Fermenting Vegetables

Fermenting vegetables at home can reduce food waste, save money, and can promote a healthy gut. Sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi are a few fermented vegetables that provide a variety of health benefits.

Why make fermented vegetables?

  • Fermented vegetables can be healthy for your gut and improve your digestion.
  • The fermentation process increases the vegetables’ naturally occurring vitamins and adds health promoting probiotics.
  • Fermenting your own vegetables can help save money, especially if you eat them regularly. By fermenting sauerkraut at home, you can make a jar for a fraction of the price that you would pay in the supermarket.
  • Fermenting your own vegetables gives you the freedom to control the ingredients and be creative!
  • Fermentation is also a method of preservation, so instead of letting your extra produce end up as food waste, you could make delicious, fermented vegetables that add flavor, variety, and nutrients to your meals.
  • It can be a fun science experiment for the whole family!

How to ferment vegetables:

  • For a basic sauerkraut recipe, all you need is cabbage, salt, and sometimes a bit of water if your vegetables are dehydrated.
  • A scale should be used to measure ingredients’ weight. Food safety is very important, and you must reach a salt concentration of 2.5%.
  • An easy way that we can safely ferment is by weighing all vegetables and water, then multiply that total weight by 0.025 (or 2.5%). The number you calculate is the grams of salt you will add.
    • Example: 100 grams of vegetables and water X 0.025 = 2.5 g
      • Add 2.5 g of salt to your vegetables and water
  • You will place the vegetables and water in a mason jar (or glass jar) and add a fermentation weight on top of the vegetables. A fermentation weight is a heavier object placed on top of the vegetables to keep them submerged below the brine.
  • The longest part of the process is the fermentation period itself, which is typically around 3-4 weeks (21-28 days).
  • Follow our Easy Sauerkraut recipe below to get started on fermenting at home!

How to use fermented vegetables:

  • They can be added to lots of savory meals! Sauerkraut on rice bowls or salads pack a punch of flavor and nutrition. Dill pickles go well with many things or simply on their own. For Indian dishes, pickled onions seem to make a nice addition. The options are endless!
  • Don’t forget to be creative! Even if you are just following a basic recipe, you can incorporate these foods in all kinds of dishes.

Now that you know all about why and how to ferment, you can prevent food waste, save on food costs, and enjoy both the exciting flavors as well as the fun process of fermenting vegetables into gut-healthy foods.

Beet Sauerkraut

An easy at home fermentation recipe for the whole family!
Print Recipe
CourseSide Dish, Vegetable
Servings8
Calories42kcal

Equipment

  • kitchen scale
  • bowl
  • mason jar/glass jar
  • Spoon
  • kife
  • cutting board
  • Grater
  • fermentation weight

Ingredients

  • 500 grams shredded cabbage
  • 100 grams shredded beets
  • 200 grams non-iodized salt
  • 200 grams water

Instructions

  • Wash hands and work surfaces.
  • Remove outer leaves of cabbage, rinse, and shred.
  • Using a kitchen scale, weight out 500 g of cabbage in a bowl.
  • Tare/zero the scale and add 100 g of shredded beets.
  • Remove bowl, zero scale and use a small container to weigh out 20 g salt, then add the salt to veggies and mix for about 5 minutes.
  • Place a mason jar on a zeroed scale and weigh out 200 g of water, then add the water to the veggies and mix well for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer all contents to the jar and place fermentation weight in jar (submerge everything below the brine/liquid).
  • Secure lid and leave to ferment in a dark 70-80°F area for at least 21 days before refrigeration.

Notes

This beet sauerkraut is a great way to enjoy a purple vegetable. Have your kids help make this sauerkraut and enjoy together when it’s ready! 
Nutrition Facts
Beet Sauerkraut
Serving Size
 
0.5 cup
Amount per 1 Serving
Calories
42
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
19424
mg
845
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Calcium
 
68
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
Potassium
 
298
mg
9
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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