How to Make Fermented Vegetable Juice
Juicing has been thought of as one of the healthiest things you can do for your body over the past few decades. Likewise, cultured foods are gaining popularity in the health communities for their health benefits. So you might think why not combine the two?
But there is a big difference between these two health-giving food preparations: one has only been practiced by mankind for a short period of time and the other is as old as food preparation itself.
Juicers are an electronic appliance that passes large quantities of produce through them to extract the life-giving properties of those plants. So juicers are only as old as electricity and still have only been used to produce food for humans for decades.
Fermented foods, on the other hand, are thousands of years old and span every culture known to man. Fermentation is a natural process that happens to food; a controlled degradation in a way.
So while we might think that fermented vegetable juice is made by juicing vegetables and then fermenting them, we might not be entirely right. You can absolutely juice vegetables and then ferment that juice, but that might be a bit overkill, not to mention really expensive.
More traditionally, fermented vegetable juice is the juice or liquid that you would find in a vegetable ferment, or a small amount of vegetables placed in a larger amount of liquid which is allowed to ferment and then is strained.
Beet kvass is a really good example of the latter.
Beet kvass is made by taking a small amount of beets, a bit of sea salt, and a large quantity of water (in reference to the quantity of beets). It is then allowed to culture, the beets are strained off, and the liquid remaining is called kvass. The beets can then be reused to make a second, weaker batch of kvass.
In the same way we can use vegetables to create fermented vegetable juices. Instead of setting out to make brined pickles we can set out to make brined pickle juice. So while we would cram a jar full of cucumbers for the former, we would use a few with some seasonings and a large quantity of water for the latter.
They are different food products used differently. This fermented vegetable juice can be made with whatever you have on hand, but your juice will take on those flavors so be wary of strong flavors that you do not care for such as brassicas or alliums.
Basic Fermented Vegetable Juice
Fill a quart or half gallon jar loosely with any vegetables you like. Some good candidates include:
To Make the Juice:
Using the Juice of Fermented Vegetables
The other source of fermented vegetable juice, as mentioned above, is the juice right off of a vegetable ferment. So you might have some juice atop your sauerkraut that you can decant. Or, once your pickles are eaten up, you might have the juice from that available for drinking.
These juices are going to be a bit stronger in flavor than if you make the vegetable juice from the above recipe. They will also be harder to come by as ferments like sauerkraut are made more for their vegetable fermentation than the juice fermentation.
Therefore, if you require a large amount of vegetable juice, say a daily glass, then you will want to consider making the fermented vegetable juice as mentioned above. It is helpful to drink it with a meal to aid digestion, or in small doses for the ill.
|Caldwell's Vegetable Starter Culture|