Do you immediately think of wine or beer on hearing the word “fermented”?
Well, you might be missing a really tasty and healthy vegetables you can easily ferment at home which have nothing in common with the pickles you see on the shelves of your closest grocery store.
This natural and ancient way of preserving food will make you enjoy all the crunchiness and freshness of your favorite vegetables. As well as enhancing their nutrients bacteria can produce useful enzymes and vitamins and make minerals more easily absorbable by human body. Your intestinal flora will also thank you for that!
Homemade fermentation is really easy and cheap. You just need:
- fresh vegetables
- an airtight jar.
To obtain different flavors, you can add some spices or fresh herbs to your brine, so feel free to do some experiments. I find that hot and sour aromas are the ones that best suit fermented vegetables. You can also try milder flavors, like basil, bay leaves or even cinnamon sticks.
Let’s take a look at a list of vegetables you can easily ferment at home and how you can use them in your recipes:
Winter is the best season to prepare sauerkraut because you’ll find plenty of fresh cabbages on your nearby farmers’ market stalls. Sauerkraut is the perfect side dish for every meat recipe. You can also use it instead of lettuce in your sandwiches. If you are vegetarian, pair it with the earthy flavor of mushrooms or prepare a fresh salad with raw vegetables and bitter endive or chicory.
You can use yellow or red onions and brine them in water. This is one of the most versatile vegetables you can use for this kind of preparation. I would suggest to use fermented red onions in your sandwiches, tacos and wraps, to add a sweet and sour note to every common filling. To spice it up, you can add some mustard seeds to your water-based brine.
If you love Tex-Mex cuisine, you can miss this special ingredient. Use it in your favorite recipes, to spice up chili, red beans or burritos. You can also blend fermented jalapeños with other ingredients to make some original dips for your nachos and tortillas. They pair really well with garlic and black pepper.
A classic in the big family of fermented vegetables. They suit every kind of sandwich and you can also use them in a great variety of recipes, like stir-fried veggies or meat chops. They can successfully be blended together with soft cheese to prepare fresh dips and sauces.
A traditional Korean recipe made with a great variety of fermented vegetables mixed together in the same spicy brine. You can use all the spices you prefer, even if chili pepper, ginger and garlic are essential to reproduce a typical Asian flavor. Homemade kimchi is the perfect side dish for any fish recipe. It gives its best with mild flavored ones, like steamed halibut for example, since it has a really strong taste requiring a lighter pairing.
What is you perfect homemade fermented vegetables combination?