Lacto fermented radishes and greens
I love me some radishes, but I think I can't keep up with how many I have ready in my garden. I like to eat the greens and I like fermenting, but mushy fermented greens in a mason jar doesn't sound good. I like some crunch in my ferments! What is nice about lacto fermenting, is it is very nutritious and probiotic.
After work projects need to be easy on the body and mind, so I chose a batch of almost over-ripe radishes with their greens, broccoli leaves, leftover cabbage from the fridge, and plenty of minced garlic and caraway seeds. This will make way for my new summer crops to be planted where the radishes once were. That on the other hand is another blog post topic.
1/2 gallon mason jar
Something to weight down the veggies in the brine- I used a Pom glass and a bowl
2/3 -1 tablespoon sea salt
(Optional) a dash of whey or some already lacto fermented leftover juice.
I have had successful ferments without whey/ ferm juice, but it does help to keep a high ratio of good bacteria. This can be a variant due to temperatures and air circulation in the fermenting set-up
Minced garlic 2-4 cloves
Radishes, crunchy greens, and cabbage (or variations of what is lying around)
1-2 cups of non-chlorinated water
Wash and chop all the veggies into bite sized pieces and mince the garlic or use a garlic press. I find soaking the radishes and shaking them under water really helps release the dirt.
Dump 1 cup of the non-chlorinated water into the clean mason jar, and mix in 1/2 of the salt and caraway seeds, and the optional whey or previous lacto-fermented juice.
Start packing in all your chopped veggies and mash down with a wooden spoon. Top off the veggies with more non-chlorinated water to rise above the veggies and salt to taste. *Sometimes I like very salty ferments, such as beets where I can use it as the salt content on top of an Asian rice dish.
Weight down the veggies with a food safe plastic bag and a cup or another form of weight and make sure the brine fully covers the veggies. The Pom glass fits nicely but leaves a decent gap, so it's important to put a large cabbage leaf on top, or a food safe plastic to create a barrier. I use a freezer bag and then pour more brine on top to create a seal, or simply weight the bag with a cup and bowl.
Let the weighted ferment sit for a few days out on a counter top keeping as little air out of the jar as possible, but all the veggies stay submerged. This is really important for the success of the ferment. This is like aerobic and anaerobic composting, where different t bacterial are supported with or without the air circulation.
In 2-3 days, spoon out a bit and taste. If you would like more zing, and everything is tasting good so far...add another few days and repeat the process, making sure to pack the veggies back in! Fully submerged under the brine and big leaf/ plastic on top.
When the flavor is to your liking, cap the jar and keep it in the fridge and eat daily. This is good for a few months, until the veggies start to get mushy. Compost whatever doesn't get eaten and use the leftover juice to quick start a new batch.
Some ideas for lacto fermented veggies:
Kimchi with Korean dried peppers, garlic, and tiger with chopped kale or napa cabbage.
Matchstick cut sunchokes with garlic and raw pumpkin seeds
Beets and nothing else!
Carrots, apple, cabbage, caraway seeds, ginger and garlic
This is one of the sites I follow often as they ferment everything and have so many idea like fermented ketchup and salsa. Yum!
This addition of fermented foods will give you some fantastic probiotic boosts in your diet that will help with digestion and good gut flora.