Who would have thought food and drinks affected by bacteria and yeasts would be so sought after? Yes, we are talking about fermented products. No doubt you have heard about them on social media, at your local health food store, or from a health conscious friend.
Did you know, fermentation is traditionally a food preservation technique that has been traced back thousands of years. Fermentation has also helped us create new foods such as turning milk, wheat and grapes into delicious cheese, bread and wine(1). Yum!
It was only in early 20th century that scientific researchers proposed that fermented products might have health benefits (2). Fast-forward to today and we have stacks of science supporting the presence of good bacteria in these foods and how they can provide us with wonderful health benefits (1).
One of our favourite ways to reap the health benefits of fermentation is through eating fermented veggies. You may be familiar with fermented cabbage in the form of sauerkraut or kimchi, but did you know you can ferment a tonne of other vegetables including cucumber, carrot, beetroot and broccoli? Given that cauliflower is in season I thought this would be the perfect time to create a fermented cauliflower recipe.
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp coriander ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 head (600-700g) cauliflower
- 2 grated medium sized carrots, grated
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 1 -1 ½ tsp fine Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- Glass jar
1. Rinse the cauliflower in cold water and cut into florets and slice as thinly as you can. Place in a bowl along with carrot, spring onion, spices and salt and mix with your hands. Ensure everything is well mixed and then let this rest for 30 mins.
2. Get your hands dirty again and massage the mixture again for a few minutes.
3. Press the mixture tightly into the jar, adding bit by bit, pressing down to realise the veggie juice (brine) as you go. Don’t worry if the mixture feels dry, as fermentation continues the vegetables will continue weeping.
4. After the mixture is in the jar, make sure it is pressed down and the brine is covering the cauliflower mixture.
5. After 8 hours, open the jar and give the mixture one more press down, to ensure the brine covers the vegetables.
6. Rest the jar on a plate (in case the brine seeps out) and place it in a warm place, such as above the fridge, and cover it with a tea towel. Depending on time of year you can start to taste the ferment from day 4 or day 7. When it’s ready you will be able to sense a pleasant sour and pickled taste.
7. Give the mixture another press to submerge in brine, screw on the lid and store in the fridge.
8. You will have this delicious ferment if kept refrigerated for 9-10 months.
Things to look out for when fermenting
- Brine. Always have your veggies covered, if your veggies are above the liquid push them back under. If you realise this later in the fermentation process, remove the veggies that have been on top of the brine level as they are no good.
- Note: if you are new to eating fermented foods, start consuming small amounts and increase gradually. Also if you have an issue with histamines, fermented foods may not be a great choice.
Created by Rachel Larsson