If you are new to cultured vegetables, a.k.a. cv’s, this is a good recipe to begin with. Everything is laid out step-by-step with just three ingredients …. cabbage, carrots, culture starter. A simple, colorful mixture to light up your taste buds.
Don’t let their simplicity fool you though as this food is potent and can kick-start your gut engine and have you digesting like a rock star ✨
Cultured vegetables have the ability to knock out the toughest pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and viruses making home in your body.
I discovered unsalted cultured vegetables during a bout of yeast overgrowth that caused me a lot of bloating and discomfort. A friend lent me a book called Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D) with a chapter on unsalted cultured food and that’s it, I was hooked. This was the missing piece to an otherwise great diet. Years later I still make this recipe along with my other favorite, Purple Potion; loved by kids of all ages…
“Every time you eat, you either feed disease or fight it.”
Cultured Vegetables: Garden Blend
Yields: 6 Quart Sized Jars
1 packet vegetable starter culture*
1/4 cup warm filtered water
½ tsp EcoBloom** (or Rapadura, sucanat etc.)
7 1/2 – 8 lb washed, green cabbage (about 3 heads), shredded – reserve 12 oz. large outer leaves
2 – 2 1/2 lb carrots, shredded
1 1/2 tbs dill seed
2-3 cups filtered water
Large Stainless Steel or Glass Bowls
6 Quart-Sized Mason Jars
Wide Mouth Funnel
1. Scald or wash with hot, soapy water all equipment. You can spray everything down with food-grade hydrogen peroxide in a small spray bottle and dry with paper towels.
2. Dissolve culture starter and EcoBloom in ¼ c. warm (90 degrees F) filtered water.
3. Allow to set for 20 minutes.
4. Combine vegetables and seasoning in a clean, large bowl.
5. Remove about a 1/3rd of this mixture and place in a blender or food processor (if blender is small, do this in 2 batches).
6. Blend with enough filtered water (about 2-3 cups) until consistency of thick juice.
7. Add this thick juice and the culture starter mix to the bowl of vegetables.
8. Mix everything with two big spoons, or clean hands.
9. Pack mixture tightly into pint or quart-size glass jars with potato masher, or fist to force out air pockets.
10. Fill jars, allowing liquid to cover vegetables with about 1 1/2-inches of head space.
11. Roll reserved cabbage leaves to form tight logs.
12. Place “logs” on top of veggies, pushing down so liquid just covers “logs” (add more brine if needed) – leave 1-inch at top for expansion.
13. Screw lid on tightly.
14. Culture vegetables for 3-10 days in a dark, warm spot (70-72 degrees F) – See my oven incubator kit if you have a hard time keeping temperatures constant as it’s very important to have them steady throughout the culturing period. I like mine best around day 7, but everyone likes different textures and sourness so learn what day you like them best at 🙂
15. Enjoy up to ½ cup with meals (this is a therapeutic dose, ease into this).
Tips & Tricks
- You can also use Mason jar porcelain weights to keep your fermenting veggies submerged under brine.
- Take it slow, cultured veggies are rich in enzymes and probiotics, ease in to eating them. Once your body gets used to the extra live activity, up your dose.
- Store cultured veggies in fridge; they’ll continue to ferment at slow pace for many weeks (even months) and become softer and more delicious with time.
Thank you, thank you for being my Body Ecology Rockstar to look up to! H.L., NY, NY
Excellent Tara …. I’m excited to be on this path of making cultured veggies and kefir to infuse them in my body! Feeling sparkly! B.U. Bethel, VT
*Body Ecology’s culture starter makes potent cv’s. It contains Lb. Plantarum, a strong probiotic strain. Most probiotics get destroyed by antibiotics, fluoride, stomach acid, and chlorinated water before they reach your intestines. Which is where they live. Yet, these guys (Lb. Plantarum) get there safe and sound.
**Body Ecology’s Ecobloom is 100% natural powder chicory extract FrutaFit, Inulin (FOS – fructooligosaccharides). This prebiotic is a quick food for the probiotics. Like the ones in that culture starter packet you’re using. When you add Ecobloom you provide something for the little guys to munch on while they’re adjusting and growing in #’s in the jar.
Gates, D. (2010). The Body Ecology Diet. Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications
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May all bellies be happy!