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Sweet and Sour Fermented Vegetables

Eat these fermented vegetables to help maintain a healthy gut

Fermented vegetables are perfect on a mezze platter or added to a salad, whole or thinly sliced and tossed through. This recipe will work for any root vegetable, so if you have a favorite one or two you can alter quantities accordingly for your next batch. — Carla Oates, author of The Beauty Chef

Use these vegetables in the Kale Bowl With Quinoa, Fermented Vegetables, Wakame and Avocado recipe.


You can store this pickle in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. The flavors will continue to develop over time.

If you’ve got some fresh vine leaves on hand, add one to your vegetables — the tannins released will help to achieve a crunchier outcome.

Fermented garlic can discolor to a green/blue color but it is still perfectly safe to eat. To help prevent this, ensure you use chlorine-free water and non-iodized salt.


  • 1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 carrot, washed and cut into sticks
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Cups filtered water
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized)
  • 2 Tablespoons Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • Outer cabbage leaf


Dry-roast the mustard seeds in a small frying pan over low heat for 30 seconds, or until they begin to pop.

Tightly pack the vegetables, mustard seeds, and bay leaves into a sterilized 6-cup (1.5 litre) capacity glass jar or specialized fermentation jar with an airlock lid.

Combine the water, vinegar, salt, and honey in a jug and stir to dissolve the salt.

Pour the liquid over the vegetables, to just cover.

Pour in a little filtered water to cover completely, if required. Firmly press down the vegetables to submerge in liquid.

Cover the vegetables with a piece of cabbage leaf.

If using an ordinary jar, weigh down with a specialised ceramic weight or smaller jar filled with water.

Ensure there is a 5-centimeter (2-inch) gap between the vegetables and the top of the jar to allow for extra liquid released during the fermentation process.

Set the jar on a large plate to catch any overflow. Cover the jar with a double layer of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with a rubber band.

If using a Mason, preserving or specialized fermenting jar, secure the lid.


Let stand at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and in a well-ventilated place for 5–7 days or until the mixture becomes pleasantly tangy (the length of time will vary according to the temperature of your kitchen).

During this time, if using a jar covered with muslin cloth, check daily to ensure the vegetables are completely submerged in brine, to prevent mold from forming.

Press down with a wooden spoon if necessary.

If using a Mason or preserving jar, open ever so slightly every day to release gases (known as burping) to prevent pressure build-up which could result in an explosion. Once fermented, seal with a lid.

Fermented vegetables can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a week or so to age before use, and up to 3 months.

Adapted from The Beauty Chef by Carla Oates (Hardie Grant Books, August 2017)