Fermented Vegetables

Make your own tasty, digestion-enhancing blends at home.

| September/October 2003

  • Herbs commonly used to enhance the flavor of fermented vegetables include horseradish, garlic, bay, mustard seed, juniper berries and dill.
  • Fermented Russian Sauerkraut, Cucumbers and Root Vegetables provide digestion-enhancing enzymes in a tasty, colorful package.


Fermented vegetables are made with lactic acid bacteria, which is a valuable technique humans have been using for thousands of years. This preservation method has numerous health advantages. Fermented vegetables are rich in nutrients, fiber and digestion-enhancing enzymes. They also help the intestinal tract maintain a healthy balance of flora by increasing beneficial bacteria.

The simple and natural process of lactic acid fermentation now is being rediscovered, especially by those who are aware of the failures of the modern diet. One only has to observe health statistics briefly to become aware that the American diet must change if we are to live full and productive lives. The consumption of fermented vegetables addresses numerous dietary and health issues simultaneously.

You’re probably familiar with sauerkraut — it’s the most common fermented vegetable product. There are several reasons for sauerkraut’s popularity; consider its unique taste, legendary nutritional and medicinal properties and the ease with which it’s made.

Sauerkraut barely begins to tell the story of fermented foods — a story that repeats itself around the globe, from the pungent flavor of Korea’s kimchi to Tanzania’s fermented gruel, togwa.

History of Fermented Foods

Lactic acid-fermented foods, including dairy products like buttermilk, cheese and yogurt, have been around throughout recorded human history. The processes that produced these foods were found to occur quite naturally — though they’ve been refined over time. Additionally, it was discovered that fermented vegetables kept longer and also took on interesting characteristics that added to the enjoyment they provided.

Marianne Guiliani
1/22/2013 3:41:03 AM

Is there anywhere to buy already fermented vegetables .....

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