I am pretty ambitious when it comes to healthy eating. I really like adding foods to my diet that guarantee quality nutrition and health benefits, even if I don’t like them. For example, I’ve hated mushrooms for my entire life (ask anyone!), but since turning vegetarian, I’ve been forcing myself to try them more often because it’s such a high quality meat substitute! Even though I cannot stand them, I have discovered that I can eat them cold and raw… (Weird?) Perhaps, I’ll try fermenting them if that’s even a thing.
Healthy Eating Goal
Why Eat Fermented Foods?
The main benefit is to introduce probiotics, or healthy bacteria, into our body for the benefit of balancing good and bad bacteria and creating a stronger immune system. I’m not a health expert, but it’s known as a natural panacea for poor health. Check out this article on the health benefits of fermented foods.
Fermentools Starter Kit
Fermentools, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is an online store and resource for all fermenting needs. They offer an affordable starter kit that provides (almost) everything you need to begin fermenting food on your own. You only need to provide a standard wide-mouthed Mason jar, ring and fresh vegetables.
The Fermentools Starter Kit includes:
- Stainless Steel Lid – Made from food trade, surgical stainless steel (304 stainless)
- Glass Weight – Fits inside standard wide mouth Mason jar perfectly
- Air Lock
- Rubber Stoppers
- Himalayan Powdered Salt – Highly recommended type of salt for fermentation
We had fresh, crisp asparagus in our fridge, so that’s what we used to make our first batch of fermented vegetables. Fortunately, there was a fermented asparagus recipe we could follow that was included in the pamphlet for the Fermentools starter kit.
To put it briefly, you add washed & cut veggies, seasonings and the appropriate water to salt ratio into the jar. Fermentools makes it easy to figure out the water to salt ratio with their simple conversion chart. Then, you set the glass weight on top of your veggies to make sure all veggies stay under the liquid. Thirdly, you place the air stop and rubber stopper in the hole of the lid. Next, you store your jar in a 65-70F for 3-5 days and wait until the fermentation process is complete.
Note: I did not pack my jar tight with asparagus, simply because I didn’t have enough. Don’t do that! If you look at the picture above, you can see that my glass weight fell to the bottom of the Mason jar. I believe my asparagus still turned out okay, with no mold, but it concerned me nonetheless.
Replace the air lock and rubber stopper with the solid rubber stopper to seal the lid. Then, store your ferments in the fridge and enjoy fresh from the jar, as sandwich condiments or on salads.
Kids’ Reactions to Sour Taste
My wonderful five year old daughter committed herself to eating fermented veggies with me. I’m so impressed because as you will see shortly, she was not thrilled by the taste of our first batch of fermented vegetables. My husband has no trouble eating it, but I think my three year old monster boy will have to wait a couple hundred years for his palette to change before he joins in on the fun!