Welcome to a week of lacto-fermentation! Every post this week will be geared toward this traditional, sustainable, and healthy method of food preservation. Don’t forget to look for giveaways at the end of the week!

When I first read Nourishing Traditions the concept of just letting things sit out with some salt and having them "magically" turn into a healthy, preserved food seemed crazy. But that’s because we grew up in a pasteurized, sterilized society.

The truth is lacto-fermentation and dehydration are my food preservation methods of choice. I actually really, really don’t like to can things, though I do can tomatoes and a few others. But it just seems so wrong to take food alive with enzymes and natural bacteria and go ahead and kill it all for the sake of shelf life.

Granted, I live a pretty easy life right now with a refrigerator able to store my fermented foods for winter, but I am hoping the things I have learned over these past few years will translate to a more sustainable and healthier way of preserving food when we move onto some land.

I wanted to show you how well these fermented vegetables hold up over the winter:

  • Kimchi – Fermented in July (see my method here). A full 7 months old.
  • Sauerkraut – Fermented in October. 4 months old.
  • Cortido – Fermented in August. 6 months old.
  • Dill Pickles – Fermented in July. 7 months old.
  • Salsa – Fermented July – September (see my method here). 5-7 months old.

We have been eating our way through these vegetables throughout the winter and it appears as though they will bring us right up to our first harvests. You can see the various ways we use them in Simple Food {for winter}, but today I want to emphasize three things about lacto-fermentation:

  1. Fermented foods are infinitely more healthful than their canned counterparts.
  2. Fermentation is a more traditional & sustainable method of preservation that existed before water bath canning and oil were abundant.
  3. Fermentation is much easier and faster than canning. Like you can make a few gallons of dill pickles easily in an hour.

Clearly, though, I am not the only fan of fermentation. My friend Jenny from Nourished Kitchen wants to help people learn the lost art of fermentation through an online class called Get Cultured! Tomorrow I will share an interview with her about why fermentation is so beneficial and why even those who have been fermenting for a while can benefit from the class.