Lacto-Fermentation is easy, quick, delicious and amazing for your health! Here’s a guide to everything you need to get started fermenting vegetables at home. It’s my newest obsession!!
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. The summer wrapped up on a poor note, as my boyfriend has been sick for several weeks. He has been suffering from debilitating heart burn and related symptoms, and no course of medication was making a difference. Finally, he was sent to a specialist and they believe he has ulcer’s caused by helicobacter pylori, better known as H. Pylori.
H. Pylori is surprisingly common, in fact two-thirds of world’s population has it. Isn’t that nuts? Most people live with it their entire lives and never have any issues that would cause medical concern. However people with compromised immune systems, such as my boyfriend who is a type-1 diabetic, can develop serious infections. Luckily, a very, very heavy course of antibiotics should knock it out! We’ll know more after some tests next week.
This really got me thinking about what we put into our bodies and our overall gut health. I’m not terribly wild about him being on a heavy course of antibiotics for two weeks, as I’m not a believer in taking antibiotics. I truly believe that they are over prescribed and it is the cause for most people’s compromised immune systems. The two times in the past ten years that I have taken antibiotics (once for strep and once for a sinus infection that I couldn’t kick after getting strep), I was sick for months afterwards with digestive issues and serious candida.
So to start getting our guts healthy, I bought a couple bottles of Kefir to help us get some supped up probiotics into our diet naturally. This is where it started to snowball. I wanted to know what kefir was, how it was made and why it’s so good for you – which is coming up in a future post because it’s truly amazing stuff! This lead me fermentation and then consuming article after article about why it’s so amazing and how to do it… which has now lead me to a dozen jars of various organic vegetables fermenting away in our kitchen.
So what is Lacto-Fermentation and why is it so good for you?
First off, humans have been fermenting foods for thousands and thousands of years, this is not a new fad. Soy sauce, miso paste, sauerkraut, kimchi, cultured butter, yogurt, buttermilk – these are just some examples of fermented foods that we see everyday. However, what we buy at the store typically is pasteurized, which reduces the amount of good consumable enzymes and probiotics. Hence why homemade is going to be so much better for you.
Essentially lacto-fermentation is a microbial process using beneficial lactic acid bacteria, better known as probiotics! These probiotics come alive and explode in the anaerobic fermenting process. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Besides the preservation advantages, lacto-fermentation increases beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, various strains of probiotics, enzymes, and digestibility. All of this leads to a boosted immune system, disease prevention (such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease), reduction in candida (better known as yeast – ladies, you know what I mean), improved mood, curbed sugar craving, increased longevity, and much much more.
What I love about it…
IT’S SOOOOO RIDICULOUSLY EASY! You can pretty much ferment any type of vegetable, quickly and in small batches. That’s my biggest issue with pickling, I always feel as though I have to do a huge batch to make it worth it. You can typically use what you have on hand… vegetables, sea salt, purified water, seasonings and herbs. Boom, done. A few days later, I have delicious fermented pickles that super duper healthy!!!
I’m pretty much becoming the crazy pickle lady. My boyfriend keeps coming up with silly names for future Kraut company, as he’s convinced that I will start schlepping my ferments to farmers markets at anytime.
What you need to get started
You don’t need much to get started. You probably have most of what you need already and there are some really amazing resources online as well. Mainly you need some wide mouth canning jars, purified water, sea salt, and some fresh organic (preferably) vegetables. However, like most kitchen hobbies, there are some amazing tools that will help you out and make your ferments successful and even easier! Here’s what I recommend to get started and why:
White Bean, Snap Pea, and Heirloom Tomato Salad
Abbigayle Warner says
OOH I never thought about doing this . I don’t know why more of us don’t to be honest!
robin rue says
I knew nothing about fermentation before I read this, so I found this interesting to read. I learned a lot.
Geoffrey at Spoonabilities says
I never heard of lacto-fermentation before. Very informative post. Thank you!
Elise Cohen Ho says
My son started me on pickling. I love it and you are right…it is so easy.
Lauren Berger says
I have been wanting to try to make my own fermented items, since they are so expensive at the store! I am gut health obsessed as well!
This does look easy and fun to do! I never knew what this process entailed and it’s good to know and try myself!
Beth Davidson says
I love pickling from my garden but I haven’t been able to in a couple years since I keep moving. This makes me want to get fermenting!
Jessica Joachim says
My husband has been wanting to get into pickling at home. I keep putting it off, but it really does sound like it isn’t too difficult. Maybe I will give it a try soon
I love it when something that sounds difficult is really easy. You make me want to get busy in the kitchen.
Joanna Everyday Made Fresh says
I grew up with my mom pickling so many things from our garden. It’s one of those things that I’ve never done. I loved all the information you gave!
I’ve never tried to ferment anything except perhaps if you count trying a sourdough starter (except I royally screwed that up!). With the trends of kimchi etc it’s interesting to know how to actually do it
I asked my doctor to test me for H Pylori a few years ago when my stomach was acting up. I was actually shocked that I didn’t have it because I know it is so common. I feel like we all should be tested for it at certain milestones since it is so common and can increase your chance of stomach cancer. Anyway, I’ve never fermented my own veggies so I’ll definitely give this a try!
Ana De- Jesus says
Oh no your poor boyfriend I hope he is feeling better now. I am not crazy on antibiotics either so I love the sound of lacto fermentation x
I never thought fermenting something like this would be so easy! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely need to try it out!
Karen Morse says
I have never thought of it this way! It’s really amazing how much benefits we can get from doing this! I’m definitely going to look up recipes for this.
This is some great info. We have never tried this, but I bet it is definitely something my husband would be interested in!
Cindy Ingalls says
I’ve always wanted to ferment or pickle my own vegetables. I never like seeing all the preservatives in most store bought veggies. I never realized that it could be so easy.
Terri Steffes says
My grandmother used to make all kinds of pickles. I love pickles, and I am sure it was because of her. She used to serve them at EVERY meal. So good.
This is so very interesting. I’ve always wanted to make my own pickles, after reading this I think I waill finally take the plunge and do it!
i am pretty much obsessed with just trying to do things on my own, like making breads, jams, or butter. I might as well try some pickling.
I already make my own bread, jam and pickles… but butter is next on my list! I want to make some cultured butter.
This was great to read because I’ve never heard of this. Would love to try
Lately, I have been obsessed with pickling, tried almost all of them I could find in stores but never thought of fermenting at home.
My husband became a big fan of kimchi when he traveled to Korea for a while. All of these foods are so interesting because they seem new to us but are actually a super old way of making things.
I’ve never considered fermenting vegetables before, but it sounds like a great idea! Its so important to be aware of what we put into our bodies. Hope your boyfriend is ok!
This is very informative and interesting! My grandmother used to do this when I was a child.
Angela Ricardo Bethea says
I’ve always wanted to make my own fermented vegetables but didn’t exactly know a thing about it and what to do. Thanks for the information this was an interesting post.
I love the idea of doing more fermentation – it’s a great way to deal with all the CSA veggies we get throughout the season. I’ve had some success with sauerkraut and cucumber pickles. I guess I need to expand my horizons and ferment some other things as well. After reading your post, I’m feeling motivated to try and maybe even track down some kefir grains. 🙂
That’s probably going to be my next experiment. I want to try making kefir water. My boyfriend loves soda, but I’m trying to get him away from fake sugars. I think kefir water would be awesome!
I am looking into earning more fermented food for my gut health. This look easy to make fermented vegetables. I will definitely try it
This was one interesting piece! You got me thinking about the heartburn. I have it so badly, and we still don’t know what it is. At first, it looked like I was mildly gluten intolerant, so I started reducing bread, didn’t work! What is helping me now is to drink milk, and stop eating sugar. Our bodies are amazing! Oh yes, and thank you for this excellent resource! In my country (Costa Rica) we have “chileros” which is like a chilli sauce you can make by letting peppers ferment, don’t really know how the process goes, but now I’d love to try it!
Sonja Josipovic says
I knew nothing about fermentation before I read this, but today I learned a lot! Thanks!
What an amazing post and very informative. I never do a fermentation before as I normally using for cooked always fresh veggie or fresh fruits. But since I living in Europe, sometime to buy a fresh veggie from Asia is a bit expensive, I think it will a great idea to make a fermentation to stay longer for some season. Thanks so much for the info. xox
I had not thought of fermenting on my own. These is a great guide to get me started! Thanks
Jasmin N says
We do this a lot here in Finland, I havenät managed though haha. I’m too lazy and my grandpa usually gives me something to bring home with me if I visit him. This post was super informative!
Cassie Tucker says
I have never ever thought about pickling my own vegetables at home. Maybe I should start so my husband and I can start eating better.
I’ve been trying to introduce more fermented foods into my diet to promote healthy gut flora. I had fermented beets for lunch and they were delicious!!
David Elliott says
I have always wanted to pickle my own foods. I would love to be able to pickle all kinds of vegetables as I love the taste of items when they are. Thanks for the good advice about the probiotics.
So sorry to hear about your boyfriend! I hope he can get better! I also had to take antibiotics for two weeks before and I hated the thought of taking them. Thanks for the info on fermentation. I will def be looking into it more!