Fermented Foods Recipes: 50+ to Get You Started (2024)

In case you’ve yet to delve into fermenting, these tips and easy fermentation recipes for beginners will get you started! These fermenting recipes are an easy way to extend the life of fresh produce while adding flavor and probiotics to the food.

Originally published in August 2015; this post has been updated.

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We Love Fermented Foods

And we’ve expanded our repertoire: No longer limited to fermenting vegetables, we’ve tried our hands at fermenting fruit, sauces, and seeds, too! The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods is easy to encourage in a wide variety of foods.

Why Ferment?

  • Naturally fermented foods recipes are host to natural probiotics and promote a healthy digestive system.
  • It’s a great way to preserve your garden goodness.
  • Fermented foods are delicious.
  • Getting started is easy.
  • Read this to find out more about the difference between pickling and fermenting.

Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation, so be sure to use filtered water or distilled water instead. A Berkey water filter provides clean water that’s free of toxins. Great for making your drinking water free of chemicals, but perfect for fermentation, too.

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Lacto-fermentationis the process used when we make fermented vegetables, fruits, and even kombucha.Lactobacillusbacteria converts sugars into lactic acid. This good bacteriainhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. The lactobacillus organisms that develop when we ferment food preserves it, but it’s also a boon to our digestive tract. Foods fermented in this way develop the probiotics that we’ve heard so much about in recent years.

The fermentation process calls for combining fresh produce with salt or covering it in a brine and letting it sit at room temperature for several days or weeks.

Not quite ready to dive into the recipes? Head over here for a complete guide to home fermentation.

Getting Started with Fermented Foods:

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50+ Fermented Food Recipes to Try

The toughest part of fermenting? Taking the first step to try something different. Once you clear that (mental) hurdle, it’s easy. These recipes for fermented foods bring together garden fresh veggies and probiotics for your digestive system.

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The Handcrafted Pantry

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Ready to DIY your pantry with more wholesome ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.

Fermented Vegetable Recipes

Vegetables are probably the most well-known of the fermented food recipes. Everybody knows about sauerkraut, right?

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Fermented Condiments

Spread on the fermented food goodness with these easy recipes.

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Fermented Fruit

Adding fermented foods to your diet — like these fruit ferments — offers up a whole new way to preserve the harvest in jars.

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Fermented Drinks

Drink up with these delicious recipes for making liquid fermented foods.

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Fermented Dairy Products

Yep, dairy can be fermented, too! Check out these recipes.

  • Creme Fraiche [Attainable Sustainable]
  • Sour Cream [Attainable Sustainable]
  • Milk Kefir [Attainable Sustainable]
  • No-Measure Yogurt[Attainable Sustainable]
Fermented Foods Recipes: 50+ to Get You Started (2024)


What happens when you first start eating fermented foods? ›

The most common reaction to fermented foods is a temporary increase in gas and bloating. This is the result of excess gas being produced after probiotics kill harmful gut bacteria and fungi. Probiotics secrete antimicrobial peptides that kill harmful pathogenic organisms like Salmonella and E. Coli.

What is the easiest fermented food to make at home? ›

Sauerkraut is one of the simplest fermented foods to make. It only contains two ingredients – cabbage and salt – although sometimes caraway seeds are added too. To make sauerkraut, all you have to do is shred your cabbage, cover it with salt, and mix around.

What fermented foods should I eat daily? ›

Here are nine of the best fermented foods to include in your diet.
  • Kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk drink believed to have originated in the Caucasus region thousands of years ago. ...
  • Kimchi. ...
  • Sauerkraut. ...
  • Yogurt. ...
  • Miso. ...
  • Some cheeses. ...
  • Sourdough bread. ...
  • Apple cider vinegar.
Mar 18, 2024

How many times a week should you eat fermented foods? ›

We advocate eating fermented foods three times per day, as snacks or with meals.

What happens if you eat fermented foods everyday? ›

Consistently eating fermented foods has been associated with weight loss, reduced obesity, and maintaining a healthy weight. However, these effects are only present with fermented foods as part of an overall health plan that includes movement and stress reduction.

How do I start liking fermented food? ›

Introduce fermented foods into your cooking by adding a little bit to your meals, such as:
  1. juice from sauerkraut: use as a dash of vinegar in your salad dressing. ...
  2. kombucha to make your own mayo. ...
  3. Use true sourdough bread for your sandwiches. ...
  4. Use raw milk cheese instead of pasteurized cheeses.

What is the best fermentation starter? ›

  1. Sourdough Starter. This is obviously well-suited to grain dishes and baked goods, but can also be used to culture beans, fruits, and even vegetables. ...
  2. Juice from Fermented Vegetables. ...
  3. Whey from Yogurt or Kefir. ...
  4. Kombucha. ...
  5. Water Kefir.

What is the healthiest fermented food? ›

Fermented Foods for Gut Health
  • Kefir.
  • Plain Yogurt.
  • Dry Curd Cottage Cheese or Farmer's Cheese, or fermented cottage cheese.
  • Certain aged cheeses (check label for live and active cultures)
  • Fermented Vegetables.
  • Tempeh (choose gluten free)
  • Miso (refrigerated)
  • Pickles (in salt, not vinegar)
Jun 19, 2019

Is apple cider vinegar a fermented food? ›

Apple cider vinegar is made through a process called fermentation. The process has two steps. First, the apples are crushed and yeast is added to speed up the fermentation process, so the sugar converts into alcohol after a few weeks.

Who Cannot eat fermented foods? ›

Flexi Says: Individuals who should avoid fermented foods include those who are immunocompromised or have certain allergies or dietary restrictions. For example, those with yeast allergies, histamine intolerance or on a low-sodium diet may need to limit or avoid fermented foods.

What vegetables should not be fermented? ›

“There's no vegetable you can't ferment,” he said, but added that leafy greens such as kale — because of their chlorophyll content — aren't to most people's liking. During an NPR interview, Katz explained that pickling and fermentation are not the same, although they are “overlapping” categories.

When should you not eat sauerkraut? ›

If you're pregnant or immunocompromised, you should avoid eating unpasteurized sauerkraut. If you take MAOIs, have blood pressure concerns, or have food intolerances or allergies, speak to your doctor before eating sauerkraut. Otherwise, sauerkraut is likely to be a nutritious and healthy addition to your diet.

Which fermented food has the most probiotics? ›

Foods With the Highest Probiotic Content
Fermented FoodLiving CellsServing Size
Water kefir500 billion250 ml
Kimchi250 billion250 ml
Sauerkraut25 billion250 ml
Miso25 billion3 tbsp.
6 more rows

Should I eat sauerkraut in the morning or at night? ›

The best time to eat sauerkraut for gut health is during or before a meal since stomach acid, and enzymes can aid in breaking down food and killing harmful bacteria. Incorporating sauerkraut into your diet regularly can be beneficial, aiming for at least 1-2 servings per day.

How long does it take to adjust to fermented foods? ›

Continue eating a tablespoon of the new probiotic food every day for a week so that your body can adjust to the new culture of bacteria and yeasts. After a week, feel free to try a small serving. If it doesn't cause any digestive symptoms then you're free to eat as much of that fermented food as you want.

What happens to your gut when you eat fermented foods? ›

Not only does fermentation enhance food preservation, but eating fermented foods can also boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in your gut.

How long does it take for fermented food to heal your gut? ›

Stanford researchers discover that a 10-week diet high in fermented foods boosts microbiome diversity and improves immune responses. Stanford researchers found that eating a diet high in fermented foods such as kimchi increases the diversity of gut microbes, which is associated with improved health.

What do fermented foods do to your body? ›

As a result, fermented foods provide many health benefits such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-atherosclerotic activity. However, some studies have shown no relationship between fermented foods and health benefits.

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