Naturally Fermented Pickles for the New Year!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:18 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

Creating great natural fermented pickles is very dependent on using good quality ingredients. It is probably more important with naturally fermented pickles than most other things. In pickling or fermenting, we are creating a special environment so that the natural lactic acid bacteria can flourish and dominate the fermenting process.

Since lactic bacteria are found naturally, right on the surface of fresh vegetables, we like to get vegetables that have been grown free of chemical fertilizers and other poisonous sprays. Naturally grown vegetables such as organic or biodynamic are ideal. They generally contain more vitamins and minerals than commercial grown. Naturally grown vegetables also supply other minute fungi which add to the aroma and appeal of the pickles. Healthy lacto bacteria and fungi live on the surface or skin of vegetables and herbs. Therefore do not to peel them, keeping the skin on vegetables is best whenever possible especially carrots, turnips, etc . Just scrub the vegetables with a vegetable brush, under running water, then let them dry. If there are marks or spots, remove them carefully.

Sea salt is the next important ingredient in making great natural fermented pickles. Good quality, fine sea salt is our preferred choice, not only for pickling, but also in every day cooking. Besides being free from chemicals, which are added to commercial salt to make table salt look good and flow evenly, sea salt contains many beneficial trace minerals.

When pickling in or with miso, tarmari, or ume products, check the labels of brands that you are not familiar with. Make sure that they are made with quality ingredients, and that they have no added colorings, additives or preservatives. Commercial soy sauces are made with hydrolized soy meal, a chemically made product, and should not be used. Natural fermented tamari and shoyu sauces are better choices. Miso, Umeboshi, shoyo and tamari all contain healthy lacto bacteria and can be substituted for salt in many recipes.

When making brine pickles the water used should also be free of the chemicals. City water often contains chlorine and other additives and should not be used. These chemicals have a very inhibiting effect on the lacto bacteria. Well or spring water from a pure source is a must, both for the natural fermentation process and for your own health.


1 quart of a variety of mixed and firm vegetables such as

broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, onion, lemon

Warming winter spices such as

cinnamon, allspice, cloves, raisins and/or ginger or

garlic, dill seeds, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves and/or ginger


4 c water

1 Tbsp sea salt

Clean the vegetables and cut them in chunks or small bouquets.

Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and let cool.

Place the vegetables and spices in a wide mouth quart size jar. Pour the brine over the vegetables so that they are completely covered, leaving 1 inch of airspace.

Place a tight fitting lid on top of the jar. Cover the jar with a towel and let it sit for 5-10 days in a dark, cool place below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

These wonderful, tasty pickles supplement most Holiday meals. The juice is delicious as an aperitif.


1 ½ - 2 lb filleted herrings or fresh white fish

1 big onion


3 Tbsp sea salt

¼ tsp whole pepper

4 bay leaf

½ cup rice or raw apple cider vinegar

½ cup rice syrup or honey

2 c water

Smooth 1 Tbsp of salt on the herrings or fish fillets. Let them sit for 1 day.

Make the marinade by mixing water, salt, vinegar and sweetener in a pan and bring it to a boil.

Cut the onion into thin rings.

Rinse the herrings in cold water and cut them in 1/2" pieces. Place them in a jar with layers of onions in between. Pour the marinade over the herrings so that they are completely covered. Let them mature in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.

Picked herrings is everyday fair in Scandinavia.

•Variation: Use other warming herbs such as cloves, allspice, garlic, and caraway seeds in the marinade. Also try frying the onions and/or herrings before placing them in the marinade. Mix 1 tsp curry with a cup of mayonnaise, then add drained pickled herrings and serve on top of bread.

Happy New Year!

Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.


This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.

Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.

Cooking for the Love of the World:
Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt

A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound

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