Lacto-fermenting sounds a little mad scientist-esque and has nothing at all to do with lactose or dairy. The very idea of fermenting seems tricky and intimidating, but getting started with lacto-fermented hard vegetables is pretty easy to pull off. Transform foods into more nutritious, tasty versions of themselves. Just add salt!
Lacto-fermentation occurs in the absence of oxygen where good yeasts and bacteria can convert starches and sugars into lactic acid. What you’re left with is a pleasant pungent, tart tasting food somewhere between a pickle and sauerkraut.
There are three basic components of this simple fermenting process:
• Protect from spoiling organisms – Start with sterilized kitchen equipment and surfaces then create an uncomfortable environment for the bad bacteria with a 2-5% saline brine that still allows good bacteria to multiply and create probiotic medicinal food.
• Temperature – Ferment at about room temperature away from direct sunlight then store in the fridge.
• Time – Allow 20 days for sugars and starches to convert to lactic acid and taste to balance out.
Lacto-fermentation is said to be one of the healthiest forms of fermentation because lactic acid aids with blood circulation, prevents constipation, balances digestive acids, aids in pre-digestion and encourages good pancreatic function.
Lacto-fermentation is a unique process with delicious tasting results that goes way beyond sauerkraut. There’s no better way to introduce more of these probiotic foods into your diet. With so many vegetables, spices and herbs combinations, you’re really only limited by your imagination. And don’t get me started on the extravagant flavoured sauces made from the fermented brine!