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    How to Ferment Your Veggies & a Giveaway

    Before refrigeration or even ice, traditional people preserved their food. They found that if they added salt or whey, their bounties from the fields would last for extended periods of time.

    The diets of every traditional society have included some kind of fermented food. Think kimchi in Asia, sauerkraut in Europe and pickles and relishes here in the United States. But what is fermentation and how does it support our health?

    This week I sat down with herbalist and fermentista, Kellie Jordan, of Get Bubbly. She and I discussed the art of fermentation at one of her in-home fermenting socials.  Read on to learn about this lost tradition and enter to win a Kimchi Fermentation Kit and the book, The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.


    Kellie Jordan of Get BubblyKellie Jordan of Get Bubbly

    1. What is Fermentation?

    Fermentation is the conversion of starches and sugars in fruits and vegetables to lactic acid. The starches and sugars are consumed by Lactobacillus bacteria (present on virtually everything, but especially plants growing close to the ground) and in return the Lactobacilli give off lactic acid, which preserves the fruits/vegetables. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

    2. Why do we need this & why is it important?

    The ability to digest and absorb nutrients for nourishment and detoxification is the key to health and longevity. If we’re not busy digesting and absorbing, we’re sending this nourishment all over the body, in many forms, to feed and stimulate its functions. If we’re not digesting and absorbing correctly, these bodily functions will begin to suffer as they become malnourished. This is due to poor digestion! In fact, we could be eating the cleanest diet of all time and still have disease because of poor digestion and absorption.

    Our digestion is greatly enhanced by consuming fermented foods, especially seasonal fermented foods. This increases our absorption of all forms of foods consumed with ferments, plus the fermenting process actually increases the vitamin levels of the fruit/vegetable. Fermenting also produces a number of enzymes and antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. But the key is the lactic acid, as it preserves and promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the gut.

    3. Fermentation basics:

    • Pick up your favorite seasonal vegetable at your local Farmer’s Market.
    • Select the flavor profile you’d like to use and add the seasonings to your glass mason jar. A teaspoon or two will work fine.
    • Wash your produce and CRAM it into the jar, leaving about 1″ of headspace. Fill every spot in the jar, because as the fermentation process develops, the veg/fruit will give off some liquid and absorb the salt brine, thereby shrinking in the jar.  Kellie advises to “really pack your vegetables tightly into the jar or to create fanciful green bean nets overtop of radishes and other bobbing produce that won’t behave.”
    • Make the brine. Sandor Katz’s ratio of 3 TBSP Celtic, Real or Gray Salt to 4 cups filtered water has always worked perfectly for me. I like to fill an extra empty glass jar with the brine ingredients, put the lid on tight, then, shake until the salt has dissolved.
    • Pour brine over your packed veggies and seasonings to about ¾” from the top. Cap and finger-tighten the lid. Leave it on the counter until it’s bubbly!

    Some of the seasonings we used at my home fermenting social were thick wedges of lemon zest, whole garlic, pickling spice and red pepper flakes. This combination made the most delicious Fermented Asparagus!

    fermented asparagusFermented Asparagus by Kellie Jordan

    Two Quick Recipes:

    Lacto-Fermented Green Tomato Pickles

    • 1 wide mouth quart preserving jar
    • Enough green tomatoes to fill the jar to 1 inch below the lid (only use tomatoes that are totally green)
    • 1 fresh sprig of dill
    • 1 hot red pepper
    • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
    • Enough brine to cover.

    Wash the tomatoes and remove their stems and place in the clean wide mouth jar to 1 inch below the rim. Add the garlic and hot pepper between the tomatoes, making certain to pack it tight. Fill the jars with brine to 1 inch below the rim and screw on the lids. Store at room temperature for 3-4 days (3 days when kept at 72°) before storing in the fridge. They can be eaten after the 3 – 4 days but are better after a month of storage.

    Quick Fermented Salsa
    At your Farmer’s Market, purchase some fresh salsa or pico de gallo. In a quart-size mason jar, place 3 to 4 TBSP whey and mix in the salsa. Lid and finger-tighten. Leave on the counter 8 hrs. or overnight, then, place in the fridge or next to a giant bowl of non-GMO tortilla chips!


    Kellie Jordan owns Get Bubbly, which teaches people how to ferment local, seasonal fruits and veggies in their own kitchens. Her fermentation classes are available exclusively through in-home Socials. She shows you the How, the Why and the Fun of fermenting in your kitchen.

    Win a Kimchi Ferment Kit & The Art of Fermentation!

    Get Bubbly is giving away a Kimchi Ferment Kit! The Kimchi Kit is a big jar packed with a Farmer’s Market shopping list, recipe instructions, seasoning packets sized for the jar, the Get Bubbly catalog & a coupon for a home fermentation social (applicable to those who live in Northern VA). PLUS, you’ll also win the book,  The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

    How to enter the giveaway:
    1. Sign in to the widget below with either your Facebook account or your email address.
    2. You will see several options for entering, with a scroll bar at the bottom of the box.
    3. Choose how you want to enter: “Like” us on Facebook, leave a comment, tweet about the contest, etc.
    4. For each of these things that you do, you will be entered to win. So if you do 3 of them, you will be entered 3 times.
    Good luck! Contest ends Thursday, June  12 at 8:00pm.

    The contest is over. Congratulations to our winner, Carolyn K!


    Talk to us!

    What fermented foods do you eat? Do you think you’re going to start incorporating more fermented foods now that you know how they can help you Take Back Your HealthTM?

    8 Responses to How to Ferment Your Veggies & a Giveaway

    1. Terry Hughes June 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

      Thanks for an easy introduction on healthier living and getting our guts back to where they should be. Get Bubbly is a great opportunity for learning on many levels!

    2. Mike Patterson June 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

      I have never attempted to incorporate more fermented foods, so after reading this I am very interested and it all only makes sense, thanks so much to Kellie for sharing.

    3. Carolyn Kline June 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      I enjoyed my fermented asparagus so much I made a second batch! I’ve branched out and made some dilly beans and fermented grape tomatoes, too. So easy!

    4. Vera June 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

      Thanks for the chance to win! I haven’t made my own fermented vegetables but an hoping to start this summer! I love kimchi and would like to make my own!

    5. Brittany June 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      I have not fermented my own veggies but I am interested to learn more. Thanks for the chance to win.

    6. demme M June 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      I love eating pickles, salsa, lemons, olives, radishes..I would love to win this kit so I could learn how to ferment on my own. Demme

    7. Emma June 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

      I’ve never tried fermenting. Do the veggies taste good?

      • Cindy Santa Ana, CHC June 12, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

        Yes, I think so and even my kids like them. If they like pickles, they would like most fermented veggies. Some, like, Dilly Beans and Pickles are a great place to start.

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