Colleen and I do this and it is so simple and enjoyable! This is by far the best way to store veggies for winter months or to create cultured vegetables for purposes of enjoying more probiotics in your diet.

Make your brine by adding 1 Tablespoon of salt for every 2 Cups of water. Then pour in water until it covers your vegetables! It takes about two weeks for the vegetables to ferment and to be ready to eat. You can then place them in a refrigerator, or leave them covered completely within the same solution in your food-storage area. Should be a cooler area of your house.

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Comment by Kristen on April 12, 2012 at 1:59pm

What is the ratio of salt to water? I watched twice and didn't hear that. Do you know?

Comment by Julie Greenman on April 12, 2012 at 2:07pm

I would like to do this without using the special lid and tube. I have done sauerkraut in a crock on my countertop a few months ago and then put it in jars and then my fridge when it had fermented for about 3-4 days. It would be nice to just do the process in some jars, but without the added equipment. Has anyone done that?

Comment by Nola Peterson on April 12, 2012 at 2:11pm

Very interesting, but as Kristen commented, we didn't get a salt to water ratio. That is a very important bit of information needed in order to do this.

Comment by James Simmons on April 12, 2012 at 2:18pm

To make the brine add 1 Tbsp salt to every 2 cups water. Colleen and I have used this ratio in 3 gallon buckets that we outfitted with the same type of top and it worked beautifully. Some use a ratio of 1 Tbsp salt:4 cups water. It kind of depends upon how small you cut up your veggies. It seems the smaller the pieces the less salt is needed. We have also used half-gallon jars with the cool lids you see in this video. Wonderful way to enjoy and preserve nutritional strength in vegetables! Jim

Comment by Julie Greenman on April 12, 2012 at 2:20pm

Where do you get the lids?

Comment by James Simmons on April 12, 2012 at 2:25pm

When Colleen gets home I will post where we got the little valves, lids, and so forth. I cannot remember, but she will have a record. It was very inexpensive the way we bought them.

Comment by James Simmons on April 12, 2012 at 2:30pm

By the way, I read a study/research that compared the results of preservation methods for garden vegetables. It compared fermentation, dehydrating, freezing, and canning:

  • Fermentation preserved 98% of the original nutritional value, plus added nutrients that were not originally there, which occurs when the friendly bacteria ferment the food. They populate the food, decompose, and their residue is perfect uptake for humans.
  • Dehydrating and freezing food both preserved about 50% of original nutritional content.
  • Canning vegetables preserves only 10% of original nutritional value.

Fermentation is the traditional method that has been used throughout the world dating back thousands of years. It is still used in much of the known world as the best way to preserve the vital essence of your garden foods into the colder months.

Comment by James Simmons on April 12, 2012 at 2:48pm

Julie, if you do it without the special lid, you do run the risk of unhealthful bacteria getting into the fermented foods. Rural China has the lowest disease rates in the world for everything except when it comes to throat and stomach cancer. They use open fermentation methods that attract unhealthful bacteria into the vegetables. These unhealthful bacteria are directly responsible for stomach and throat cancer that is nearly 10 times the U.S. occurrence. Refrigeration overcomes the harmful bacteria, which is why our country fairs better in this particular statistic. I share this only to say that for anyone who wants to begin fermenting vegetables, they ought to consider carefully, the best ways to do so. It is the best way to prep veggies for long-term storage, but only if it is done in a safe manner where the veggies always remain submerged beneath the surface of the water, and whenever possible to use a lid such as is shown above. You can also read what Katz has to say about fermentation. He is considered to be one of the experts on this subject. Jim

Comment by Nola Peterson on April 12, 2012 at 3:44pm

Julie, the lady doing the demonstration was using a Perfect Pickler set up. I went to perfectpickler.com where they sell lid sets for wide mouth mason jars for $19.50 + shipping. You get a discount of 25% if you buy at least 3 and 35% discount for 6 or more.

Comment by James Simmons on April 12, 2012 at 4:06pm

You can also purchase just the lid-set with the top piece for just $3.99 at:

Cultures for Health

We've used these lids on 1 and 2 quart containers and they work awesome!

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