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Make-Your-Own Lacto-Fermented Vegetables

by Naturopathes de La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024
Légumes Lacto-Fermentés à Faire Soi-Même - La Boite à Grains

Anyone who has never ventured into the world of lacto-fermentation might think that this form of food processing is laborious and intimidating. But with a few simple basics, lacto-fermentation becomes accessible to everyone. With a minimum of knowledge and effort, you'll be producing healthy, tasty lacto-fermented vegetables in a matter of days.

What is lacto-fermentation?

All it takes is a fermentation process that encourages the development of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) in foods (in this case, vegetables) in the presence of lactic acid, ensuring their preservation while improving their nutritional profile. Lacto-fermentation begins in brine (salted water). Vegetables, which naturally contain carbohydrates and beneficial bacteria, form lactic acid in this brine in the absence of oxygen. This is why the process is called lacto-fermentation. In brine, the salt helps to extract the maximum amount of liquid from the vegetables, while inhibiting the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria that can cause mold. In any fermentation process, it's important to use non-chlorinated water, as chlorine would inhibit the proliferation of good bacteria.


  • Apple cider vinegar (for cleaning containers)
  • Various seasonal vegetables (carrots, field cucumbers, cabbage, asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, etc.)
  • Fresh spices and herbs of your choice (suggestions: fresh dill, green onions, fresh ginger, garlic cloves, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, herbes de Provence)
  • Non-chlorinated water
  • Sea salt


  • Pestle
  • Fermentation weights (commercial weights, homemade clay weights, bottom of a glass, cabbage hearts, apple slices). The weight is indispensable, as it keeps the food below the water level, thus preventing the development of mold.
  • Glass jars and lids

*If you don't have non-chlorinated purified water, leave a basin of water aerated for a few hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

lacto-fermented vegetables


  1. Rinse work surfaces and equipment (cutting board, kitchen knives, glass jars) with lukewarm water and a spoonful of apple cider vinegar. This will remove all traces of detergent and ambient bacteria.
  2. Cut vegetables into strips or slices. Divide vegetables among glass containers.
  3. Add spices and seasonings to vegetables.
  4. Add sea salt as follows:
  • For a 1L jar: 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • For a 500 ml jar: ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • For a 250 ml jar: ¼ tablespoon sea salt
  1. Finally, cover the vegetables with non-chlorinated water, keeping ¼ inch of clearance at the jar opening.
  2. Using a pestle, press the vegetables and seasonings into the bottom of each jar.
  3. Keep vegetables and seasonings below the water level by placing a weight on them.
  4. Remove lids, taking care not to saddle them. Air must be able to escape from the jars.
  5. Store fermentation jars at room temperature, away from direct light. Twice a day, check that the vegetables remain below the water level and press them with the pestle. After the first 24-48 hours, bubbles will form on the surface, indicating that the fermentation process is well under way.
  6. After 5-7 days, the bubbles will have stopped forming. Remove the weights, reseal the jars and transfer to the fridge.
  7. Lacto-fermented vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

About the author

Naturopaths of La Boite à Grains

Team of licensed and certified naturopaths (ND) in Gatineau, Outaouais.

Original article written by Véronique Cousineau, Naturopath


La Boite à Grains

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