13 Fermented Food Recipes for Vibrant Health

By Jess

Fermented recipes are about more than just pickles and sauerkraut. You can ferment almost anything, creating delicious flavors and textures and filling your body with healthy probiotics. Just make sure you aren’t using chlorinated tap water in your recipes, because the chlorine will kill the healthy bacteria you need for your recipe to work. Go ahead—get fermenting!

1. Fermented Beets With Cumin and Basil
These beautiful little fermented beets are delicious, and they carry plenty of happy probiotics that are good for your digestive health. To make them, you’ll need small beets, cumin seeds, kosher salt, filtered water, and whole, fresh, clean basil leaves.

Probiotic Apple Butter
Photo: Fermented Food Lab

2. Probiotic Apple Butter
Love apple butter? This yummy version is fermented/cultures with a culture starter, making it probiotic and healthy for your body. You can make your own with gala apples, ground cinnamon, cloves, a slow cooker, and a mason jar. These would make wonderful gifts, too!

3. Bonfire Cider
This “cider” isn’t really for sipping—more like for powerful, spicy shots that keep you healthy during cold and flu season, and could help shorten the duration if you do pick up an illness. It’s fermented with ingredients like ginger, turmeric, onion, horseradish, lemon, cinnamon, echinachea, and more.

4. Kombucha Champagne Cocktail
This fermented cocktail is best enjoyed with friends, and it’s a beautiful green color thanks to the use of kombucha made with green tea instead of black tea. You can make your own kombucha, or buy it already made from a health food store.

5. Make Your Own Preserved Lemons
These fermented lemons are lovely on salads or in a number of other dishes, and you can make them with just lemons and salt! That’s it. You may need a bit of extra fresh-squeezed lemon juice if the lemons you use aren’t juicy enough to be completely submerged in their own juices.

Springtime Torshi, Two Ways
Photo: The Soaked Bean

6. Springtime Torshi, Two Ways
This “pickle” recipe is traditionally fermented and can be made either with turnips and beets, or turnips, black radishes, and regular radishes. Either way is tasty and pretty, and besides your root veggies, all you really need is sea salt and dechlorinated water.

7. Kimchi
Kimchi is a spicy Korean fermented vegetable dish, and it’s traditionally made just once a year and enjoyed all year long, because it’s naturally preserved. I’ve made kimchi many different ways, but this recipe is a great way to get started and includes pear and fresh ginger and garlic.

8. How to Make Kombucha
Kombucha can be a confusing thing for paleo eaters, as you do need evaporated cane sugar to make it. However, the SCOBY eats nearly all of that sugar, leaving just a miniscule amount behind in a large amount of kombucha. If you’d like to include kombucha in your diet, try this recipe, because it’s super simple.

9. Favorite Sauerkraut
While I want this list to focus mainly on non-sauerkraut ferments (since we have a separate list of kraut recipes), I want to share just a few, including this favorite garlic and cumin sauerkraut with green cabbage, lots of garlic, cumin, and celery seeds.

Water Kefir
Photo: Feasting at Home

10. Water Kefir
I love chutneys and other dips and sauces, and the fruity ones are my favorites. This sweet-and-savory peach chutney is made with walnuts, cumin, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, and other ingredients, and it’s fermented, so it’s probiotic and good for your body!

11. Fermented Peach Chutney
Water kefir is another probiotic beverage that is fed sugar, but results in a drink with almost no sugar content. It’s actually my favorite, as it doesn’t taste vinegary like kombucha—more like a gently bubbly soda that isn’t sickly-sweet and you can flavor however you like.

12. Fermented Chocolate Ice Cream
Now this is a pretty exciting recipe to me. Ice cream! You’ll culture/ferment your own coconut milk with coconut sugar and then turn it into ice cream with cacao powder, cacao nibs, a pinch of salt, and some more coconut sugar. It’s a really brilliant recipe, and so tasty.

13. Fermented Hot Sauce
Want to get some probiotics going on your favorite meats and veggies with hot sauce? This homemade hot sauce is fermented with guajillo chili peppers, assorted fresh chili peppers, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, coarse kosher salt, and white vinegar.


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