Lacto-fermented vegetables are far less acidic than typical commercial pickled goods, which are generally conserved in white vinegar and pasteurized, thus, lacking in beneficial bacteria vital to intestinal balance*. Eat lacto-fermented foods as a condiment – a great aid to overall digestion, especially with heavier meals of meat or fish.
2/3 cup pure water, preferably distilled
1/3 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1 tbsp. fine seasalt
2-3 (or as many as will fit into a quart jar) pickling cucumbers, like kirbys – with bumpy, thin skin unlike typical salad cucumbers with thick green skin, as freshly picked as possible
Additions (optional): about a tablespoon dillseeds or few sprigs fresh dill, fresh sliced garlic cloves (as many as you can handle!)
- Put any additions, like dill and garlic, in the bottom of a quart-sized wide-mouth mason jar. Wash the cucs, slice in half lengthwise, then pack in as many as you can, up to about 1-1/2 inch from the top of the jar.
- In a separate container, combine salt, ACV and water and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour into the mason jar, adding more water, if necessary, to cover the cucs. The top of the liquid should be about 1 inch below the top of the jar.
- Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days. Taste. If desired sourness and crunch, transfer to the refrig. In hot weather, taste after 2 days. In cooler weather, may take a few days longer, tasting each day.
Once you’ve got this down, the sky’s the limit! Try pickling pearl onions, carrots, tomatoes, fennel, zucchini, daikon radish, green beans, beets, etc., or a mix of whatever fresh veggies you can find. Experiment with more additives, like mustard and coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf, fresh chili pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, etc.
Warning: once you start fermenting things, it’s hard to stop!
* Fermented foods are particularly recommended to women who are pregnant or planning to be pregnant to help reduce their child’s risk of many health problems related to intestinal bacterial imbalance — allergies, colitis, psoriasis, periodontal and autoimmune diseases, etc. 80% of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so the foundation for optimum health can be laid in utero.