We mentioned a few posts back that we’d been to a fermentation workshop. Since then we’ve been trying a few food preservation experiments and thought we’d give you a little run down of the processes we’re trying.
This type of preserving is super simple; essentially you mix salt with your chosen vegetables to release a brine from the vegetables (or add brine), add herbs or spices for extra flavour, seal it in a container that will allow gas to escape, and wait! If you’re interested in a detailed explanation and the science behind fermentation, you can check that out here. Here is our first attempt which has been sitting for a few weeks:
The difference between this and Lacto-fermentation is the amount of salt; because there is a higher concentration of salt in brining, acid is not produced, leaving the salt itself as the preservation medium. Simply add blanched vegetables and hot brine to sterilised jars and seal immediately. Keep in the fridge or water process for room temperature storage. Most vegetables will need to be soaked in water to reduce the salt content before use. More details here. We tried some courgettes and added some curry powder as an experiment to see how much flavours wash out with the salt:
Vinegar Brine Pickling
Again pretty simple: add vegetables (blanched or raw depending on type) to a sterilised jar, cover with hot vinegar brine made from water vinegar and extra flavour spices; water process if necessary, leave for a while to absorb flavours, and enjoy. For more detailed instructions see here. We started off with pickling some beets:
Water bath processing
This is done at the end of many preserving processes (but not for Lacto-fermentation) in order to ‘can’ the product. Essentially, you fill sterilised jars with a hot product, seal, and boil the filled jars for the required time (according to the recipe you’re following). The hot product is pasteurised during cooking to avoid botulism and as the jars cool a vacuum seal is created which avoids oxidation. This results in a product that can be stored at room temperature rather than in the fridge, and it will last much longer. Water bath processing is not necessary if you’re putting your product straight in the fridge for immediate use. The links for brining and pickling above include detailed instructions for water processing.