These delicious and nutritious fermented radishes are a great addition to any meal. They are easy to ferment with just a few simple ingredients and add healthy probiotics to your diet.
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What is Fermentation and Why Should you do it?
There's a lot to fermentation, but here are the basics of what you need to know. Lacto-fermentation is a process in which good bacteria converts sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative. Lactic acid and lactobacillus, the good bacteria, preserve flavor and nutritional value of vegetables. They are super healthy for our digestion and our internal microbiome. That's why I try to eat fermented foods every day.
The process of fermentation using salt, water and vegetables makes the vegetables taste good, makes them easier to digest and is really healthy. Just think about eating fermented vegetables like taking a probiotic every day. Fermentation of vegetables is really simple.
I love fermenting radishes when I have too many of them to eat fresh. They are great to add to any meal including eggs, stews, or meats; or they can be eaten on their own as a snack!
Supplies you will need are: radishes, non-chlorinated water, sea salt or other non-iodized salt, any herbs or spices you would like to add (I used garlic), jars, lids, scale, knife, cutting board.
For these radishes, I picked my French Breakfast radishes from the garden. I bought the seeds for these radishes from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. You can use homegrown radishes or radishes purchased from the store. If you want to learn more about different types of seeds, check out this post.
Step by Step
Here are the steps for fermenting radishes:
Preparing the Radishes
- First, cut off tops and bottoms of radishes. Save for your chickens or to put in your compost pile.
- Cut radishes into slices. You can cut them as thick or thin as you would like. I like mine kind of thick.
- Then rinse the radishes.
- After that, pack radishes tightly in a glass jar. Any size jar will do. I like to use a quart jar. I find the wide mouth jars are easier to work with.
- Add any herbs or spices you would like. I like to add garlic to my radishes. I slice the garlic cloves and layer it in as I am putting the radishes in the jar.
- Other vegetables, such as carrots can be added along with the radishes.
- Make sure to get as many vegetables in the jar as possible. Having them tightly packed will help ensure that the vegetables stay under the brine.
- Then cover your vegetables with something to keep them submerged under the brine. It's important that you do not have anything floating on top. You can use something like a cabbage leaf, carrot slices or a glass weight to hold the vegetables down.
Preparing the Brine
Make your brine using salt and water. You will want to make a 2-3% brine for radishes. You want to make sure you have enough salt for lacto-fermentation to occur but not too much salt that your vegetables are salted and not fermented. Measuring your salt by weight is a good way to stay accurate. It's best to measure by weight because all salts have different volumes.
Even if you don’t have the exact salinity, you should still be safe. Lacto-fermentation is quite forgiving. Just make sure that if you see or smell something that doesn’t look right, you don’t eat it. In this case, throw it away and start over.
- For my brine, I measured four cups of water, or one quart. Make sure you are using filtered water, or non-chlorinated water. Use a scale to weigh your salt. Radishes require a 2-3% salinity to successfully ferment. You will want about 28.5 grams of salt for four cups of water.
- Mix the salt with the water until it dissolves. To dissolve the salt more quickly, you can use warmer water, but room temperature water will work too. The temperature of the water does not really matter too much as long as you make sure it isn’t too hot.
- Pour the brine over the vegetables in the jar until the vegetables are fully covered. You don’t want anything poking out of the brine!
- Put the lid on the jar and close tightly.
- It is important to let the radishes sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3-4 days.
- After 3-4 days, taste the radishes. Leave them for another day or two and try them again if they are not sour enough for your liking.
- Place them in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process when they are to your liking. These radishes can stay in the fridge for months, but I guarantee they won’t last that long.
Optionally, you can “burp” your jars of radishes by quickly opening and closing them each day to release some air. This is not a completely necessary step. I never do it.
Fermentation is so easy and so delicious. I know you will love these fermented radishes!!
- 4 cups filtered water
- 28.5 grams sea salt
- 4 cups sliced radishes (or combination of radishes and carrots)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Other herbs and spices (optional)
- Cut off tops and bottoms of radishes. Save for your chickens or to put your compost pile.
- Cut radishes into slices.
- Rinse the radishes.
- Pack radishes tightly into a quart size jar.
- Add sliced garlic.
- Add any other herbs or spices you would like.
- Add sliced carrots if desired.
- Cover with a cabbage leaf, other sliced vegetables or a weight.
- Prepare brine by mixing four cups of room temperature filtered water with 28-29 grams of sea salt or another non-iodized salt.
- Stir until the salt is dissolved.
- Pour brine over radishes until all vegetables are fully submersed. Do not leave anything poking out of the brine!
- Put the lid on the jar and close tightly.
- Let the radishes sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 3-4 days. (You can "burp" them daily by quickly releasing a little bit of air each day. This is an optional step)
- Taste the radishes after 3 or 4 days. If they are not as tart and flavorful as you would like, leave them another day or two.
- Continue to taste every day or two until they are to your liking.
- Place fermented radishes in the refrigerator.
- Save extra brine for your next ferment.
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Kitchen Scale This is the kitchen scale I use to measure salt. It has grams and ounces, so I can use it for a lot of recipes.
Celtic Sea Salt I use this salt for fermentation. Most importantly, make sure you don't use iodized salt.
Quart Sized Wide Mouth Jars I think the wide mouths on jars make them much easier to work with.