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Condiments

Simple Fermented Vegetables

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Fermented vegetables are the ideal companion to any meal. They are loaded with probiotics, can improve digestion and incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is water, salt, vegetables and time!

 fermented pickles, carrots, and radishes

 carrots on tray

carrots, pickles and radishes in jars with dill

radishes with dill sprig

carrots with dill slices

When I lived in Romania, my family shopped at the local farmers market and ate seasonally. There was really no choice as it was that or starve. We didn’t have well stocked grocery stores so we had to be prepared. In anticipation of cold, long winters, my grandparents would ferment large quantities of vegetables that were not available in the winter. Little did I know just how beneficial fermented vegetables were. 

Why eat fermented vegetables

Our western diet has done a number on gut flora and our digestive system as many of us are eating foods our body simply does not know how to assimilate and has a difficult time digesting. But I’m a firm believer that by eating fermented foods daily we can rebuild our healthy guts. This is in turn helps with food absorption, improved digestion and overall health. After all, if our gut isn’t healthy, then every other system in the body will be affected.

Fermented vegetables provide natural probiotics

I’m a proponent of supplementation but I’m also a firm believer that we can get everything we need from food. And one of the best way to populate and heal our guts, is through consuming probiotic rich fermented foods daily. It is a cheaper and healthier alternative to taking a pill every day.

How to make fermented vegetables

In order to demystify fermenting, I wanted to share some very basic recipes I frequently make. The easiest way to start is by using brine and cut up vegetables.

To make brine, all you need is a quart of room temperature water and 2-3 tbsp of fine sea salt. I prefer using fine salt as it dissolves quicker. Once the salt and water are combined, your brine is ready.

Feel free to add the seasoning of your choice. I prefer dill and garlic. 

Preparing your jars before fermenting

I like throwing my jars and lids in a pot of boiling water to ensure the jars are clean and your vegetables ferment properly. Sometimes soap and water don’t do the trick removing whatever occupied the jars previously, so it’s an added step in ensuring you start with the cleanest possibly jars, in order for the saltwater to do its magic on the vegetables.

How long does it take to ferment vegetables?

I can be quite impatient and have opened carrots at about day 8-10. Ideally, I like to give them about 14 days but they’ll be quite delicious if you’re as impatient as I am!

Can you use different vegetables?

When it comes to fermenting, the options are limitless. There are no rules really but some vegetables may not need to rest in brine as they can produce water on their own. Here is a simple recipe for making your own sauerkraut.

Best vegetables for fermenting

Here is a quick list of the best vegetables to use for fermenting in brine:

  • carrots

  • cucumbers

  • radishes

  • green beans

  • bell peppers

  • cauliflower

  • beets

  • broccoli

  • turnips

  • rutabaga

So here are three basic fermented vegetable recipes to get you started! They’re as much fun to make as they are to eat! If you want a to make a batch of mixed vegetables, try this fermented vegetable medley.

Where can you find jars for fermenting vegetables?

You can find fermenting jars in most kitchen supply stores and sometimes even in super markets. I get mine online here

sideways view of cucumbers, sliced radishes and carrot sticks in jars 

Yield: 6-8 (12oz) jars

Simple Fermented Vegetables

Simple Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables are the ideal companion to any meal. They are loaded with probiotics, can improve digestion and incredibly easy to make at home. All you need is water, salt, vegetables and time!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 days
Total Time 8 days 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs organic carrots cut into sticks
  • 1 bag organic radishes, sliced
  • 6-8 organic pickling cucumbers
  • 1 quart filtered water
  • 2-3 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2-3 sliced cloves garlic (or more)
  • a few sprigs fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Prior to starting the fermentation process, I recommend putting your jars and lids into a large pot of water and boiling them for at least 10 minutes. You can do this while you make your brine and the jars and brine can cool at the same time.
  2. To prepare brine, combine warm water and salt and set aside to cool.
  3. Slice garlic cloves and add to jars along with as much fresh dill as you want.
  4. Slice radishes and cut carrots and pickles to be slightly shorter than the jar. Tightly pack each into jars, as many as can fit. Pour the cooled brine and fill all the way to the top ensuring that vegetables are covered completely. 
  5. Twist on the lid and let ferment at room temperature for 7-14 days. Keep away from an area with temperature fluctuations such as a stove. If you have leftover brine, store it in the refrigerator and used at a later point. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 817mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica
    February 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this idea and presenting it in a very easy DIY way. I am sure that many will try this and enjoy and become ‘fermenting fiends’ ~ I will make this for sure! So pretty too.. bet the veggies stay fresh ‘n crisp!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      Ah they really do taste quite good and honestly so simple to whip up!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde
    February 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    I love pickled veggies, thanks for the easy recipe.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      You’re so welcome! I love them too!

  • Reply
    Shelby @Fitasamamabear
    February 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    So tasty and so healthy for you! Fermenting blows my mind how awesome it it 😀

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      I agree…such a simple method yet so amazing!

  • Reply
    theresa
    February 20, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing this I’ve been wanting to try

  • Reply
    Raia
    February 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Mmmm… those pickles look amazing! I want some right now. 🙂

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 20, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      hahah yes, they are quite delicious!

  • Reply
    Melissa @Real Nutritious Living
    February 20, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make these! So pretty!

  • Reply
    linda spiker
    February 21, 2018 at 12:38 am

    These look amazing! And your photos are gorgeous as always!

  • Reply
    Jen Mc
    February 21, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    DO you need to release the lids daily while its fermenting or keep them closed?

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      You can if your lids are budging and look like they need to be released. I haven’t had to. It’s a personal choice really. Some methods say to release once or twice a day if you have a super active ferment.

  • Reply
    Billy
    February 27, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I love fermenting vegetables and pickles and definitely can’t wait to try this at home!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 27, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Billy – I’m so happy to hear this! I just opened a fresh batch of carrots and radishes after 8 days and they were delicious!

  • Reply
    michele
    April 3, 2019 at 12:12 am

    I’m new to fermenting so this is probably a silly question but it says to ferment for 7-14 days and in your blog you said that you used to ferment veggies to be had all year. What do you do with them after the 14 days to keep the preserved for the winter?

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      April 3, 2019 at 1:57 am

      Hi Michele – My grandparents kept them all winter too! After 14 days you can put them in the fridge and eat them but if they’re airtight and properly preserved, they can ferment for months and months. After 14 days they’ve had enough fermentation though and could be placed in the refrigerator once opened! I hope this helps!

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