Fermented Vegetable Juice


Prep Notes

If your child doesn't eat a lot of vegetables, he/she might like this, and you don't have to fight about the veggies.

Ingredients

  • clean pot/jar (ideally to later fit in your refrigerator too)
  • 1/4 -1/2 the jar of vegetables of your choice (white radish, cucumbers, cabbage, napa cabbage, zucchini, celery, eggplant, optionally some aromatic herbs for flavor, like shiso, mint, dill... Adding something sweet like carrots, apple, beets doesn't only add flavor or color, but sugar also feeds the live organisms)
  • filtered water to top the jar
  • garlic and/or ginger (about 1 clove/1 cm piece per litre, or to taste, may omit)
  • lactobacilli starter (the easiest way, it'll come from the skin of the produce used and your hands. To speed up and control the process more, you could use a store bought powder starter, a cup of whey, couple tablespoons of rice bran (nuka), possibly other bran...
  • salt (try 1 tsp/ litre, I personally don't like much salt in this, but salt has also disinfectant properties)

Directions

  1. Clean and cut your vegetables (sticks, bigger cubes, anything you like...)
  2. Massage vegetables with salt, let rest for 1/2 h or more, then press excess liquid (and salt) out. This step could be skipped (it is to extract some water out of the vegetables, which should make them later tastier/crispier/more fermented within, and also help aforementioned disinfection).  If I do this, I use 2 tsp of salt per about 1 kg of vegetables and no more salt to my 3.5l jar. If I skip this step, I add only 1 tsp per my big jar. Find what works and tastes best for you.
  3. If using garlic, crush it with knife, slice the ginger, and place them at the bottom. Plop the fresh veggies on top (add starter if using) and top with water. If not using starter, stir with clean, washed hands. Place the lid loosely on top, or cover with a cloth secured with a rubber band. Or you may have a pot with a breath hole in the lid. Anyhow, it needs to "breathe", and you don't want anything falling into it. Set to a warm, ideally dim place. 
  4. The speed of fermentation will depend greatly on the room temperature, also vegetables used, and the size of the jar. E.g. small jar of softer cucumbers will need only a couple of hours in summer. Anywhere between 1/2 day to a couple of days in summer, and rather weeks in winter. It also depends on the level of sourness you prefer. You should check and taste it every day, skim any gray foam, if forming on top. You may stir it with your clean, washed hands again, if not using a starter (lactobacilli comes also from your hands, I already said that). Ideally, vegetables should be submerged, but this is more of an issue in colder months, when it sits around longer, mold may start to form on top. In summer, done within couple of days, I don't find this a problem.
  5. When your desired level of fermentation is reached, you can transfer your container to the refrigerator. You can make a new batch using a cup of this fermented juice as a starter now. The next time it'll ferment faster.
  6. Enjoy some of this probiotic juice the first thing in the morning, and with every meal - several times a day. It will keep your GI tract balanced. Inflammation and disease mostly comes from the gut, anyway!

Notes

*Start feeding this to your kids daily, and they might be less sick and more healthy and balanced for life! (yes, I'm super passionate about the balance of the multi-organism called human, these little guys inside you do a lot of work for you, it's essential to keep them healthy and balanced;)


Recipe by Veronika Bar, of www.veronikabar.com. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.