Why do you need to ferment vegetables and how to do it right?
After the seasonal struggle for the crop, the traditional struggle with the crop begins. It’s physically impossible to eat all this quickly, and it’s not climbing already. Relatives are all provided. In cans rolled up according to various recipes, and the refrigerator is not rubber. And here tiny helpers, invisible to the eye, come to the rescue - bacteria that can not only preserve the surplus of our crop, but also significantly enhance their useful properties. What is a tour, why is it useful to ferment and how to do it right, I will tell in my article.
Bacteria are our friends
After many years of persecution and persecution with antibiotics, finally, humanity changed its mind and began to cultivate bacteria and use it in every possible way. In the form of probiotics, for example. Again, highlighting some and dismissive of others, sort of less useful. (That is, we still think that we are smarter than nature and better know what is good and what is bad).
At the same time, the less confused part of the population makes and uses the most natural probiotics, which have a centuries-old tradition, are saturated to the eyeballs with friendly bacteria, vitamins and much more than good, without thinking about the scientific justification of usefulness.
These are fermentations in all their diversity: sauerkraut, and tomatoes, and cucumbers, and soaked apples, and mixtures, in different places called differently. Kimchi is among the Koreans, for example, or a turche among the peoples of the Caucasus (not only among them, many near-Mediterranean residents are also interested in turkey). In general, many nations have been brewed for a long time and successfully.
How to ferment?
It is clear that science still got to the fermentation process, dissected, decomposed it into components, and at the level of modern research explained why certain rules must be observed in order to obtain a tasty and healthy product.
The processes of lactic acid fermentation are provided by the set of microorganisms located on the surface of a plucked vegetable, leaf, berry or fruit. That's why in folk recipes it is recommended to rinse all this with spring water - microorganisms will not die from it. But chlorinated will greatly reduce their number, moreover, unevenly, and the process can turn off to the wrong place.
Microorganisms sitting, for example, on a cucumber, are diverse and far from all useful: putrefactive and butyric acid bacteria can completely ruin the taste of pickling. But they multiply only with the access of oxygen. Soaking the cucumbers for 8 hours in pure water can greatly moderate their ambitions.
Salt does not act as a preservative in the process of pickling, it “draws out” substances, including sugar, dissolved in the plant sap, and they pass into the brine, providing food for the entire hungry pack of bacteria sitting there. Besides salt already at a concentration of 2.2% limits the activity of putrefactive microorganisms. But the concentration above 2.5% degrades the taste of the finished fermentation.
It is brine (liquid) that is the basis for the rapid development of lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria need a lack of oxygen, so the process of accumulation of lactic acid and inhibition of the activity of unnecessary bacteria goes right when the product is immersed in brine.
There is scope for creativity: if cabbage, for example, is salted in a "dry" way, then until it is brined, microorganisms will develop there that need oxygen to multiply, releasing formic, acetic, succinic acids, carbon dioxide and much more, which and makes the taste of cabbage very special.
But they, too, cannot be given the will, if they are not stopped, the cabbage will deteriorate. For this purpose, oppression is intended - immerse the cabbage in brine, and piercing with chopsticks - removing the accumulated carbon dioxide. In cabbage salted in a wet way, that is, filled with brine from the very beginning, mainly lactic acid bacteria work, its taste is softer and the structure is also somewhat different.
At different stages of fermentation, different types of lactic acid bacteria play their part, producing lactic acid, carbon dioxide, acetic acid, ethyl alcohol, ethers, etc., forming a taste. At the same time, vitamin C is stabilized and accumulated additionally. In sauerkraut, for example, it is almost 1.4 times more than in fresh cabbage.
The best temperature for the development of almost all types of necessary bacteria is + 18 ... + 22 ° С, lowering the temperature (putting it in the refrigerator, cellar or cellar) together with the accumulated acidity stops the demographic explosions in the bacterial environment, the further process is still going on, but very weakly.
Since pickling is a “living product”, during long-term storage, it loses nutrients.
In Siberia and the Far East, it is customary to freeze sauerkraut - until the end of a long Siberian winter, it is preserved remarkably.
See the recipe for delicious sauerkraut.
About the benefits of pickled foods
Not only is it delicious, but also an extensive beneficial effect on the body! When fermenting, all the useful substances of the starting products are preserved and even new ones are added. - for example, amino acids produced by microorganisms, vitamins of group B and K2 (retaining calcium in the bones and preventing its deposition in the muscles).
The digestion of hard-to-digest elements is partially carried out by bacteria, resulting in better absorption of iron and calcium, proteins and carbohydrates, vitamins and much more (with difficult to pronounce biochemical names).
Living microorganisms support and restore the intestinal microflora, activate the immune system.
Fermented foods contain enzymes that help cleanse the intestinal wall.
My recipe for a delicious and healthy tour
Tursha is fermentation. That is, a method of processing the crop, which consists in pouring the feedstock with brine, followed by lactic fermentation. But the raw materials can be very diverse. Here, early spring greens, including thick petioles,Petasites albus), and inflorescences of scallops (Staphylea colchica) and pre-blanched green beans, and a variety of mixtures of vegetables and grape leaves. That is, you can ferment most of the year.
Each family has its own set of products for mixed fermentation, so the shades of taste vary widely. The base, of course, is lactic acid and salt.
For example, a very favorite turkey for me consists of a mixture of vegetables:
- 500 g of white cabbage,
- 200 g carrots
- 200 g sweet potato,
- 200 g of sweet pepper
- 100 g beets
- 200 g of green or ripe tomatoes,
- 5 cloves of garlic,
- a small bunch of parsley,
- 1.5 liters water,
2 tablespoons without a slide.
Cut the vegetables into strips, crush the garlic, chop the parsley, chop the tomatoes with a blender or pass through a meat grinder. At the bottom of the enameled pan put cabbage, then carrots, herbs, sweet potatoes, peppers, beets, garlic, tomatoes. Pour it all with brine, crush it with oppression, leave it in a warm place for 3 days. Poke a stick twice a day to remove accumulating carbon dioxide.
Three days later it will be tasty, but it’s better to put it in glass jars so that everything is covered with brine, and put in the refrigerator for another week.
Since eating vegetables together with brine somehow does not work out, but it would be necessary, because in the brine there is a lot of everything useful, I make smoothies out of this - I throw everything into a blender, grind and mix with brine. This option is very good for age relatives who have nothing to chew on pickled vegetables, and getting probiotics and partially processed fiber is simply necessary for normal digestion. And how good such a drink is in the holidays!
The above list of ingredients - what is in my refrigerator now - is just an example, a combination of vegetables can be very different. Sweet potato is because I have it. It is good with pumpkin, blanched with green beans, baked eggplant, radish, sour apples. Everyone can create their own recipe!
As a rule, all cabbage, except for cauliflower and broccoli, is laid raw. Carrots, pumpkins, radishes, turnips, beets, sweet and bitter peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, greens, fruits or berries, and garlic are also laid raw.
Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, petioles whitewashed, garden purslane, dzhongioli (inflorescences of Colchis sclech) pre-blanch.
Eggplant is pre-baked. Sometimes pepper is also baked.
I did not hear about the use of sweet potato in pickling, but I tried to add orange sweet and did not regret it. You can also try to ferment the young shoots of sweet potato, but they will also need to be blanched.
There was a mention of pickled pineapples, so that they can easily be added.
See also our recipe for delicious pickled cucumbers.
Spices are also added to the stew. But for now it seems superfluous to me - the taste is already very rich. Tursha is the widest field for creative experiments.
In general, swear on health! Soon New Year's holidays, digestion must be supported, and a smoothie of pickled vegetables will be very popular, it is necessary to prepare.