Fermentation is so much fun but it can also be quite daunting! You don’t want to do the wrong thing and make yourself ill, but you definitely want the amazing benefits that homemade ferments have to offer. But fear not, fermentation isn’t nearly as scary as it seems. The great thing about fermenting your own food is you can tell immediately when something’s not right, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be hooked. Making your own ferments is an art, because no matter what you do every batch will turn out unique from the last. They are amazingly good for you too, full of probiotics for great gut heatlh.
The Basics: Salt + Vegetables + Environment
The role of salt is both protective and purposeful. It protects against harmful bacteria while also stimulating osmosis. In order to make ferments like sauerkraut, salt is needed to draw the liquid out of the cabbage so that it has a brine to make magic in. A common mistake beginners make is to not leave enough liquid above the vegetables to protect them from the elements of the outside world. I like to make a separate brine of 1 tsp sea salt to one cup of water and add some on top of my packed down vegetables.
Every fermented food relies on the same principles of salt, vegetables and an environment free from oxygen so those healthy bacteria can grow.
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