When I visited my grandmother as a child she had viili, homemade sour milk, in her kitchen. My mother had been raised with the clabbered milk as a part of her diet. The slippery consistency of this sour milk did not appeal to me. Now I recognize the health benefit of naturally fermented foods.
Traditional foods with beneficial bacteria are good for digestion and a healthy gut. Antibiotics eliminate both good and bad bacteria, stripping the gut of bacteria that assist in digestion. Our digestion system needs help to recover from some of the medications that are in commonly prescribed. Dr. Mercola’s site has an informative article about traditional lacto-fermented foods.
So, I have a goal to include lacto-fermented foods in our diet. I grew pickling cucumbers in my garden and they have flourished! The pickling cucumbers are a little lighter in color than the salad cucumbers.
The farmers market nearby has plenty of cucumbers also—but it is important to make sure you are getting pickling cucumbers. ( Salad cucumbers will get mushy when fermented.)
I found a detailed recipe for making lacto-fermented pickles and made my first jar. You can find the recipe here.
The recipe calls for whey. I strained an organic plain yogurt by putting cheesecloth in a strainer and adding the 6 ounces of yogurt. I let it stand until the whey had drained. (At first I had it on a counter in the kitchen and then placed it in the refrigerator. It took about 4 hours to get ¼ cup whey. Different brands of yogurt may have less whey. I purchased two containers just in case I needed to drain more.) The remaining yogurt can be used in other recipes. I added mine to a quiche I was making.
I let the pickles sit on my kitchen counter for three days and now they are in the refrigerator. Notice that lacto-fermented cucumbers will have a cloudy appearance.
We will try them in a couple weeks. I expect them to have a nice, crunchy flavor. According to the recipe I followed, I will know if they are good or not!