Fermentation is a traditional way of preserving food that has gained new popularity due to the health benefits. Fermented foods add live cultures, probiotics, to our foods.
Lacto-fermentation uses non-chlorinated water, non-iodized salt and vegetables. You’ll need a one-gallon container for each 5 pounds of fresh vegetable. Cucumbers for pickles and sliced cabbage for sauerkraut are some of the more popular fermented vegetables and foods.
This metabolic process converts sugars to acids, gases and in some cases alcohol. The key is keeping the vegetables submerged in the salty brine to keep out oxygen while allowing carbon dioxide and other gases to escape.
Once complete, move the fermented food into the refrigerator. Fermented foods can be canned, but you will lose the live probiotics during the canning process.
A bit more information: Cucumbers are believed to be the first fermented food. Written accounts from 2000 BC mention cucumber pickles.