Picnic Basket Fermented Vegetables (by Emillie of http://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/) August 15, 2016 14:25

Quick Fermented Veggies: A Guide

Fermented snacking vegetables are the one thing that I always have bubbling away on my kitchen counters.  I love them for so many reasons.

  • It's a great way to make sure that I'm getting my daily dose of probiotics.
  • Everyone loves them.
  • They are hugely flavourful, salty and perfect to eat without any dips or sauces.
  • It allows me to "process" my farm box ahead of time so that nothing goes off before we get a chance to eat it.
  • But the main reason why I always have fermented snacking vegetables kicking around is because I'm lazy.

Delicious Fermented Vegetables - Perfect for Packed Lunches!

I know that seems backwards, how could anyone who is devoted to fermenting be lazy?  But... at 6:30 in the morning when I'm scrambling to fill my kids lunch boxes, it is so awesome to have already prepared vegetables in the fridge ready to dump into the lineup of waiting snack containers. Or when we all get home at the end of a busy day and we're starving for something to eat, I can always reach for my jar of snacking vegetables in the fridge!

However, since the season is switching from the hectic school year to summer vacation-land, I have named this recipe Picnic Basket Fermented Vegetables, because in the summer there will always be a jar of fermented veggies in my picnic basket!

Materials

  • 1 L glass jar (I usually use a fido. You could also use a mason jar with an airlock or pickle-nipple lid.  Or if you want to go low tech, just use a mason jar with the metal lid floating on top, without the screw band.  The goal is to allow gasses to escape without letting any unwanted bugs into the ferment).
  • Mixed firm vegetables. Softer vegetables are great to ferment too... but they will go soggy, and are better off eaten with a fork than with your fingers. I recommend using: carrots, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, green beans, sweet peas and cauliflower. You could also use pickling cucumbers, but you won't end up with a pickle with this recipe!
  • Water (filtered to remove all chlorine)
  • 1 tbsp of salt (non-iodized or pickling salt)
  • 1 tbsp of starter culture (cultured whey, sauerkraut brine, purchased vegetable culture, or kombucha.) You don't need a starter to get vegetables to ferment, but you want these veggies to ferment quickly in order to avoid going soft, so a starter is recommended.
  • Optional flavour additions: you can add any herbs or spices that you want. In general you want 1 tsp of a spice or 1 tbsp of a herb. My favourite flavours are garlic & dill for a traditional pickle flavour, or garlic & ginger for something tangier.

Method

  1. Wash and cut the vegetables into sticks.
  2. Pack the vegetables into the jar making sure that they are 1" below the top.
  3. Add in the salt, whey and any additional flavours that you're using. Then cover with the filtered water.
  4. Use a weight to keep the vegetables below the brine.
  5. Place the jar in a bowl (to catch any liquid that might bubble out) and allow to ferment for 3 days. It's best to ferment somewhere around 18C and out of the light. I usually stash my ferments in a cool closet.
  6. After 2-3 days the vegetables will have developed a nice flavour, and they will still be crisp.
  7. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Fermented vegetables make delicious snacks. 

By Emillie of http://www.fermentingforfoodies.com/)