Recently, I have been experimenting with lacto-fermentation. What in the world is lacto-fermentation? This is a way of processing your food so that it enhances it’s store-ability, and it’s digestibility. Your body can better process the nourishment of the fermented food than pre-fermented foods. This way of storage is superior to canning because:
- You don’t have to worry about botulism. Botulism is one of those scary things that can live in home canned foods. Botulism is the last thing to die when we process our home-canned foods. The other things that live in our food keep the Botulism from spreading too much. Botulism also needs an anaerobic environment to proliferate. So if you don’t kill all the nasty Botulism the when you process your food in your water bath or pressure canner, you are creating the perfect environment for these killer bacteria to take over your food. This is the scariest part of being home canner. I still can, and will probably continue to can, but I respect canning, and the protocols of canning. It can be life and death. Lacto-fermenting is not life or death.
- There is little or no heat needed for this processing. My dad and my father-in-law have strong memories of a hot kitchen in July and August made even hotter by boiling water for the canner and boiling foods. Canning produces a lot of heat. (**TIP ALERT**I have some ways that I work around this for tomatoes: I freeze my tomatoes and can them when I have time and the weather is cooler. That way it’s more comfortable and the tomatoes peel EASILY!!)
- Canning can break down the nutrients in foods, lacto-fermenation enhances the nutrients.
- You know all those probiotics that are super popular right now. A 30-day supply can be over $40? Yeah, these pale in comparison of the probiotics contained in the lacto-fermented foods.
Most folks’ gateway into lacto-fermenting is through sauerkraut. Mine was through garlic carrots. This is so easy and simple.
What you need:
- Quart Glass Jar
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds Carrots
- 2 tablespoons Sea Salt
- 2 Cups of water
- 3 garlic cloves
- Cabbage leaf
- Put 2 cups of water in a sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of salt, and heat. We’re doing this to combine the salt and the water, so it doesn’t have to be crazy hot. Remove from the heat and let cool
- While the water is cooling, peel your 3 cloves of garlic and put them in the jar.
- Chop up your carrots in whatever way your like. I chop mine up into quarters and then break that down into finger length pieces. Picture when someone brings a veggie tray to a party. The way those carrots look is what I go for (***TIP ALERT***NOT THE BABY CARROTS, NEVER USE BABY CARROTS, THEY ARE TREATED WITH CHLORINE AND THIS WILL NOT WORK).
- Place these carrots in the jar.
- With cooled salt water (this means it’s comfortable to the touch), cover the carrots and garlic. It is really important that everything is covered here.
- To make sure that all of your veggies remain submerged, place your cabbage leaf on top. Carrots exposed to air will rot and not ferment. Rotted food is not good for you.
- Cover with a lid and let sit in a warm environment (65-80 degrees) for 7 to 10 days. Be sure you burp your jar daily. This part I found to be really cool, and it lets you know your ferment is working. When you unscrew the lid, lots of air bubble rush to the surface.
- Now you’re in business. You can eat your carrots right away or you can store them in a cool area such as your basement, root cellar or even fridge.
Super simple, Super Easy, Super Yummy.