How do we love thee, fermented foods? Let us count the ways!
Fermented foods have made a huge resurgence in popularity over the past few years, even though the process of fermentation is literally one of the oldest forms of food preservation we have — but we’re not mad about it! Not only are fermented foods great sources of probiotics, but they help improve your microbiome and digestion, counteract inflammation, and are a seriously delicious way to take care of your gut.
While it’s pretty easy these days to pop by a health store or even your local grocery and pick up a jar of sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha, if you’re interested in learning how to ferment your own foods, you might be surprised to learn that’s it’s actually extremely simple!
Here’s what you’ll need to ferment your own veggies: glass jars, brine, and some patience. Fermenting is a naturally occurring process, so achieving delicious, gut-healthy fermented veggies doesn’t happen in moments. However, the process is worth it. Check out our list of recommended materials you’ll need in order to begin fermenting veggies all on your own!
You can use a grater to make sure all of the ingredients you are deciding to ferment are uniform in size. This Box Grater has four sides, so you can grate, slice, shred, and zest. It is dishwasher friendly and uses a soft ergonomic handle with a non-slip bottom. Buy it for $8.99.
Vremi 10-Piece Colorful Knife Set
If you are not shredding or grating your ingredients and still want uniform pieces, you can cut them up with this Vremi 10-Piece Colorful Knife Set. It is a 10-piece kitchen knife set with five sharp colorful knives for cooking and five matching protective blade covers. They are lightweight, magnetic, and made with stainless steel. They have a nonstick food-safe color coating and non-toxic protective colored sheath covers and are 100 percent BPA-free. Buy them for $17.99.
Fermentation Glass Jar
You want to use a glass jar for fermenting. Glass is important to use because it helps avoid absorption of flavors and leaching of chemicals. This Fermentation Glass Jar is USDA-certified food grade, is not heat-treated, and comes with a plastic cap which does not corrode like metal lids. This is a one-gallon jar. Buy it for $10.13.
Year of Plenty 12 Inch Bamboo Cabbage Tamper
If you need to pack your ingredients tightly into your fermentation jar, then a tool such as this Year of Plenty 12 Inch Bamboo Cabbage Tamper can help you protect your knuckles. This 12-inch tamper can be used in both regular-mouth and wide-mouth mason jars and is made out of bamboo. Buy it for $14.97.
1-Gallon Stoneware Pickling Crock
Fermentation crocks are fairly common choices for making large batches of fermented vegetables. This 1-Gallon Stoneware Pickling Crock is 100-percent American made, is lead-free, and is finished with a food-safe, lead-free glaze and stamped with a signature seal denoting the size. The inside is Inside is eight-inches tall and six and six and three-quarters inches in diameter. Buy it for $30.99.
Olde Thompson Himalayan Pink Coarse Crystals
If you choose to use salt in your fermentation process, an ideal salt for fermenting is whole, unrefined, and full of natural vitamins and minerals. This bottle of Olde Thompson Himalayan Pink Coarse Crystals includes 15.1-ounces of coarse Himalayan pink salt crystals and comes with a tamper proof seal for protection and freshness. It was packed in the USA. Buy it for $9.34.
Salus Celery Plant Juice
If you do not want to use salt in your fermentation process, you can use celery juice. This Salus Celery Plant Juice is natural celery juice pressed from fresh plants and is certified organic. This product contains no alcohol, preservatives or additives. To preserve the product, keep it refrigerated at all times after opening, and use within two weeks of opening it as well. Shake the bottle well before use. You can buy 200 milliliters of this celery juice for $23.95.
Cutting Edge Cultures Vegetable Starter Culture
Starter cultures can optimize the natural lacto-fermentation process to ensure that you achieve healthy and delicious results when you ferment your own vegetables. This Cutting Edge Cultures Vegetable Starter Culture contains six pouches of 12-grams each, which allows each pouch to ferment five-pounds of vegetables. Buy the six pouches for $22.96.
The Easy Weight
Fermentation weights can be used to help keep your vegetables submerged under the brine during the fermentation process, thereby reducing their exposure to oxygen. The Easy Weight comes with a four-pack of weights with grooved handles, as well as a one year guarantee if you are not satisfied. Buy the four-pack for $21.99.
Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit
This Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit comes with waterless airlock valve technology, so carbon can escape your fermenting jars, but no oxygen can enter them. It comes with a date setter to keep track of when your ferment started so you can time when it will be complete. It features a twist-tab to easily open your jars. The kit includes three wide mouth lids and a vacuum pump. All components of the kit are BPA-free and food safe. Buy it for $29.99.
Make Your Own Fermented Food!
We’re sure you’re inspired by now to begin making your own fermented goodies at home, and luckily, our Food Monster App has you totally covered.
First, we suggest you read this guide on 5 Fun Ways to Get Started Fermenting so you’re sure you have all the knowledge you need to begin making the best-fermented products possible. Then check out our recommendations for the Top 5 Fermented Foods to Eat to Build a Healthy Gut so you can get some ideas about which fermented foods to make that fit your diet and health goals!
As for our top picks? We love this recipe for Fermented Carrots With Turmeric and Mustard. The carrots are simple to make, loaded with turmeric and they stay crunchy through the fermentation process so they are extra delicious however you consume them.
If you’re not into carrots, this Simple Sauerkraut recipe is very basic, and a great place for beginners to start. You’ll love topping your burgers, sandwiches, and bowls with your very own homemade sauerkraut!
If you’re interested in finding some more vegan fermentation recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Simple Sauerkraut
This article turns a grass roots food movement into just another stupid, consumer driven fad. You don\’t need bamboo cabbage mallets, fermentation starters or anything but vegetables, salt (not uber expensive pink salt) and a jar. The airlock is nice (should be about $2) but not necessary. Do, however, buy Sandor Katz\’s book "The Art of Fermentation".