Dried herbs, garlic and lemon are used to flavor these tangy, probiotic, Mediterranean Cauliflower pickles. These pickles are packed with probiotics, and filled with vitamins that are great for your skin, anti-inflammatory, and are energy boosting.
Historically, fermented foods have played an important role in the diets throughout the world. But beyond just the culinary choices and preservation advantages of fermented foods is the natural phenomenon of fermentation performed by the cells within our bodies that helps to keep us healthy.
Fermenting not only preserves food but also enhances the nutrient content. The action of the culture organisms makes the minerals in cultured foods more readily available to the body. During the fermenting process the bacteria also produce B vitamins and enzymes that are beneficial for digestion.
Culturing or fermenting a food involves the chemical process of breaking a complicated substance down into simpler parts, usually with the help of bacteria, yeasts, or fungi. Fermented food is considered a live food and the culturing process continues during storage to enhance the food’s nutrient content. All cultured vegetables have a natural tart flavor as the sugars and carbohydrates have been broken down and used up in the process. The lactic acid also contributes to the tartness of fermented foods. Cultured vegetables are a great option for low-carbohydrate diets.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 slices of lemon
- 1 bay leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoon Kefir or Yogurt Whey
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoons of peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Brine: 2 cups of filtered water & 1 tablespoons of fine sea salt
- 1 Quart sized mason jar or two pint size mason jars
- Make the basic brine by combining 2 cups of purified water with 1 tablespoons of sea salt. Set aside. Make sure the brine is at room temperature.
- Cut up the cauliflower into florets and place in the jar. Add slices of lemon and Bay leaf while you are putting Cauliflower in the jar. Leave 1 inch of head space.
- Add the garlic, spices, herbs, and whey into the jar,
- Pour the brine into the jar until veggies are completely covered in brine.
- Push the glass weight on top of the veggies and push until liquid covers the glass. Add Filtered water if the liquid doesn't cover the glass weight.
- Put the Silicone Airlock Lid on top of the glass jar and then twist the metal rind on the jar
- Set on your counter away from direct sunlight for 5-7 days. Stir the surface of the brine every few days or shake the jar up to prevent mold from forming on the surface.
- After 4 or 5 days the brine will become cloudy. Taste a veggie to see if it’s ready. When you open the lid it should have a pleasant pickle/ sour smell. They should taste sour and be a little effervescent. If they are sour enough for you, store them in the refrigerator for the long term. Otherwise allow them to ferment a little longer.
- Pickles will last several months in the refrigerator. If brine gets low due to evaporation make more basic brine and top the jar off.
Simple guidelines to tell it’s fermenting:
1. The pickles will become duller in color.
2. The brine will become cloudy
3. Small air pockets will form.
4. When you open a lid (if it was closed tight in the first place) gas will escape
making a hiss sound.
5. It will take on a sour flavor.
I remember my grandmother fermenting pickles when I was growing up, but she usually had the pickles in the pickle crock by the time I arrived and I didn’t get in on the prep lesson. I was lucky to be on the receiving end of Grandma’s amazing recipes though because she was an amazing cook!
The thing that I am doing different than my grandmother ..is I am adding Kefir Whey for an added punch of Probiotics. Usually I can’t eat very many pickled vegetables and I wanted to get a lot of probiotics in a mini serving so I added Kefir Whey because it has 50-60 strains of probiotics.
I really like this fermented kit that I bought on Amazon. It is really easy to use and I like knowing the vegetables are weighted below the water line so that it won’t grow a bad bacteria. When I was picking out the tools for this project I had the individual pieces added to my shopping cart and then I found this kit and realized it was going to cost the same price and I got a recipe book that no additional cost. It was also important to me that I didn’t have to buy a box to store everything in. I love the box that the kit in.