I think that we all can agree that a healthy immune system is pretty important these days!
I have an amazing tip for you that not only will help you use your summertime fresh veggies but will give your immune system a boost. And you can put it together in less than 15 minutes.
Fermentation is a time-honored technique of preserving food. According to healthline.com, fermentation promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which have been shown to improve immune function as well as digestive and heart health.
All good stuff - wouldn't you agree?!
So let's start with something pretty easy - radishes.
The first rule with any fermentation is to start with clean, fresh food and clean tools. In this picture , I have sliced about two bunches of radishes and one small onion. You can add garlic, herbs, or red pepper flakes - wherever your taste buds lead you. Give them a quick toss to combine. Pack them into a clean jar. I usually use a quart size mason jar with a wide mouth. Pack it tight right up to the neck of the jar.
Next dissolve 2 teaspoons of non-iodized salt in 2 cups of lukewarm filtered water. Pink Himalayan or sea salt work well here.
Pour your brine over your radish mix. You will need enough liquid to completely cover those veggies.
Your next step is to weigh down your veggies to keep them submerged underneath the brine solution. In this picture, you will see that I am using a pickle pebble. This is a piece of glass that looks like a hockey puck. If you don't have one, try using a 4 ounce mason jar. Again, the goal is to keep the veggies submerged underneath the water line.
Wipe off the rim of your jar and cap it. I use a pickle pipe that allows any built up gases to automatically release without allowing air back in. You can use a mason jar lid or plastic cap if you don't have a pickle pipe. Just be sure to "burp" your jar a couple of time a day to avoid pressure building up.
Let it sit on your kitchen counter for about 5 days. It is normal for the water to turn a little cloudy as the ferment ages. Taste it on day 5. If it is not tangy enough, let is sit a few more days. When it is just right, remove the weight and the pickle pipe, cap your jar and place it in the refrigerator.
Use your fermented radishes on tossed salads, mixed into pasta salads, or as a topping for your favorite burger or sandwich.
Rarely, things can go wrong when fermenting. Here's what to look for to detect a bad ferment:
- if you see any type of mold forming for if it just smells "off" -- use the rule "when in doubt, throw it out".
- a ferment will go bad if it is exposed to air, the salt ratio is wrong, if the vegetables or tools aren't clean, or if you use chlorinated water. Follow the rules and you will do just fine!
Fermenting has been around for a long time and is generally safe. This recipe goes together in less than 15 minutes. The veggie combinations are endless and the health benefits are unbeatable. I challenge you to ferment for health this summer!
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