Unlike canning or brewing beer, fermenting food is surprisingly easy and full of foods you'll actually want to eat (think, real deli-style pickles). Fermented foods have a number of advantages: They're good for your gut health and help feed the good bacteria living in us; they have a unique flavor – that umami zing; and they're extremely easy to make. All you need to get started are some jars, whey, water, salt, and some patience. Start with small batches until you're more comfortable with the process. Remember these are living foods, so after a few days you'll open the jar to see its zesty, bubbling, contents.
The Perfect Pickle
Real deli-style New York pickles are salt-brined and fermented, not just soaked in vinegar. The difference between a cucumber that's had a long vinegar-salt bath and one that has transformed by salt, vinegar, and lactobacillus bacteria is vast. Once you try this perfect pickle, you'll never buy the (pasteurized) grocery store brand again.
- Pickling cucumbers
- Brine solution
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- In a separate container, mix enough brine solution to fill your jar using the ratio of 0.75 tablespoons of salt to one cup of water.
- Add dill, garlic, peppercorns to the jar.
- Fit cucumbers in tightly (this helps them stay below the liquid).
- Add in whey.
- Add some horizontal slices or weights to keep the veggies from floating up.
- Fill brine so the cucumbers are are covered. Cover with jar lid, loosely for TK days.
- Experiment: You can also add chili peppers, mustard seed, caraway seed, or pickling spice.