How to Ferment Radishes
Fermented foods can get a bad rap as smelly and a big pain to make at home, but I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. Fermented foods are amazing for your gut health, which is an important part of overall health. The good bacteria they contain that adds to the flora in your gut can help boost your immune system, and that’s something we can all use. Check out this article from BBC about some of the health benefits of fermented foods. And to get started on the road of home fermenting, there’s no easier place to start than with radishes! Learning how to ferment radishes is super easy, and you’ll feel like you know what you’re doing, even if you’re just a fermenting beginner.
What is fermentation?
I’ve always enjoyed fermented foods, and this might be because of living in Germany where sauerkraut was basically a national food. Not many ten-year-olds were asking for kraut on their hot dogs down here in the south, but this girl was. The tang that comes from fermented foods is so satisfying to the palette that I find myself craving it at times. Even when I wasn’t pregnant. I digress.
Fermentation, though it may seem trendy right now, has been around for ages, and it’s when the carbohydrates in a food are broken down into acids, alcohol, or vinegar. This is done by microbes, and it can make digestion of certain foods much easier on the gut, as well as have a myriad of health benefits for the consumer. The particular type of fermentation that will be taking place with our radishes is called lactic acid fermentation. This is the type of fermentation present when pickles (see my quick pickle recipe), kimchi, or sourdough are made. So you’ve probably been eating fermented foods all along. For a more in-depth look at fermentation, check out Eat Cultured’s article on the Basics of Fermentation.
Home Fermentation Kit
So how did I finally bite the bullet and dive into fermenting? It just so happened that True Leaf Market had reached out to me about trying out one of their products. I’d used their company before to purchase seeds for a micro greens class I was giving, so I knew I liked their products and customer service. I chose a simple fermentation kit because I’d been wanting to try fermenting at home. So it was a win-win for both of us! (I shared the unboxing and results of my fermentation on Instagram, so be sure to check it out on my IGTV!) The $35 kit includes:
- 3 wide-mouth fermentation lids (for mason jars)
- silicone rings for “sealing”
- 3 stainless coils (for keeping your veggies beneath the brine)
- Access to an online fermentation recipe book
Fermented Radishes Supplies
Fermented veggies, though they taste as though they have vinegar in them, develop that taste through the fermentation process. Vinegar itself is a product of the fermentation process as well, so consider that next time you grab that apple cider vinegar. (It’s so good for you!) That being said this is all that’s needed for fermenting your radishes:
- 1 bunch fresh radishes (from the garden is great but store bought are totally fine. Save the greens for a salad!)
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/4 Tablespoon mineral salt (sea or kosher should be fine too)
- Clean Mason Jars
Fermented Radishes Recipe
And that’s it! The hardest part of fermenting is finding out how to do it and actually starting. So whether you want to use the Fermentation Kit or just what you have on hand, give fermenting radishes a try. It’s a simple vegetable to being fermenting with, and they taste amazing. See my video below for my taste test of my finished fermented radishes!
I’d love to know if you’ve tried out fermenting and how you liked it! Have a great week and happy gardening!