something else). From reading your other posts, it sounds like the fizz is normal and beneficial. Please clarify. I don't want to throw out this batch if I can be eating it! I did taste the veggies today now that they have been in the fridge for a day or two and they were a little less fizzy. Also, is it essential to boil your jars as one does with canning? Thanks for your help!

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  58. I have had great success with this twice but the last batch that I did, the cucumbers turned out to be rotting almost... super soggy.
    I bought the cukes at the farmer's market but they may have been an English variety... have you had any issues like this before AND are the rest of the veggies okay to eat if I pick out the soggy cuke pieces. THANKS FOR THE INFO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  59. I'm doing the fermented veg. for the first time and I'm trying it in glass bolwes. Does the plate sit right on top of the cabbage leaves or laying on top of the glass bowel? Then I should put the towel down? I really need helP!

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  60. Ok, finally getting to your questions now! :)

    Anon- Chlorine from water is usually a chemical like chloramine which is a broad spectrum anti-microbial so it kills off all of the bacteria--the good and bad. Sodium chloride helps to keep the bad bacteria at bay but does not affect the lactobacilli bacteria. Hope this clarifies it more.

    Missy - you can pickle foods with raw vinegar but this is not fermentation.

    Ellen - I use a 7.5 liter crock....plus lots of gallon glass jars. :)

    Kristy K. - I hope your veggies came out ok! There are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon so you would have needed to add another teaspoon to them. I'd be curious to know if they turned out with that little salt.

    Kathryn - leeks would work with any other vegetable. Try carrot-radish-leek. Yum! :)

    Laura - Fermented veggies can have a strong smell, especially depending on what veggies you used. In the beginning I do open my jars slightly to release the gasses every day (and then screw them back on).

    q - each batch of my veggies always turns out slightly different. Sometimes they are very fizzy, other times not as much. Also, there is no need to boil the jars, just wash in hot water.

    michelle - yes, regular cucumbers do get soggy but they are still very edible. Use pickling cucumbers next time and they will be crunchy and crisp! :)

    Natalie - I used to do cultured veggies in glass bowls with a plate and towel, but I think that this allows too much air/oxygen to get in and thus leads the veggies susceptible to molding. I would suggest a quart jar or gallon glass jar, put a cabbage leaf on top to make sure the veggies are submerged, and then place a lid on.

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  61. My veggies ended up turning out very well. They didn't spill over like you mentioned they might do. But they were bubbly and fizzing a little. I hope that's okay. My 11-mo old loves them! Thanks!

    --Kristy @ Wine Logic

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  62. Hello Everyone,

    I'm a long time listener, first time fermenter. I finally did it yesterday! When I was done my kitchen looked like the scene of a vegetable massacre.

    You see, I used a food processor and shredded everything, but now I'm wondering if that is even necessary?

    I've read in several places that shredding is needed so that the good bacteria are better able to access the food.

    Is that true? I could save so much time by chopping them next time like in the pictures above.

    Any feedback on chopping vs. shredding is greatly appreciated.

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  63. Hi there! My grandfather is wanting me to do this for his home grown okra... whole! I told him I think it needs to be chopped, but that I would check with you guys. Please let me know your thoughts if you have a chance, thanks!

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  64. I tried making lacto fermented veggies about a week ago and they had a little mold right on the top of the cabbage leaf. Do you think they would still be ok to consume if the mold was just on the discarded leaf? I hate to waste them!

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  65. First, thank you for your great video.
    I tried lactofermenting cabbage for the first time, and after about a week into the fermenting process I left home for about a week, and when I got back, the top inch of the jars were not soaked in water anymore. I had screwed the lids very loosely to allow gas to come out, but then water came out too... I opened the jars; there is no mold and they smell great (I have smelled lactofermented sauerkraut before) BUT the top inch that was not in water anymore has gone slightly darker and, say browner (although not brown at all, just deeper in shade). Do you think it is safe to eat them? Considering some foods are preserved with salt and without water (althgough much more salt is used then)...

    Thank you very much for your thought on that... I have refreined myself from eating it (24 days of fermentation now) trying to find some info on that, but I think I will eat some for lunch and I'd be glad to be reassured!

    Thank you again,

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  66. I made these a few days thanks!! now Im addicted.. I wondered though how long until they must go into the fridge? Also I was told if you put one grape leaf into the jar the tannin's in the leaf will help to keep the veggies crisp

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  67. I've made these several times, and they're wonderful! So tasty and so simple. Thank you. I'm wondering if you recommend a certain probiotic supplement. I didn't see it mentioned on your site, or in either of your books, but maybe I missed it. It's often overwhelming when trying to make a selection at the health food store, so I'd love to know if you have any favorites. Thank you!

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  68. just made my first batch of veggies! One question...is filtered water from my Pur water filter on my sink ok? I wondered if it removed enough of the chlorine. Thank you for the wonderful notes and video!

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  69. HI Ali

    Don't you have to cook green beans before fermenting, because they contain a toxic substance called phasin? And did you use canned green beans before?

    Thanks

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  70. I've been so excited to try this I made a large batch. But I didn't have any quart jars, and every recipe I've found said use a quart Jar. Why is that? I only had a large 3quart(?) with a clap down lid with the rubber gasket. It was really bubbly at first but it's quieted down now and have had to add more water periodically to keep it covered. It's been 8 days now,haven't tasted it yet but since container is so large I figured I would need to let it ferment for at least 10 days. Please advise about the container size, and if larger container is ok. Thanks.

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  71. Is there any vegetables to avoid, I am specifically wondering about broccoli and brussel sprouts as my kids love these...

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  72. Hi,
    I just wanted to mention that Lacto-fermented veggies come out so much better when using an airlock system. Our Kraut Kaps are comprised of food safe components. Be cautious of other lids for sale 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 and airlock ferment versus an open crock whey ferment is incredible!
    I’m offering a free Kraut Kap to a few bloggers willing to try one and give us a review. Let me know if you are interested!
    Thanks!
    Rochelle

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  73. I bought a starter culture and put cabbage and carrots in the jar with that. They did not seem to soften, they are crunchy and sour. Is that okay?

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  74. thanks for producing this wonderful blog. the info is very helpful.
    unless i missed it, do you include asparagus as a veggie for fermenting? from what i have read, it is a very healthful veggie and can be eated raw so i thought it would be good for lacto-fermentation. any advice on fermenting asparagus is appreciated. thanks.

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  75. This is wonderful! I just filled my first two-quart jar of cabbage and carrots. However, I really enjoy having lacto-fermented condiments as well, like mayo and ketchup and salsa. I have always used whey for these--is there a way to make them w/ just the salt?

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  76. Can you do this with fruit? I saw on another site that someone made a carrot apple ferment? Thanks!

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  77. This looks great! I can't wait to try it! When on the elimination diet (or just in every day life) is there an amount of fermented veggies you would recommend we eat each day?

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  78. Do I need an airlock?

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  79. Why not use whey? It's so easy to get from yoghurt - just strain some good quality natural yoghurt through cheesecloth or similar overnight.

    Noel Victor Comley

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  80. Can you freeze these once fermented?
    leea_browning@yahoo.com

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  81. I was wondering if you could help me. I cooked some peaches with the intent to make peach butter. I fell ill for a couple of days and completely forgot about it. When I checked on it it had white bubbley foam on top and smells slightly fermented. Is there something I can do with this or should I just toss it?

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  82. Hello - Thank you for a great source of information that works! I'm very grateful. A question please ? What quantity of veges is required to go in the quart jar ? I notice that you said two cups of liquid (with salt dissolved) go into the quart jar to cover the veges, but a quart jar contains 4 cups of liquid, if I am correct. Sorry, I've never made anything like this before so I'm confused. Thanks for your patience, and i hope you can help me with some advice... I'm in Australia, and we don't use quarts as a measurement, but that's not a problem as I can convert the amounts - I may have got myself muddled already, by saying that a quart jar contains 4 cups, but I read that on a conversion site. Thanks, in anticipation.... all the best from Leonie...

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  83. Hi there! Love this recipe! Got a questions though. After eating up all the yummy veggies, what can I do with the wonderful lacto juice. I have so much that I don't want to waste it. Got any ideas? Can it be reused in another batch or frozen to add to other dishes?
    Thanks!

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  84. According to Sandor Katz, plastic lids are not safe to use; he stated on his youtube segment that the plastic (even food grade) can leach out chemicals especially over time. And since these are left in the jars for a long time the risks are higher.

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  85. When I first became interested in fermentation, I thought it was for the purpose of preserving food. However, if you have to keep these fermented foods in the refrigerator after 7 days out on the counter, then this is not a food preservation method. How can we preserve these foods without refrigeration?

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  86. I have never used whey with a ferment. Found it is entirely unnecessary.

    The only thing I do that needs a starter is fermented mayonnaise, but whey is not the best kicker for that. The best is kraut, pickle, or other fermented food juice (active culture, not heat treated). Second best is Raw ACV. I just use those in place of the lemon juice or vinegar in the mayo recipe.

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  87. What a great video; Tom is just so excited about these veggies it's hard not to get excited too! I've been making sauerkraut but I think it's time to branch out into more veggies!

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  88. Hi my question is that i did ferment: nappa and regular cabagge, pepper flakes, ginger and carrots(trying for a kimchi style) its been maybe 5 or 7 months in my fridge and a top layer of cloudy/white and funny smell comes outfrom the top layer...it is good to eat it? thanks

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  89. hello my fermented veggies were great on my first try...i left my jar in the fridge for about6 months or so...i forgot...and now when i opened it smell funny and the top layer is little white or cloudy.... it is ok to eat it? thanks...

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  90. Hi, I love this post and have made 3 batches so far! I have a question because I have rosacea and I am finding conflicting info online - some people say fermented foods make rosacea worse because they contain histamines, and some people say it has healed their rosacea! I have eaten 1 batch so far and didn't notice any big difference either way, but the past week my rosacea does seem worse. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you!!!

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  91. Anon~ If there is a white foamy layer at the top I would compost the batch. Some say to take off the top layer, but with molds there will always be invisible tendrils that reach down into the veggies.

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  92. RosaceaRecipes - Rosacea is a complex disorder with many factors involved. Yes. Some people have biologic amine responses that may exacerbate their symptoms. If you suspect that you have a histamine intolerance, you may want to look at your B vitamin status. The two enzymes that metabolize histamine in your body, DAO - diamine oxidase, and HMT- histamine N-methyl transferase require B6 as a cofactor. B12 and 5-MTHF are also needed for HMT. Microbial imbalances can lead to a disruption in the making of B6 and folates in the intestines lowering available amounts. Buying organic foods is of great importance to make sure that you are not ingesting herbicides and other pesticides known to disrupt the flora. Best wishes- TOM

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  93. Is there an alternative if I just can't stomach sour/acidic foods? My husband loves them, but they usually make me feel nauseous.

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  94. Hi, I have a question, if I use lemon instead salt, how much spoons? Thanks

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  95. These fermented veggies are absolutely delicious after 5 days! Im trying again with 2 more jars and will try not to eat them before day 7 :)

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  96. I am wondering if anyone can answer my question about what went wrong. The last few batches have been fine. I made fermented veggies (carrots, cabbage, beets) and used Himalayan salt instead of sea salt like I usually do. I followed my standard procedure: chop veggies, fill jars, fold cabbage leaves on top, add salt water, gently screw on lids and let sit on top of the fridge (this batch was 6-8 days).
    This time instead of being pleasantly tangy it has an old, gone bad taste. I have 3 jars that I do not want to throw away but, I don't know how to make it taste better or at least prevent this from happening again. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  97. When talking with people before about cultured foods, they mention only starting with a tiny bit - a teaspoon or so - and increasing from there. Yet I noticed that you never mentioned anything along these lines in the post. Is there a reason for this?

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  98. I'm very interested in trying this! Thank you for the video! I do have one question.....after it's done fermenting....do you take out the brine water, or leave it in until all the veggies are gone?

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  99. Today I made cultured vegetables for the first time. I have been intimidated by this process until now. I have 2 questions: the cabbage leaf seems to have risen above the juice and there is an air pocket above the leaf. Is this ok? The 2nd jar didnt fill completely, maybe 3/4. Is this ok? Thanks for your help.

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  100. Tried second time and after 5 days no bubbling, only white mold on the top. What am I doing wrong.

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  101. I don't have any bubbling and it has been 5 days. But i don't havemold either. The vegetables are still crunchy so i will let it go another 5 days. Marie, what recipe did you use? I used the one from their new cookbook and it doesn't call for salt water to be added. This was a bit confusing. Is your top cabbage leaf submerged?

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  102. I just wanted to add... THANK YOU for this awsome article. We started making fermented Veggies in the winter of 2013. We are HOOKED! We have made around 6 or so batches of usually 7 or 8 quarts worth. People now ask us to bring them to holiday meals. In all the time we have made these, I have not had any mold, and am just delighted with all the different tastes. Our staple recipe is cabbage, kale, radishes, garlic, red onions, red peppers, shredded carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. The jars look soooo pretty when we set them to begin fermenting. I cannot say THANK YOU enough for sharing your wisdom to help others improve their health.

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  103. Hi Ali,

    I just made your lacto-fermented vegetables from your Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook (which is INCREDIBLE by the way!) and had them ferment for about ten days. I put them in the fridge and tasted them about 15 days after I started the batch. They were extremely salty! Will they ferment in the fridge? Or should I take them out and ferment them out of the fridge?

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