Fermented vegetables were a part of every pantry of our grandmothers, where we went to look and secretly sip fresh cream. However, all those filled glasses have somehow become mundane to us in modern times and we chase after everything that is great and ideally from somewhere else. Those old, sometimes already dusty canners hide much more than just sour vegetables, which we dislike the taste of dill. Fermented foods have been making a huge comeback lately, and we're gradually learning about pickles that are great for our health..
Fermented vegetables, or pickles in English, are a treat just to put in your mouth or to enrich ordinary food with a refreshing taste. You can easily make pickles at home from what you already have.
Fermentation is especially healthy for the intestines
Fermentation is a relatively old way to preserve fresh vegetables even through the winter. Fermented vegetables last a long time and it must be added that during this process they gain strength and the amount of some important nutrients increases.
Fermented vegetables are of great importance for our digestion, because they are actually homemade probiotics. It perfectly complements the intestinal microbiome and restores its balance, where, thanks to the natural processes of milk fermentation, it supplies the intestines with beneficial bacteria that cleans age-old deposits and at the same time suppresses the appearance of harmful bacteria and yeast. Pickles also minimize the negative impact of simple sugars, which you will especially appreciate if you consume more semi-finished products or sweets.
Overall, fermented vegetables change the internal environment towards a more alkaline one, providing healthy moisture to the intestines,
regulates digestion, strengthens immunity and refreshes the organism.
What vegetables can you make pickles from?
For its success, fermentation needs sugars and microorganisms, which gain energy through this transformation. In addition, fermented vegetables become a little soft, so choose varieties that are harder and have a higher sugar content. Cabbage, carrots, beets, radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower or onions are ideal. You can make a mixture to load, or just put something in each glass according to what you like.
How to prepare fermented vegetables
For homemade pickles, you will need chopped vegetables, salt, water, a suitable container for fermentation and something to weigh down, since the vegetables must be completely submerged under the surface. Do not forget to thoroughly boil all containers, lids, plates and knives that you will use so that they are sterile and you do not contaminate the product. Even fermented vegetables can spoil if the procedure is incorrect.
Cut the vegetables you have chosen into small pieces. The smaller it is, the faster the fermentation process will take place. Put in a large bowl, add salt and possibly other spices you like (eg bay leaf), and mix well with your hands and mash until the vegetables release their juice. Then stuff it into a suitable container or mason jar and pour water with salt so that all the vegetables are below the surface (you will need about 15g of salt per 1kg of vegetables). You can use a smaller plate or a lid to load the top, on which you can place, for example, a clean stone or something heavy that will keep the vegetables in the pickle.
Let the mixture prepared in this way stand in a dark place at room temperature for 7 - 10 days with access to air. The vegetables will bubble and work and gradually change their flavor. You will know that it is ready by the cessation of bubbling and foaming and also by the taste. It gets a sour taste. All you have to do is transfer the vegetables to a sealable, clean jar and put them in the fridge, where the fermentation process will slow down or stop.
Foods prepared in this way can be kept in the pantry for many months, as long as you do not eat them before.