Fermented foods are rich in probiotics (live microorganisms) which add to the population of good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics also produce beneficial postbiotics in the gut. Postbiotics are the non-living organisms created by the fermentation process, and can contain nutrients like vitamins B and K, as well as substances that slow down the growth of bad bacteria. Fermented foods are easier to digest and greatly enhance the flavour of dishes.
Making your own fermented food is easy and often tastes better than store bought ones. Dr Tin Nguyen makes his own fermented vegetables, from kimchi to sauerkraut. He shares his quick recipe below.
Recipe for Fermented Vegetables
- Fresh vegetables (cabbage, capsicum, radishes, carrots etc.)
- Salt (non-iodized, preferably sea salt)
- Filtered water
- Optional – Herbs and Spices (caraway seeds, dill, garlic etc.)
Tip : Don’t add garlic or onions if intolerant, or if you are on a modified low FODMAP diet.
Make the Salt Solution
- A common brine percentage is 2% (e.g. 20g salt in 1L water). Adjust to taste.
- Dissolve the salt in filtered water to create a brine solution. Use enough to cover the vegetables.
- Wash and chop vegetables and any additional herbs/spices, and place into a clean mason jar. Pack tightly and press down firmly to minimise any air pockets, leaving some space at the top.
- Pour the brine over the vegetables so they are completely covered (this helps prevent mould growth).
- Place lid lightly and leave for 1-2 weeks to ferment (time depends on temperature and your taste preference). Bubbling is a sign of fermentation (indicates beneficial bacterial consuming sugars in the vegetables and producing carbon dioxide and lactic acid)
- Taste test the vegetables periodically to determine the level of fermentation that suits your tastebuds.
- Once the vegetables have reached your desired level of fermentation, store them in the refrigerator, which slows down the fermentation process.
- Enjoy your homemade fermented vegetables as a tasty and probiotic-rich addition to your meals.
Incorporating fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, miso paste, keffir, kombucha) into your diet will aid in achieving a better balance of microorganisms in our gut, which can lead to improvements in your overall health.
Disclaimer – This article is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult a registered health professional regarding any health-related diagnosis or treatment options.