Fermented vegetables, otherwise known as Lacto-fermented vegetables, are widely becoming regarded as an excellent way to get your probiotics.  You can ferment almost any fruit or vegetable successfully.  Fermented vegetables have a wider variety of beneficial bacteria than any other fermented foods or beverages, with the exception of Kefir.

The most common bacteria found in fermented vegetables are:

Leuconostoc mesenteroides
Leuconostoc fallax
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus brevis
Pediococcus pentosaceus

The more variety of fruits or vegetables you add to your creation, the more diverse the bacteria will be produced.  For example, Kimchi, with a variety of vegetables and spices has the following bacteria:

Leuconostoc mesenteroides
Leuconostoc kimchii
Leuconostoc gelidum
Leuconostoc inhae
Leuconostoc citreum
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus brevis

Lactobacillus lactis
Weissella kimchii

There are numerous health benefits of lacto-fermented vegetables, including:

Prevents cancer
Rebuilds biological intestinal terrain
Improves immunity
Increases nutrient absorption
High in enzymes
Helps eliminate Candida overgrowth by crowding out the candida
Improved digestibility
Prevention of disease
Improves your moods
Increases your energy

To make your own fermented vegetables successfully, it is easiest, for beginners, to start with a cabbage base.  Follow these step by step instructions to create your own probiotic rich vegetables.


Step by Step Directions:

For your ferment to thrive, you need the right pH (salt ratio), the right temp-55-65’, no

direct sunlight and an anaerobic environment, so all vegetables are submerged under liquid.

  1. Choose your recipe and make sure to use coarse non-iodized sea salt
  2. Gather supplies including vessel (32 oz mason jar), knife, cutting board, mixing bowl.
  3. Core cabbage, cut into even pieces
  4. Add cabbage, salt and any other ingredients into mixing bowl.  Gently massage the salt into the vegetables to draw out the water, which makes the brine.
  1. Push down fist full at a time into the vessel, eliminating air to make an anaerobic environment where beneficial bacteria can live.
  1. Cover cabbage with the brine, weight it (glass stone, glass jar/water/plate), cover with a cloth/rubber band or airlock.  
  1. Check daily that the vegetables are submerged under the brine and no direct sunlight.
  2.  Leave for 2-10 weeks.  Taste it along the way to see what flavors you like.  When you like the flavor, jar it and put it in the refrigerator.  Beneficial bacteria will continue to grow, even in the refrigerator, just at a much slower pace.  You can easily leave it there for 6 months and likely much longer.