Cultured Vegetable Care and Maintenance

cultured vegetable care

Sometimes people regard lacto-fermentation as a very scientifically precise process. Beginners often get stuck on certain details and become frustrated when their batch doesn’t work out just like the steps and pictures. People frequently will ask, “How long will this batch of sauerkraut take to culture at x temperature?” assuming we have a secret mathematical formula. Though there is science involved, the process is not quite so black and white. Hopefully some of these points will help demystify some of the alchemy some people perceive when making cultured vegetables…. 

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Eve

Eve

For my 7th grade Science Fair project I cultured yogurt. I received first place in my division and competed in a regional competition. My fascination with cultured foods has stuck with me ever since. Over the years I have made yogurt, fermented vegetables, sourdough, kombucha, and also love sprouting and dehydrating. In my spare time I like to knit, bike, garden, cook, and study natural medicine.

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Lacto-Fermenting the Garden and Long-Term Storage

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Along with dehydration, fermentation has been used for a very long time as a way to harness food preservation. Without refrigeration, canning, or freezing; these means of putting food up were critical for the safety and livelihood of cultures everywhere.

But in our modern day culture where these other high-energy means of food preservation are available, is it even necessary to pursue such a challenge? Is it too good to be true that you can ferment pickles in minutes of hands-on time instead of standing over a boiling canner in the height of summer? Is it possible to preserve food for months with an age-old method? After all, if it doesn’t actually preserve the pickle for long periods then, besides the health benefits, is it a practical solution?

After many years of practicing lacto-fermentation and talking to those who do the same – all without refrigeration – I’ve poked around to find the answer.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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How to Make Fermented Vegetable Juice

vegetable juice

In many countries, fermented vegetable juices are commonly sold in grocery stores and enjoyed regularly by many, usually as a health tonic, but sometimes just because they are tasty.

Fermented vegetable juice is made by placing a small amount of vegetables in a larger amount of liquid, fermenting, then straining out the solids. Beet kvass is a popular fermented vegetable juice. However, fermented vegetable juices can be made with virtually any vegetable…. 

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Making Fermented Carrot Sticks with the Cutting Edge Culture

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I haven’t worked with a lot of starter cultures for fermented vegetables. In fact, I’ve written extensively on the Cultures for Health site and elsewhere about how to ferment vegetables simply with salt and water. I just really dig natural, wild fermentation.

But I’m always open to trying different things and seeing how they match up with what I’m used to. The Cutting Edge Culture is fairly new to the market and claims to rapidly kickoff the culturing process, dropping the pH of the ferment faster than other methods. I’m always interested in improving my methods, especially when it comes to fermenting or preserving food, so I decided to try it out on one of our favorite vegetable ferments – garlic-spiked carrot sticks.

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Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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