Thursday, 1 October 2015

Lacto Fermented Vegetables with Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper

My counter top is usually covered with different jars of fermenting veggie combinations and currently this combination of carrot, celery, ginger, turmeric and black pepper is on repeat. A few months ago, I visited my holistic doctor and learnt about the importance of combining turmeric and black pepper to make the main active compound in turmeric known as curcumin more bioavailable. So I started adding black pepper to my veggie ferments that include turmeric and this is currently my favourite combination! I really love the crunch and spice of the whole peppercorn combined with the sourness of the veggies


Lacto Fermented Vegetables with Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper
Lacto Fermented Vegetables with Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper
Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a very strong antioxidant. A real superfood star. Unfortunately the body cannot absorb much curcumin on it's own but when combined with piperine found in black pepper can boost curcumins absorption by 2000%  (see here).  In addition, curcumin is fat soluble so it would be quite beneficial to combine these fermented veggies with some good fats like avocado or extra virgin olive oil in a nice salad or as a side to a juicy grass fed steak with some fat on it.

I try and have a serve of fermented veggies with every meal at home including breakky. We've seen such great improvement in our family's overall health. This carrot, celery, ginger, turmeric and black Pepper recipe is just one variation. This would also work well with other veggies like cabbage, carrot, green beans, cucumber, beetroot or radish. You can check out my recipes page here for more combination ideas including a simple kim chi recipe.


I always use a culture starter (Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter) to ensure my batch always has the right bacteria as that was most important to me to heal my son's health issues. This is optional as using the right amount of salt is enough to prohibit the growth of bad bacteria while the good bacteria start working. I will list the steps below with and without a starter culture.

(If you live in Australia, you can order your Body Ecology products from here. Enter discount code 'loveurbelly' for 5% off or order direct from Body Ecology USA.)


Lacto Fermented Vegetables with Ginger, Turmeric and Black Pepper

Prep Time: 20 mins approximately 
Ferment Time: 7 days minimum
Makes 1.5 litre jar

You will need:
(Note: organic produce is always preferable but not essential if you cannot find it, I would soak non organic produce in water with some vinegar before using):
  • 1.5 litre jar with flip top lid and rubber seal (Fido jar)
  • 1 small bunch (or half large bunch) celery 
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 inch piece of turmeric
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper corns (coarsely smashed is optional)
  • 1 tsp culture starter - optional (I use Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter)
  • 1 tsp to 2 tbsp of natural sea salt (buy on iherb or amazon)
  • 1/2 tsp raw organic sugar (buy on iherb or amazon)
  • enough filtered water to fill the jar 
  • 2 outer cabbage leaves or a large wedge of cabbage (to weight the veggies under the brine)
Method Using Starter Culture:
  • take the starter culture out of the fridge to allow to come to room temperature
  • in a small cup, dissolve the 1/2 tsp raw sugar in some filtered water 
  • add the 1tsp starter culture to the sugar mixture to wake them up and allow them to start feeding on the sugar
  • wash all utensils, chopping board, jar with hot water and vinegar, set aside on a clean tea towel to air dry
  • wash all the produce and set aside on a clean tea towel to dry
  • peel the carrots then grate or chop as preferred, add to a large bowl 
  • chop the celery including tops if you like and add to bowl
  • peel and thinly slice the ginger and turmeric, add to bowl
  • add 1-2 tsp of black pepper corns (whole or coarsely smashed)
  • sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and mix well, massage the veggies to bruise them slightly which helps the fermentation process
  • add the sugar mixture and mix evenly
  • pack into the jar tightly, using your fist to push down as much as you can, leaving about 2 inches from the top
  • pour any liquids from the bowl into the jar
  • fill the jar with enough filtered water to submerge the veggies but allowing a 1.5 inch gap from the top
  • roll up the cabbage leaves and place on top to keep the veggies submerged under the brine
  • give the veggies another packing down with your hands to release any air bubbles
  • lock and seal the jar, leave in a cool dry spot out of direct sunlight for at least 7 days
  • move to the fridge once you open the jar and only use clean utensils
  • see below for some quick tips :)
Method Using Salt Only (No Starter Culture):
  • wash all utensils, chopping board, jar with hot water and vinegar, set aside on a clean tea towel to air dry
  • wash all the produce and set aside on a clean tea towel to dry
  • peel the carrots then grate or chop as preferred, add to a large bowl 
  • chop the celery including tops if you like and add to bowl
  • peel and thinly slice the ginger and turmeric, add to bowl
  • add 1 tsp of black pepper corns (whole or coarsely smashed)
  • sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of salt and mix well, massage the veggies to bruise them slightly which helps the fermentation process
  • pack into the jar tightly, using your fist to push down as much as you can, leaving about 2 inches from the top
  • pour any liquids from the bowl into the jar
  • fill the jar with enough filtered water to submerge the veggies but allowing a 1.5 inch gap from the top
  • roll up the cabbage leaves and place on top to keep the veggies submerged under the brine
  • give the veggies another packing down with your hands to release any air bubbles
  • lock and seal the jar, leave in a cool dry spot out of direct sunlight for at least 7 days
  • move to the fridge once you open the jar and only use clean utensils

TIPS:
  • I leave my jars on the counter until opened and do not move to the fridge unless opened, I have had jars sitting at my mums place for 12 months, still preserved and yummy (I would aim to eat them within 30 days though to receive a good probiotic dose as the good bacteria start to die off once all the sugars run out)
  • I prefer using flip top jars like Fido jars as I have never had mould issues. These jars allow gasses to escape but keep the contents air tight 
  • I use Body Ecology's Veggie Culture Starter and get consistent results with my ferments
  • Relying on salt only sometimes takes a little experimentation, too much salt may inhibit even the good bacteria, too little salt may result in slimy mushy veggies. I generally use 2-3 tbsp salt per litre of water if not using a starter culture
  • Whey can be used, but I have never used it therefore haven't included it in my recipe but I would recommend 4 tbsp of whey per litre based on other recipes I have read
Hope you enjoy, May xx



9 comments:

  1. We love fermented veggies. Have never tried ginger though. Thanks for the recipe!

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  2. Love making fermented veggies. Love this combination May!

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  3. what a great way to get some turmeric in!

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  4. I like that you use a starter. I need to try that route!

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  5. What a beautiful combination of veggies. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  6. There are suggestions on ideal recipes; how to encourage and increase of intake of fruits and vegetables; and ways of enhancing everyday recipes with fruits and vegetables.
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  7. can I use kefir whey instead of a starter culture? if so would I eliminate the sugar?

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    Replies
    1. Yes you can use whey, the sugar is consumed by the bacteria so it shouldn't be a problem. Just leave it for 21 days just to be sure :)

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