How to Ferment Vegetables: Master Canning & Preserving with Simple Lacto Fermentation Technique for Beginners!
Real Food Fermentation: 31 Recipes and How-to's
Series: Fermented Foods, Fermented Vegetables, Fermented Pickles & More
“We are what we eat.”
More and more studies prove that a healthy digestive system is directly related to a strong immune system. Simply putting it this way, a strong immune system depends on the condition of our gut. What’s the big deal? Oh, nothing much, it’s just that when our immune system is healthy it enables our body to effectively fight of infections, combat the signs of aging, aid in weight loss, and even help manage diseases such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol.
On the other hand, when our immune system is weak, we are prone to get sick all the time and we have a higher risk of developing various diseases. And when you are sick, you are not just putting your life at risk, but blowing away money as well for treatment. So what is the best way to maintain a healthy gut for a stronger immune system? Simple! We need to eat more probiotic-rich fermented food.
Enzyme-rich foods are widely available in the market today. But we do not need to solely depend on manufactured goods. We can just make our own healthy dishes at home. It might sound a little intimidating at first, but fermentation, particularly lacto-fermentation, is a simple process that anybody can do.
So what is this method and how does it affect our health?
Fermentation is the oldest and simplest way of preserving and enhancing the nutrient content of both raw and cooked vegetables - no canning, no fancy equipment.
This natural food-preservation process eliminates the "bad" bacteria in food and simultaneously activates the growth of “good” bacteria called Lactobacillus. In the first stage of lacto-fermentation, vegetables are submerged in a salty brine to kill the harmful bacteria. The Lactobacillus good guys survive this stage and begin stage two, converting lactose and other sugars present in the food into lactic acid; a chemical which not only helps preserve vegetables but gives food that classic sour, tingly, tangy flavor.
Lactobacillus is also believed to contain anti-inflammatory properties, useful in preventing certain kinds of cancer and speeds up recovery from yeast infection. But the most important role of these “good” bacteria is in the maintenance of a healthy digestive system.
Now that you understand how ferments work to promote a strong immune system, it’s time to learn the basic technique in the art of lacto-fermentation. All you'll basically need is salt, vegetables, and water. With a bit of practice at first, you’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of not just a healthy gut, but delicious homemade organic recipes that the whole family will love.