Eat Better ‘Food Bytes’ GOOD &Good For YOU Fermented Veggies


August 27, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller

lacto-fermentationWhat a great time of year…with abundant gardens bursting with fresh veggies, colorful farmer’s markets in full swing, and generous friends dropping off bags of zucchini, tomatoes, cabbage, etc!

This great time of year is the perfect time to learn about fermenting veggies (lacto-fermentation) so that none of this wonderful produce goes to waste—and so that we can enjoy it beyond the typical harvest season. I’m not an expert on fermenting, but I DO know someone who is—and she lives right here in the Minot area—AND she’s finishing up a book on this topic, to be released in 2014! Her (Melanie’s) website listed below includes her blog posts as well as fermentation recipes, articles on fermentation, real food resources and more—she writes well and shares great information.

First, a few basics on fermented foods:

  • Fermenting is a great way to preserve food as well as enhance the nutrition of the food. This occurs because the fermenting process makes the minerals more available to and usable by the body. Our digestive process also benefits from the enzymes and B vitamins produced during the fermentation process.
  • Lacto-fermented foods also contain high amounts of probiotics, which our bodies need to maintain a healthy digestive system, which in turn supports a healthy immune system.
  • In a nutshell, lacto-fermented foods are typically veggies placed in a ‘brine’ (water and salt solution) for a period of time at room temperature, during which time the ‘good’ or beneficial bacteria (Lactobacillus) form.
  • Veggies that can be preserved with simple process: cauliflower, green beans, carrots, cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, and celery to name a few. Check out many more amazing ideas and combinations on Melanie’s website!
  • Fermented veggies taste great—and most kids (and adults who don’t like their veggies!) like them—an added bonus. 🙂


Often-quoted author, Sally Fallon describes the benefits of lacto-fermentation in her book “Nourishing Traditions” as follows: “The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

Melanie’s website:

Preserving the loads of veggies now in season…Having great-tasting and good-for-you veggies on hand this winter…Reaping the benefits of the great nutrition including probiotics…It’s a great thing! Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Melanie—Happy, healthy eating, all!

lacto-fermentation 2

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My Integrative Health Consulting website:

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