Lacto-Fermented Vegetables: Veggies For The Gut Biome
Updated: May 20
Here is where the full recipe, benefits, materials, and tips are! So keep reading on to create this amazing food for dogs AND humans.
First off, veggies... for gut health what?! Just give me a minute and I'll explain, I promise. It's no secret that through the past decade there has been extensive research showing and proving how important gut health is in all animals. To keep a strong immune system to a happy, healthy mind. But how can we get these benefits to our pets? Well, there are dozens of ways these days. From raw goat's milk, colostrum, and probiotic supplements, getting these beneficial nutrients has never been easier. But today, if you haven't already read the title, I'm going to show you an easy and simple way to do it with vegetables. Ladies and gentlemen, I have the utmost pleasure to introduce you to... Lacto-fermenting.
What Is Lacto-Fermenting?
Lacto-fermenting is submerging veggies in a salty brine (or lactic acid) that breaks down the cell walls, kills bacteria, and leaves you with the superpower probiotic, lactobacillus. The process of Lacto-fermentation happens when the starches and sugars within the vegetables are converted to lactic acid by the friendly bacteria lactobacilli. So the term “Lacto” in Lacto-fermentation actually refers to this production of lactic acid, not lacto as in the lactose in milk.
But... Why Is This Good?
Dogs don't secrete the enzyme amylase, which breaks down carbs and starched to get the vitamins & minerals as we do. So, when we feed veggies and fruits to our dogs, it's super hard for them to break down the cell wall and get those amazing nutrients into their gut. So by adding the salty brine, which breaks down the cell wall, its kinda like predigesting the veggies so the nutrients absorbed in the gut easier allowing for them to reap all the wonderful benefits.
And when we have better nutrient absorption that means a stronger and healthier immune system since the gut is 70% of the immune system! Along with better immune health lacto-fermenting, veggies are anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, rich in vitamins/minerals/antioxidants, and all the amazing gut probiotics.
I could make a whole post on the benefits of feeding lacto-fermented veggies and probiotics and go on and on but let's get to the recipe before I go on a whole schpiel.
Quick side note: If you want to read more into why probiotics and the gut biome are so awesome for your pet's health Dog Naturally Magazine wrote a wonderful article all about it!
This recipe is super easy and can be made with any low-glycemic veggies you have on hand. I'm using red cabbage and beets but you can use whatever you want! If you ever make a batch please feel free to tag me in the process of Instagram (@gsdstormy) so I can see all those amazing puppers (or human) getting those wonderful nutrients!
Mason jars (or just any jar with a lid)
Small bowls/fermenting weight
1 head of organic red cabbage
1 bunch of organic red beets
Himalayan pink salt (it's imperative that you use high-quality salt with lots of vitamins/minerals so NO table (iodized) salt)
Very clean water (no tap crap)
1. Decide what low-glycemic veggies you want to lacto-ferment.
Veggies high on the glycemic index have lesser nutrient value and tend to be inflammatory to canines. Therefore, we want to stick to low-glycemic vegetables so they can get the full benefits.
Some goods low-glycemic veggies are:
2. Chop them up into small pieces and try not to cut yourself.
3. Mix 2 tsp of finely ground Himalayan pink salt to every 2 cups of water and stir.
Once again, using high-quality salts such as pink Himalayan salt or sea salt is vital to ensure full nutrient benefits
4. Add veggies to the jars and pack tightly
5. Add in the brine and make sure to cover all veggies with the brine
6. Place a small bowl or a fermenting weight on top to hold veggies under the brine to prevent molding
I made 2 jars without weights to see if they would actually mold or not and they didn't. So I'm not 100% sure what's up with that. Also, the ones without weights fermented faster than the ones with...But if you choose to not put weights in I suggest making sure everything is covered in the brine so it doesn't get a chance to mold.
7. Close lid tightly and place somewhere cool and does not come into direct contact with sunlight
8. Let your veggies sit for as little as 3 days to as long as a few weeks. Mine needed around a week to a week and a half to completely ferment.
There are many factors that dictate how long it takes to ferment such as temperature, humidity, size of veggies, etc
9. Taste your hard-work every few days to see if it's to your liking/ready.
Usually, they are ready when you see bubbles forming at the top, they smell (the nose knows), and rather than salty they taste more pickly.
10. Once they're done stick them in the fridge. The cooler temperature won't completely stop the fermentation process just immensely slow it down (very close to stopping it). At this point, you can also pop the weights off as well. Now your dog AND you can enjoy (sharing is caring guys).
Now, this nutrient-dense food is vibrating with so many health benefits! Feel free to feed every day at 1TSBP per 20lbs.
Tips & Tricks (To Make Life Easier)
If you're using red beets, I suggest using gloves so your hands don't become stained
DO NOT overfill the jar with brine because when you close it, it will spill. all. over.
The weights will sink down when fermenting so just beware
Use a clean utensil every time you take something out to prevent molding (sorry no eating right out of the jar even though you'll want to)
Relax. If you mess up on something or it doesn't turn out great don't be afraid to start over
Make lots because it's so good!
I hope this worked out for you guys as well as it worked out for me. If you have any questions or concerns please drop them down below. Once again, thank you so much for stopping by and Always Keep Exploring.