Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Fermented vegetables

  Last Sunday I had my first raw food workshop. A pleasant afternoon, at the Bem-me-quer restaurant, here in Lisbon, learning new skills with Marcia Almeida.
  Raw food, also known as living food, defends that the enzymes that we get from eating raw foods are more beneficial to our health.
  Based on a balanced combination between raw foods and sprouted, raw food acts as a food therapy that promotes health and vitality.
  I really like raw food and though I prepare much more raw dishes when the days are hot, juices and vegetable milk are part of my daily menu.
  Sunday's inspiration was not afraid of the cold we were having here in Lisbon, on the contrary, it seemed to guess, with some ansiety, the wonderful afternoon I was about to spend in the workshop. That energy I was feeling moved me to prepare some fermented vegetables wich are very rich in good bacterias for our stomach and intestines.
  Preparing fermented vegetables is quite simple and there are plenty of options in choosing what to ferment: from cabbages, radishes, onions, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, aubergines, sweet potatos, among others,  just choose the ones that you appreciate most, wash them, cut them into thin strips, add a little sea salt and knead them until they release all the juices and are soft.
  After that, they must be placed in a glass jar to complete the lactose fermentation process which will preserve the vegetables and increase the amount of their nutrients. The bacteria will convert glucose into lactic acid, preventing them from spoiling and will stimulate the lactic bacilli to manufacture vitamin C, enzymes and trace elements.
  A must try for a balanced diet ...
  The fermentation can be made by choosing the simpler method (with sea salt, which inhibits the growth of unwanted bacteria), or by choosing a more elaborated fermentation that may take the use of water, vinegar, salt and various spices.
  For the vegetables that I prepared I used the simple method, just adding sea salt.


1 small cabbage
½ red cabbage
½ tbsp sea salt

Wash the cabbages and cut them into thin strips.
Place them in a bowl and season with salt (if you feel necessary, add more than the amount indicated).
Press until the cabbages releases all the juice, reduce and are soft. This process takes about 10 minutes and should be done by pressing firmly the ingredients.

Place the cabbages in a glass jar and press well until they are completely submerged in the liquid. Pay attention that the vegetables must be submerged.
Cover the jar with a cloth and leave it in a dark place between 5 to 10 days. At this stage the container must not be closed, just covered.
Taste and if you are already like the flavor, seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator to use whenever you want.
They can be served with any dish. With rice they are very good.

Bon appétit!

© veggie delicious food, February 2013

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