If you are not fermenting in your kitchen already, I’m here to change that with this succulent jar of Fermented Cauliflower & Carrots spiked with Fresh Ginger, Garlic & Celery Seeds.
Look at that crunchy goodness! Now all you need to do is sit back and let the fermenting magic happen, so you can fill your tummy with gut-friendly bacteria.
FERMENTED VEGETABLES: A LOVE STORY 💚
If you’ve been following my blog or social media, you probably know by now that I’m obsessed with all kinds of live cultures. I make my own coconut yogurt, goat milk kefir, sauerkraut… Why? Because: a) fermented foods contain good bacteria for the gut; and b) because they taste yummy! Even before I was diagnosed with three autoimmune diseases, I loved the taste of sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. You never had to twist my arm to dig into the stuff. Knowing that it’s not just good but also good-for-you makes me crave it even more, so I learned how to make all these nutrient-dense treasures in my own kitchen, to my own taste, and with high-quality, natural ingredients. Win-win-win!
HOW TO MAKE FERMENTED CAULIFLOWER AND CARROTS MY WAY
See the photo above? Those are the ingredients that go into this fermented wonder. You’ll probably need to add some filtered water like I did because just pounding cauliflower and carrots with salt will not yield enough liquid to cover the whole contents in the jar completely. This is not cabbage after all. You see, fermentation is an anaerobic process, so air is enemy #1. It spoils the fermentation and forms a dangerous mold. That is why the cauliflower and everything else in the jar must stay under the brine at all times. To clarify: the brine is the liquid, which in this case is the juice of the veggies, plus the added filtered water, plus the salt. Simple, right? Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get the ingredients for a 64 oz. Mason Jar:
- 1 Medium Cauliflower
- 3 Medium/Large Carrots
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Good Chunk of Ginger
- 1 tsp Celery Seeds
- 2 tbsp Himalayan Salt
- Filtered Water (enough to cover. I used less than 1 quart)
First, I smash the garlic and grate the ginger, place both in the jar and top them with layers of cauliflower florets and chopped carrots.
I sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and the celery seeds as I fill up the jar, pushing and pounding all the ingredients to make them fit while releasing their juices. I dissolve the remaining salt in filtered water and fill up the jar, making sure all the contents are completely covered with brine.
Now it’s time to put a lid on it and wait…
TIPS & TOOLS FOR A SAFE AND FOOL-PROOF FERMENTATION
I used to be so scared of fermenting my own food at home. I really thought I’d give us botulism and kill us all. How dramatic, I know! But now I’m so glad I got over my paranoia because this type of food is a major help in healing my gut and my autoimmune diseases. And if you follow a few simple rules and get yourself the right tools, it’ll be easier to get safe and guaranteed results every single time.
TIP #1: No vinegar!
No vinegar in sauerkraut and fermented vegetables. Vinegar kills bacteria, but it does not discriminate, and it will kill all bacteria: good and bad. The main reason to make and consume your own fermented vegetables is to take advantage of the wonderful probiotic properties of fermentation. You want all the good bacteria inside your gut to help it get and stay healthy. This fermentation process will produce a high concentration of Lactic Acid Bacteria. One of the advantages is that you can eat this instead of fermented dairy products, like kefir or yogurt, and get the same kind of probiotics. Great news for all those who are lactose-intolerant or currently on elimination diets like AIP, Paleo or general dairy-free protocols.
Tip #2: Salinity is Key
2% is the ideal salinity in your brine. How do you get that golden ratio? It’s about 2 tablespoons of salt for a full half-gallon Mason jar packed tight with veggies (or per a 4-5 lb. cabbage if making sauerkraut). So, keep that in mind and adjust accordingly. Too little salt will result in a spoiled fermentation, but too much salt will inhibit the fermentation process.
Tip #3: Get your Tools
Having a pounder, glass weights or inserts is not a must, but these tools make the job soooo much easier!
Here’s what I use regularly:
- 64 oz. wide-mouth Mason Jar
- Pounder to pound down the vegetables into the jar. This will pack them in tight while releasing more juice for the brine. Very important!
- Insert. I use wide-mouth inserts. They are BPA free and reusable.
- Glass weight. You can use a substitute. Some people use a heavy pebble or stone (cleaned and washed!) inside a ziplock bag, or some other object that can weigh down the vegetables, so they stay under the brine. I prefer using glass weights. They are easy to wash, insert and remove.
- Airlock lid. There are different kinds out there. After some research, I concluded that this one was the most user-friendly for my purpose. It comes with a pump that will help you remove the air out of the jar. Remember, fermentation is an anaerobic process, so air is enemy #1. Last thing you want is toxic mold!
TIP #4: PATIENCE IS KEY WITH FERMENTED VEGETABLES
Don’t refrigerate the jar too soon! Even if other recipes say that it’s up to your taste, and 3 days for some is plenty to get all the sour they can handle, fermented cauliflower and carrots’ virtues go way beyond the palate. This is the best way to introduce into your body the good bacteria your gut absolutely needs to be healthy and keep you healthy. But it takes time for the different strains of Lactic Acid Bacteria to fully develop. Wait at least 7-10 days before refrigerating. Now I go 10-15 days, but I know that many braver folks wait a lot longer than that.
WATCH ME MAKE FERMENTED CAULIFLOWER AND CARROTS
And that is it! Here’s the full recipe with instructions. I really hope you gather the “courage” to make your own because it’s 100% worth it and your gut will thank you.
Fermented Cauliflower and Carrots
- 1 Cauliflower Head Medium
- 2 Carrots Medium/Large
- 1.5 tbsp Ginger Fresh, Peeled and Grated
- 3 Garlic Cloves Peeled and Smashed
- 1 tsp Celery Seeds
- 2 tbsp Himalayan Salt
- Smash the garlic and grate the ginger, place both in the jar
- Top with layers of cauliflower florets and chopped carrots, sprinkling 1 tbsp of salt and the celery seeds as you fill up the jar
- Push and pound all the ingredients to make them fit while releasing their juices
- Dissolve the remaining tbsp of salt in filtered water and fill up the jar with it, making sure all the contents are completely covered with brine
- Once the veggies are all packed and tight and completely covered in brine, insert a disc or cabbage leaf cut to measure to help all the contents stay covered under the brine
- Top with a glass weight to push down the veggies under the brine
- Screw on the airlock lid (not too tight!). Use the pump it comes with to suck out any air bubbles left inside. Set the canning date on the lid and place the jar in a shallow bowl for possible spillage
- Let it rest for at least 7-10 days before refrigerating (see notes)
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Can I use something other than water in the fermentation, like carrot juice or celery juice?
I think both juices might work. I’ve never tried that technique, but if I had to I would go with celery juice. Regardless of what you end up using, keep in mind that the right level of salinity is key:
“2% is the ideal salinity in your brine. How do you get that golden ratio? It’s about 2 tablespoons of salt for a full half-gallon Mason jar packed tight with veggies (or per a 4-5 lb. cabbage if making sauerkraut). So, keep that in mind and adjust accordingly. Too little salt will result in a spoiled fermentation, but too much salt will inhibit the fermentation process.”
I’d love to know how your version comes out. Happy fermenting!