Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cultured Vegetables: Farmers' Market Challenge

These are cultured veggies my son and I made last Tuesday.
We started with fresh veggies from a local farm--Turner Farm (See a previous post about Turner Farm HERE.)  This farm is  a non-profit, certified organic, educational organization.
Previously, my son made a coconut kefir using a starter we purchased HERE.  We looked up various recipes online and watched Sandor Katz's wild fermentation video.  Then we proceeded.  
We grated a parsnip and lots of carrots.

Red cabbage was next on the chopping block.
We grated a turnip,

chopped yellow beans, 

and grated ginger.

Then we started packing the jars  We used pint size glass canning jars with rubber-ringed lids.  (Everything must be sterile!)  We poured about an inch-2 inches of kefir into the jars.  Then we began packing in the veggies, tamping them down with the handle of a wooden spoon.  In some jars we layered the vegetables; in some jars we added green onion, and other herbs like mint, basil, and thyme (from my garden).  
We also made a salsa slurry using fresh tomatoes and a cayenne pepper.  Later, after this has cultured, we'll added fresh chopped veggies.  

After the jars were packed to about 2 inches from the top, we added water to rise above the vegetables, but still leaving about an inch of air space at the top. 

Next, we rolled up a cabbage leaf and placed it on top, pressing down, so that it, too, was under the liquid.

Then we fitted the jars with lids, gathered them together, and covered all with a towel to keep the temperature even--about 70 degrees.  (That's it!  no sealing in a water bath!)  Now when will they be ready?  Probably about a week.  These are meant to be eaten as condiments--a little with each meal.  Cultured foods are good for your health and digestive tract. 
This post has not meant to be a tutorial on cultured veggies, nor an explanation of the health benefits.  I'll leave you with a few links to explore.  But first, with this post, I am participating  in the Farmer's Market Challenge, July 31st edition.
Judy, aka Squirrel Queen, started this challenge last year to see what kinds of products were available around the world.  This challenge is fun with a purpose.  "The purpose of this challenge is to raise awareness for locally produced foods. Most of the food you purchase at the grocery store is grown somewhere else. What kinds of foods are produced in your local area? Are you supporting your local farmers?"   
Hop on over to Judy's blog The Road to Here, and link up yourself and/or check out all the posts.  See what's going on around the world!  

cultured vegetable links:
1.  Wholesome Goodness a recipe, great information, and links to step-by-step tutorials  excellent!
2.  making cultured vegetables VIDEO with Donna Gates of Body Ecology
3.  how to make coconut kefir VIDEO from the Renegade Health Show 
4.  general information and 2 starter recipes HERE --Body Ecology website
6.  vegetable suggestions and a basic recipe HERE Healthy Green
7.  a couple recipes

Notes (to answer a few questions):
1.  You do not process in a hot bath.  After closing the jars, you just let them sit in an @70-74 degree space for about a week.
2.  After a week (approximately), open up a jar and serve.  Store in the refrigerator for a long time.  The veggies will continue to culture slowly.
3.   If you cook these, you will kill the beneficial bacteria you took the time to culture.  Just use as a condiment or as a side dish.  (perhaps on salad, in slaw, on potatoes)
4.  6 days later--opened one of the jars--mostly carrot with some parsnip and turnip, and added grated fresh ginger--delicious!

photos by me © 2010 and one by Squirrel Queen  © 2009


  1. You make me drool! Love them pickled specially with sweet and sour. The ginger adds the "ump" to this! The Philippines is famous for their pickled papaya, and its making me homesick now.

    P.S. I will do my farmers challenge later in the day.

  2. I love this, I've never tried it before. I will be sure to show this to my daughter, she visits the farmers market all the time, and loves doing her own cooking, canning and baking. She just started a new food blog (the link is on my blog.)

  3. Those look so good - I've never done anything like that before but might have to try it!

  4. Wow! I think the name of this blog should be "splendid little jars"! Thanks for all the nice comments on my recent posts...

  5. All of that looks wonderful! Delicious.

  6. Very cool! I used to can a lot in my twenties. So, you don't have to seal these in a water bath? (I always made jams and jellies, never straight veggies or fruits, so I don't know)

  7. Not only does the finished product sound delicious but the jars are like works of art. I agree with Ebie the the ginger would add a very nice "ump", yum!

    Thanks for taking part in the challenge Margaret, I love your post.

    Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.


  8. Very interesting post.

    «Louis» thanks you for your visit and comment at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

  9. Are these to be eaten? My mum made pickles. Yours are too beautiful to be eaten. Here I see bottles of vege and they are NOT to be eaten.

  10. Beautiful and look delicious! Thanks for posting it. May try it sometime.

  11. That's quite a process! Congratulations to you and your son! The filled jars are so colorful, too.

  12. Oh wow I love cultured veggie mix! It goes well with my favorite dishes and sometimes it's nice to have them just standing there, it gets more flavourful! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  13. Nam, nam..hyvää! Mukavia kesäisi puuhia sinulla siellä kaukana!
    ihanaa viikonloppua!

  14. Wow those look amazing! Love the preparation pictures as well! When you eat them do you do anything different with them, such as seasonings or other cooking, or as is out of the jar?

  15. Look very delicious, have to try that too!

  16. I have made kefir and have been meaning to try some more fermenting. These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing, and thank you for your nice comment on the loss of my cat.

  17. those are literally gorgeous! and while I am embarrassingly not a veggie girl - I feel strangely seduces my your goodies!

  18. Your pics of jars of cultured veggies look good to be in a health magzine.We too culture gooseberries,green mango etc.

    Nice post!

  19. Just a tip...Maybe you should adjust the width of your post background,gagets like about me & followers will not overlap then.I too changed my template and got it right after trial and error.

  20. Hi,Regards adjusting your blog's width-go to design>new template designer,click that and click layout>adjust post width>set entire blog to max(1000 pixels)and right side width to around 200 pixels and click applied to blog.That way you can show large pictures anytime.

    I use the watermark template...seems to be working well.I love the minima templates though!You can still use those,but the newer ones have more features.

    You have wonderful pics on your blog...I'm more of a click and go person,now,I'm going to improve in that area.

  21. They look amazing!! I need to pick cucumbers tomorrow and will pickle them in the evening once it cools down a bit.

  22. I'm eating my veggies. It's easy at this time of year!

  23. What a great project! I love all the fresh veggies this time of year :)

  24. The pictures are so pretty. I feel like I am missing out on a great project.

  25. mmmmm, looks yummy. Would love to try this out too. ;)


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