These pickles are some of our favorite lacto-fermented veggies. Lacto-fermented vegetables provide a viable source of probiotics (at a cost well below most supplements) to heal and maintain a healthy gut. These crispy, sour, salty vegetables are highly addicting and an easy, economical way to maintain a healthy gut.
As garden season begins in the northwest, we are planning on including some excellent pickling vegetables in our seed assortment. Among our favorites are kohlrabi and beets, as well as other veggies included in the cruciferous family.
Before you use this technique for pickling please read this entire post including the tips at the end.
Okay, let’s get pickling…
2 clean wide mouth Mason jars
1 head cauliflower, cleaned and chopped in bite size pieces. Set aside 4 cleaned cauliflower leaves.
1 carrot, sliced julienne
4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed (divided)
1 teaspoon dried dill (divided)
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (divided)
2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt or kosher salt (one tablespoon for each quart)
Bring 3 cups filtered water to boil, add salt and stir to dissolve. Let cool.
Mix cauliflower and carrots in a large bowl.
Place 1/2 teaspoon dried dill, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes on the bottom of each quart jar.
Pack each jar with the vegetable mixture. Place 1/4 of the mixture in, pack it down gently with your hands. Continue to fill and pack until both jars are full with an inch at the top. Be careful not to bruise the veggies.
Once jars are full, add cooled brine.
Now for those leaves you set aside. Tuck them in over the top of the vegetables so that the contents are submerged and water covers the leaves. If you need to add more water to cover, go ahead.
Screw plastic lids on loosely and set in a tray. Let sit on counter for 5-12 days, or until they taste pickled and delicious.
After about 2 days brine will get cloudy. That’s normal. They will also “weep” which is why you need to have a tray under them.
These pickles were ready after 7 days.
To serve; put a plate of pickles out as appetizers to snack on before dinner or place a small bowl out at meal times to enjoy along side whatever your eating. Put on top of salads, whole grains, chicken or fish. They aid digestion and are a delicious, healthful condiment.
A few tips about pickling…
* Use unblemished, cleaned organically grown vegetables. Trim off soft and discolored spots.
* Use unrefined sea salt or Kosher salt. Refined table salt is too fine and can turn out a saltier pickle.
* The chlorine in water can inhibit good bacteria from forming, that’s why filtered water is recommended.
* Metal lids react to the fermentation process. You can purchase plastic lids for Mason jars where they sell canning supplies, or on amazon.com. If you don’t want to go out and buy lids just create a barrier from the metal with parchment or cheesecloth.
* Speaking of lids, make sure you screw your lid on loosely to allow the brew to breathe. Starting at day 2 they start to bubble up and may “weep” so a reminder to place your jars on a dish to catch the overflow.
* It’s a good idea to mark the beginning date on your jars. If your life is as busy as mine, it’s easy to lose track of time.
* Once they have reached the desired flavor, remove cabbage leaf cover, discard, and refrigerate. The salt keeps them preserved for a long time when refrigerated.
* Daikon radish, celery root, cauliflower, carrots, red radishes, beets, turnips and celery all are delicious pickled this way. I like to add fresh garlic for flavor too but experiment and make it your own.