Vegetables in homemade jars, which keep for a year or more, without sterilization or freezing

It must also be added: who have more vitamins than fresh vegetables … Yes, it is possible and it is very good. Forget everything you’ve learned and rediscover this simple process as a breeze, known for at least ten thousand years: lacto-fermentation.

And it’s pretty, on a shelf of the kitchen. Yes, it keeps even at room temperature.

From left to right row from the bottom: ketchup placed on a pot of sauerkraut, green beans with savory, kimchi, cherry tomatoes. Middle row: radish with basil, pickles with herbs, kohlrabi with mustard seeds. In front: red and green peppers.

How is it possible ?

Lacto-fermentation is a preservation process used since the Neolithic, excuse the little, which consists of letting the food macerate with salt, or immerse in a brine, in the absence of air. There is then a fermentation, ie a microbial activity that will secrete substances, including lactic acid, carbon dioxide and various enzymes. From the beginning, Leuconostoc mesenteroides begins to work, then other lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus cucumeris, take over. The lactic acid produced completely inhibits all microorganisms that can cause putrefaction. After a while, the acid content reaches a certain level, the medium equilibrates, and the fermentation stops itself. At this stage, the preservation can last several years, even at room temperature.

Vegetables in homemade jars: Delicious, economical and also very good for health food

Not only does this method of preparation preserve the vitamins and nutrients of the food, but it also increases its content, especially for vitamin C and those of group B, PP and K. The fermentation improves the digestibility of the products and their assimilation by our organization. It decreases the nitrate content of vegetables. It partly degrades pesticides that may be present in plants. It creates antibiotic substances that fight against pathogenic microbes. It also enhances the effectiveness of our immune system.

One example is Captain Cook’s sailors, who for a year’s journey were free from scurvy thanks to the saucepan barrels on board. Lactic acid bacteria are very beneficial for our organism: it is the famous “probiotics” that the pharmaceutical and agribusiness companies sell for you at a high price either in capsules or in the form of thickened and sweetened milk in plastic jars . So stop the actimachin and the bifidotruc, just eat lacto-fermented foods, not only you will enjoy, you save money, and you will spend the winter as well, if not better because you will have avoided gorging yourself with sugar and Artificial flavors that these industrial products are truffled!

Vegetables in jars

What are these foods?

Sauerkraut is lacto-fermented, pickles called “malossols” are also, as well as pickles: olives, capers … The English word pickle by which they are designated comes from Dutchpekel, which means “brine”. Indian pickles, Spanish encurtidos, Korean kimchi and Japanese tsukemonos are lacto-fermentations. Today, to go faster, most pickles and pickles are made from vinegar, but in the past, it was lacto-fermentation that gave them their delicious acidity, not vinegar (which is, by the way, also a fermented product). In the same way, the famous Polish or Russian soup called borsch, with its bittersweet and vinegar flavor, was formerly based on lacto-fermented beets, so there was no need to add the vinegar to give acidity.

Salted meat in brine, such as ham, bacon, kassler and other semi-salt palettes are also lacto-fermentations. It is also the lactic fermentation that produces the fish sauces type nuoc mam, salt anchovies, smoked salmon (which is salted before being smoked) caviar, poutargue and herring sauces …

You can lacto-ferment any vegetable: cabbage and gherkins, of course, but also green beans, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, squash and zucchini, eggplants, cucumbers, turnips, radishes , celery, aromatic herbs; but also fruits: melon as in Turkey, plums as in Japan, cherries in Central Europe, apples and pears … well almost all edible plants. It is very easy to do, it does not require any energy: no need to heat to sterilize, no need for a fridge or freezer. You just need salt and a clean container.

Is it dangerous?

You can miss canned preserves, and it’s even very dangerous, even deadly if botulinum toxin appears. Frozen food can also become dangerous if the freezer breaks down and leaves unexpectedly. But lacto-fermentation is absolutely 100% safe! We do not know a single case in the world, present or past, of illness or death due to the absorption of a lacto-fermented food. It’s easy: if the fermentation did not happen properly, or if it did not take place, the food would then take on a weird color, a filthy appearance and especially an absolutely repulsive smell and flavor, which makes ‘no human being would have the idea of ​​eating it. It is not possible to be wrong.

So I summarize: increased nutrient content, absolute food safety, no need for energy to implement it. What other means of conservatio do the same? Neither the appertisation nor the freezing can compete with that. Not only has it never poisoned anyone, but it has saved people from disease and starvation.

Do you have to live in the countryside?

Formerly fermented preserves were made in large jars, kept in the cellar for the whole winter. The quantities needed were taken as and when required. Today, the living conditions have changed, and if you live in an apartment in the city, you can very well do them in glass jars with mechanical closure and rubber seal, type Perfect. Instead of taking in a large jar, you open a jar when you need it. It is so childish a realization that I wonder why it has disappeared.

How do we do ?

You have to have jars, fresh vegetables, salt, water and … about 15 minutes. You think you can bring all this together? Then I will explain everything in detail in future tickets.

Marie-Claire Frédéric

Author of the book “Ni cru ni buit”, Alma editor.

Her training in Art History did not prevent Marie-Claire Frédéric from becoming a culinary journalist, the gluttony being the strongest. Her recipes have appeared in several cooking magazines (Guide Cuisine, Gourmet Gala, Intense) and today in Cuisine Actuelle. She has also published a dozen books at Editions First, including: “the round of macaroons” and “Ultra fondant”. She is interested in everything related to cooking and gastronomy, its history, its geography, its relationship with societies, culture, folk traditions, and all human activities. In 2008, she created the blog “Honey and salt” by which she tries to convey his passion for good eating and home made. And in 2014, a new blog “Neither raw nor cooked” completes the book of the same title, bringing recipes, stories and news about fermented foods. It is still a matter of gluttony to be interested in fermented foods, bread, wine, cheese, sausage, olives and sauerkraut, caviar or nuoc mam. But not only ! It is also a health sciences affair. Fermented foods have fascinated her since she has observed their exceptional character in the diet, of which they represent, all over the world, the aristocracy. They are full of paradoxes, at the same time particular and universal, natural and cultural, delicious or repugnant, but always identity and highly related to the culture. Moreover, they are food everywhere considered to bring health and long life. Before starting her study, she did not imagine how much it would take her to horizons touching the deepest part of human history and civilization.

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