In case you were wondering, no, it doesn't get hipper than this. One of the coolest toys I own is my Kraut Source top for my mason jars. With very little bother, I can ferment practically anything that can fit in a wide mouth mason jar. I've been a huge fan of Karen's company from the start and even contributed to Kickstarter when she was looking for funding. I mostly ferment my jalapeño, serrano and manzano chiles with onions but Karen has taking this one step further and when she told me about fermenting beans, I asked her to help us out with a post here on the blog. I wish I had the talent to express how much I love this! Delicious Lacto-fermented Beans by Karen Diggs, Nutritionist + Therapeutic Chef Hey, all you Rancho Gordo lovers, here’s a new way to serve up your favorite beans, that is actually based on the millennia-old tradition of lacto-fermentation. For those of you already making you own sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles at home, the process is as easy as adding some cooked beans to your favorite recipe, and then allowing the magic of fermentation to turn your beans and vegetables into a probiotic-rich superfood. And for those of you who have never heard of lacto-fermentation, it’s about time! Besides having those good bacteria (probiotics) that help with digestion and immunity, fermented foods are also packed with enzymes, and minerals that are easy for our bodies to absorb. In addition, amazing flavors and textures are created during the process, and since the vegetables used are raw, they retain their valuable vitamins which are greatly diminished when cooking with heat. The really nifty thing about combining vegetables and beans in a ferment is that the legumes add protein, which means that it is great for vegetarians and vegans. And of course, don’t forget that the fermentation makes everything easier to digest. Here’s a simply recipe to try: Fermented Royal Corona & Radishes ½ Tablespoon Omnivore Salt, or sea salt 1-1/2 cup filtered water 1 Tablespoon Rancho Gordo Mexican Oregano 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/3 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Royal Corona Beans 4 – 5 red radishes 1/3 cup chopped carrots Directions: 1. Cook the Corona Beans according to directions. When done, allow to cool. 2. Bring the water to boil. Pour into a bowl and dissolve salt in the water. Allow to cool. (This is the brine.) 3. Place the oregano and chopped garlic in the bottom of a pint-size mason jar, or similar. 4. Add in the cooked beans, radishes, and carrots. (The top of the ingredients should be about 2 inches below the top rim of the jar.) 5. Pour brine over the mixture until it reaches one inch above the top of the ingredients. 6. If you have a Kraut Source, then follow directions. If not*, find a small glass or ceramic jar that can fit into the mouth of the mason jar, and rest it directly on top of the ingredients. This will help to keep everything submerged beneath the brine. (For successful lacto-fermentation, it is important that everything stays submerged beneath the brine.) Now get a clean kitchen towel and cover the opening. Secure it with a rubber band or string. Place your jar in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight and allow to ferment for 6 – 7 days. Check to make sure that the ingredients are covered with brine. Top off as needed. Note: You can use other Rancho Gordo beans and vegetable combinations. If you want to experiment with your own recipes, keep in mind that the ratio of beans to vegetables should be around 1:3. Vegetables are needed because they contain lactic acid bacteria, which starts the formation of probiotics. For more inspiration, visit www.krautsource.com And check out this awesome Easter Special which includes a packet of Rancho Gordo beans, Omnivore Salts, Baia pasta, and your very own Kraut Source with mason jar! When you purchase the package, you will also have access to three more exclusive recipes using the fabulous ingredients in your Easter basket! This is link to the special: http://www.omnivoresalt.com/products/easter-diy *Note from Steve: Don't hesitate. Order a Kraut Source now! All photos courtesy of Karen Diggs and Kraut Source.