Healthy bacteria

Fermented Broccoli

We're all about making healthy foods accessible to everyone. Having little tricks & condiments on hand when life gets busy and time is scarce. It's no secret that we love adding fermented foods and pickles into meals ... it's one of the best ways to aid digestion & boost healthy bacteria in the body. We've already shared a few fermented recipes on the blog, but this one is definitely our best yet. The broccoli has an amazing, crunchy texture after a week of fermentation, as well as tasting so good!

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Unlike some ferments, this is pretty simple and quick to prepare. We recommend using good quality salt (either himalayan or sea salt) & buying organic broccoli if it's available to you. Heads up, Aldi now sell organic broccoli for 80p, so it's really affordable to make! 

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of broccoli will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of broccoli will need roughly 8.75g of salt. This formula can be applied to other ferments and pickles, such as sauerkraut & kimchi. So far, it hasn't failed us! 

To make 1 large jar you'll need:
1 large jar, sterilised with boiling water
500g Organic Broccoli, chopped into strips (including the stalk!)
8.75g good quality salt (1 & 3/4 teaspoons)
5 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Optional flavourings: 1 whole garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds

Method
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients so that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the broccoli. If you have time, leave it for 15 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the broccoli. 
2.Add all the ingredients to your sterilised jar, pushing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more broccoli (the back of a wooden spoon is helpful for this). The idea is to pack everything really tightly into the jar. 
3. Once you've added all the broccoli to the jar, top up with clean water. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, or loosely place the lid on top. 
4.Now it's time to let the broccoli ferment! Around 7-10 days is the perfect amount of time. Everyday, check on your jar and firmly push down the broccoli with the back of a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar. The pieces of broccoli need to remain submerged in liquid, so if you find it gets too dry, add a little extra water.
5. After around 5-7 days, taste the broccoli to see if it suits your taste buds. If your ferment tastes really salty, leave it for a few extra days to let the flavours mellow. 
6.Once your satisfied with your flavour, secure the jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and shared and should last for months if sealed well.

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Have you tried fermented foods? We'd love to hear your experiences! 
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Fermented Carrots with Turmeric & Mustard

We've already expressed our love for fermented foods a few times on this blog, especially for homemade kombucha which we've been making for the past year. But as the days begin to get colder and we edge towards winter, fermented foods have become an even bigger part of our meals as a way to boost the immune system and fight off illnesses. Having a few fermented pickles or vegetables in the fridge is a really quick and delicious way to boost healthy stomach bacteria and add extra goodness to meals. And it's cheap to make your own too! We've been having a spoonful of these carrots with our stir-fries or curries recently  ...they're tangy, crunchy and full of healing properties from the turmeric. Overall, a great way to liven up your food when you're feeling sluggish and bunged up! 

Mustard Fermented Carrots with Turmeric

People are often a little unsure about making their own ferments at home, but we promise, it's not as difficult as you might think and it's a satisfying process to see your foods transform over time. As with a lot of things, it's really about using your instincts  to decide when the ferments are ready. The flavours will develop and change throughout the fermentation - keep tasting and decide when the flavours are how you like them! 

 

Ingredients (Makes around 800g - 2 medium jars)
750g organic carrots, chopped into thin slices
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped   
4 teaspoons of lightly crushed mustard seeds
3 teaspoons of fresh turmeric (grated)  or 2 teaspoons of dried turmeric powder
3 teaspoons of sea salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method
1. Sterilise your jars with boiling water. 
2. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Massage everything for 5-10 minutes (be warned that the turmeric may stain your fingers!). The carrots will eventually begin to release some water. 
3. Add everything to your jars, including the water from the carrots. Squeeze everything down into the jar as much as possible with a wooden spoon or hands, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. 
4.If the carrots are not completely submerged in their own juices, then cover them with a small amount of water. Place the jar lid on loosely. 
5. Leave the jar somewhere out of direct sunlight for around 4-5 days. The carrots are ready when they've reached your desired tangy-ness. Store them in the fridge once ready - the flavours will continue to change and mellow in the fridge. Like many fermented products, we really do find that the flavours get better with time. Good things come to those who wait.... 

Happy Fermenting <3  
Have you ever tried fermenting anything? We'd love to hear your thoughts & experiences!