For my last batch of cultured vegetables, I decided to break out of the box and do some experimenting. I had prepared the basic Body Ecology recipe before (Version 2), as well as a delicious Marinara-Style recipe, but I wanted something new. I poked around online to see what the companies that sell cultured vegetables (for exorbitant prices!) put in their signature mixes. Then I came up with this recipe. We really like the dill flavor, although basil would be wonderful too.
Keep in mind that these “recipes” are incredibly versatile. If you have 8 carrots instead of 10 or no cucumbers around or want extra bell peppers, go for it! This is just a guideline or a starting point. Have fun experimenting.
Although no culture starter/InnergyBiotic/whey is absolutely required (I’ve successfully made cultured vegetables without them before), they’re great to use if you want to have more control over the specific strains of bacteria in your veggies. You are also less likely to ever have a bad batch if you use a culture. If you do get a bad batch, however, you will know it. According to everything I’ve read, a bad batch will smell horrible and look gray. Properly fermented vegetables smell sour or pickled and are still colorful. Finally, consider avoiding the use of salt during fermentation. It is a common practice, and one that’s advocated by Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions, but salt can inhibit the growth of some beneficial kinds of bacteria. Check out this article if you’d like more information on that topic.
Garden-Style Cultured Vegetables with Dill
Yield: approximately 9 tightly packed quarts
10 large carrots
2 red bell peppers
2 large cucumbers or 4 small ones (unwaxed)
1 large red cabbage
1 large green cabbage
1 large onion
1 head of garlic, all cloves peeled
1 large bunch fresh dill
1 large bunch celery
1 culture starter, prepped according to package instructions (available here from Body Ecology)
3 oz InnergyBiotic (available here; veggies made with InnergyBiotic will be more bubbly)
whey from homemade yogurt or kefir
To see my tutorial on preparing cultured vegetables, including step-by-step photographs, click here.
This is how your veggies will look prior to fermentation:
(See the “after” photo at the beginning of the post.)