101 Fabulous Fermented Foods

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101 Fabulous Fermented Foods | NourishingJoy.com

When I originally published my article on 10 Reasons to Eat More Fermented and Cultured Foods in January of 2012, I didn't expect to be receiving questions nearly two years later asking for more fermented recipes! This warms the cockles of my heart – truly!

Since I love fermented foods and since I am blessed to know several really wonderful bloggers who write about fermentation regularly, I thought I'd compile a list of a number of recipes to have all in one spot – just to be easy to find and share when you (or I) are in the mood for something new.

First, be sure to read WHY fermented foods are “exquisitely exciting, delicious, and downright essential” and why “Eat at least one fermented or cultured food each day” is one of our Ten Real Food Goals.


Why Fermented Foods Matter

Basically, here's the summary of my original article:

Long before refrigeration was available, lacto-fermentation was the method used to preserve food from the time of harvest into the winter months. It has the side benefit of actually increasing the nutritional value of certain foods and of keeping our guts optimally healthy. The gut is where more than 95% of our digestion and absorption of nutrients take place, after all, so this is vastly important.

Thus, here are ten reasons why you should eat at least one fermented or cultured food every day:

  1. Fermenting vegetables increases their nutritional content
  2. Fermented foods heal the intestinal tract from damage and restore optimal health
  3. Beneficial bacteria provide enzymes which aid in digestion
  4. Lactic acid bacteria stimulate and support the immune system
  5. Lactic acid bacteria fight off pathogenic bacteria
  6. Fermented and cultured foods taste good! (Think lox, cream cheese, pickles – these are fermented foods!)
  7. Fermenting and culturing your own food is cheap and easy
  8. Fermented foods are better than supplements
  9. Fermented food promote dental health
  10. You can ferment pretty much anything to increase its nutritional value (as well as increase its shelf life)


101 Fabulous Fermented Recipes | NourishmentSpy.com


Fermentation Tips, Tricks & Resources

Easy Ways to Eat More Fermented and Cultured Foods from Nourishing Joy

The Basics: Fermented and Raw from Food Renegade

Organization in the Real Food Kitchen: Ferments Everywhere! from Keeper of the Home

DIY Airlock for Fermentation by Learning and Yearning

DIY Airlock: Fruit and Veggie Ferments from Traditional Cooking School

Are Mason Jar Ferments Safe? from Food Renegade


Traditional Cooking School offers a number of e-courses on fermented and cultured foods. Currently their e-course menu includes e-courses on lacto-fermentation, dairy and cheesemaking, sourdough, and several more.

(I consider Traditional Cooking School a go-to source for all things related to fermentation. Both the free information on the blog and the premium e-courses are packed with useful and inspiring info.)

And of course, there's Wardeh's book (Wardeh writes Traditional Cooking School), a truly excellent guide to the basic of lacto-fermentation: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods


101 Fabulous Fermented Foods

So, enough with the theory, let's get to the practical! Here are 101 recipes for fermented and cultured foods (plus a few tips, tricks, and resources) that are sure to inspire a new favorite food of some sort in your house.

Fruits & Vegetables

Cortido from Just Makin' Noise
Curtido from Nourishing Joy – my all-time favorite shredded vegetable ferment, hands down – this recipe is in the free cookbook you received when you signed up to receive updates from Nourishing Joy (if you haven't gotten your copy, just click the Curtido link and you can sign up there!)

Kimchi from Kitchen Stewardship
Kimchi from Traditional Cooking School
Kimchi from Nourished Kitchen

Old-Fashioned Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut from The Nourishing Gourmet
Homemade Sauerkraut photo tutorial from Cultured Palate
The BEST Homemade Sauerkraut (with garlic and dill!) from Real Food Eater
Spinach Kraut from Traditional Cooking School

Roma Fresca from Traditional Cooking School
30 Second Lacto-Fermented Salsa from Cheeseslave
Costa Rican Chilero from Just Makin' Noise

Lacto-fermented Pickled Vegetables from The Kitchn
A Peck of Pickled Peppers from Mommypotamus
Lacto-fermented Crunchy Pickles from Kitchen Stewardship
Real Food 101: How to Make Lacto-fermented Pickles from Our Nourishing Roots

Lacto-fermented Red Onions from Delicious Obsessions
Lacto-fermented Garlic from Delicious Obsessions
Lacto-fermented Radishes from Traditional Cooking School
Indian Spiced Cauliflower from Delicious Obsessions
Fermented Shredded Beets from Traditional Cooking School
Light My Fire: Pickled Jalapeños from Nourished Kitchen
Brine Pickled Garlic Scapes from Nourished Kitchen

Lacto-fermented Dilly Carrot Sticks from The Nourishing Gourmet
Citrus Ginger Carrots from Delicious Obsessions
Garlic Dill Carrots from Delicious Obsessions
Desfiles de Boyeros (Ginger Carrots) from Just Makin' Noise

The Lost Art of Curing Olives from Food Bridge
Home Cured Olives: Moroccan Style from Nourished Kitchen
How to Cure Green Olives from Hunter • Angler • Gardener • Cook
Curing Green Olives from The Nourishing Gourmet

Fermented Raspberry Preserves from Traditional Cooking School
Lacto-Fermented Berries from Oh Lardy!
Moroccan Preserved Lemons from Nourished Kitchen
5-Spice Apple Chutney from Traditional Cooking School
Fig Newton Butter from Nourishing Joy
Raw Mango Butter from Just Makin' Noise
Fermented Cranberry Relish from Traditional Cooking School



How to Make Water Kefir from Delicious Obsessions
How to Make Milk Kefir from Delicious Obsessions
How to Ferment Coconut Water from Traditional Cooking School
Water Kefir Flavor Guide – Lots of Delicious Fizzy Flavors! from Delicious Obsessions

Easy Homemade Ginger Ale from The Kitchn
How to Make Ginger Bug for Homemade Sodas from Nourished Kitchen
Cultured Strawberry Soda from Holistic Squid
Lacto-fermented Root Beer from Cultures for Health
Homemade Rhubarb Soda from Sustainable Eats
Lacto-Fermented Lemonade from Food Renegade
Easy Probiotic Strawberry Limeade from Mindful Mama
Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice from Oh Lardy!
Herbal Kefir Iced Tea from Nourishing Herbalist

Fermented Nettle Tea from Delicious Obsessions
Hard Apple Cider from Delicious Obsessions
Kombucha Cosmopolitan from Nourishing Joy
Fermented Plum Brandy from Fresh Bites Daily

Kombucha (Batch Brew Method) from Delicious Obsessions
How to Grow a Kombucha SCOBY from Food Renegade
How to Brew Kombucha + Holiday Flavors from Common Sense Homesteading
Chai Kombucha from Nourishing Joy

Raspberry Kvass by Real Food RN
How to Make Beet Kvass that Actually Tastes Good by Fearless Eating



Easiest Yogurt Recipe {Ever} from Trina Holden
Making Homemade Yogurt: Easy Picture Tutorial from Kitchen Stewardship
Coconut Milk Yogurt (no yogurt maker required!) from Delicious Obsessions
Coconut Milk Yogurt from Real Food Forager
How to Make Yogurt from Nourishing Joy
Matsoni: The Easiest Yogurt You’ll Make from Nourished Kitchen


Other Dairy

Homemade Cream Cheese from Just Makin' Noise
DIY Crème Fraîche from The Kitchn
Black Cherry Frozen Yogurt from Cultured Palate
Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese from My Humble Kitchen
How to Make Real Cream Cheese from Nourished Kitchen


Lunch Items & Snack-y Stuff

The Best Reuben Sandwich Ever from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough Reuben Picnic Buns from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough Pretzel Bites with Probiotic Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce from Nourishing Joy

Fermented Indian Dosas (Lentil Crepes) from Cultures for Health
Fermented French Fries from Intentionally Domestic
Cultured Waldorf Salad from Cultures for Health
Probiotic Potato Salad from Intentionally Domestic
Lacto-fermented Hummus from Traditional Cooking School
Yummy Fermented Bean Paste from Just Makin' Noise

Kefir Popsicles from Cultured Palate


Condiments & Pantry Staples

Cultured Butter from Delicious Obsessions
Thai Basil Pesto from Delicious Obsessions

Lacto-fermented Mayonnaise from Traditional Cooking School
Lacto-fermented Honey Dill Mustard from Traditional Cooking School
Homemade Dill Pickle Relish from Food Renegade
Lacto-fermented Ketchup from Traditional Cooking School
Quick Probiotic Barbecue Sauce from Nourishing Joy
Lacto-fermented Guacamole from Traditional Cooking School
Fermented Habañero Hot Sauce from Homemade Mommy
Homemade Fish Sauce from Nourishing Joy

Naturally Pickled Cayenne from Just Makin' Noise
How to Make Your Own Vinegar from The Kitchn
How to Ferment Honey from Cultures for Health

Kombucha Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs from Nourishing Joy
Tarragon Kefir Dressing (over Cultured Cabbage Salad) from Natural Health Magazine


Sourdough & Other Baked Goods

Lox Pizza from GNOWFGLINS
6 Cultured Foods to Make at Home from Keeper of the Home
Sourdough Pie Crust from Fresh Healthy Cooking
Sourdough Whole Wheat Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns from Wild Yeast Blog

Cranberry-Orange Sourdough Muffins from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers from Kitchen Stewardship
Sourdough Black Forest Cake from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough Carrot Cake from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough English Muffins from Nourishing Joy
Sourdough Oliebollen: A Dutch New Year's Treat from Nourishing Joy


Beans, Meats & Fish

How to Make Lox from Nourishing Joy
Traditional Corned Beef from Nourishing Joy
Home Cured Salami from Hunter • Angler • Gardener • Cook
Home Cured Bacon, Ham, and Other Whole Cured Meats from Hunter • Angler • Gardener • Cook

Simple Natto from The Nourishing Gourmet


What's YOUR favorite fermented food? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  1. I have some questions though! I guess it might be covered in tips and tricks and stuff but through all the resources I have looked at my mind still can’t wrap around this simple concept, but not the making, but the eating it. Do you eat the fermented foods like a cold salad, as a side to your meal? If I fermented soup, can I warm it up without killing the good bacteria and the whole reason for making this food this way?
    I guess I need some practical application methods. I don’t really like sauerkraut, or at least the way the store bought versions taste so I never wanted to attempt something like it again. But I need the probiotics in real food. I get all hesitant and worried when it comes time to actually eat the food. Did I ferment it correctly or did I just waste all that food and time? Can I blend it to make a smoothie/juice? Right now I can’t even open the jar of veggies I made and it has been waiting in my fridge. Anyway, anything you feel like commenting on would be great. I love all the varieties in receipts but if I don’t have the confidence to eat the final product then I don’t know how successful I call myself.

    1. I totally hear you – in fact, these questions are why I wanted to gather this list together in the first place. Fermented foods can take on so many different forms, flavors, and textures, that there’s bound to be something for everyone. 🙂

      The key here is to find what you like – and shredded vegetable ferments like sauerkraut are only one of many options. For example, you are wondering the best way to eat them and you mentioned soup. Let’s say you make borscht – you certainly could stir sauerkraut into it, even blend it in to make it smooth, but why not just use sour cream? Sour cream is a fermented food too – there’s no reason to eat sauerkraut if you don’t like it.

      And you mentioned a smoothie. That’s a great idea and a great way to eat fermented foods. Yogurt, kefir, and any of the fermented fruits listed above would do beautifully. And again – highly customizeable. For example, personally, I don’t like milk kefir but I love almost any variety of yogurt, so I only make smoothies with yogurt.

      Or maybe beverages are the way to go for you – water kefir, kombucha, etc. Or maybe cultured dairy – superbly yummy cheese, for example. My point is to just experiment until you find something you DO like and don’t worry about feeling like you “should” be eating any particular fermented food, lest you not “do it right.” There is no right way here, other than finding probiotic-rich foods you actually enjoy.

      And one last idea, if you really can’t bring yourself to eat any of your homemade ferments, then get some whey and just stir a bit of it into any food to get the probiotics without noticing them one bit. You can get whey by buying a large tub of plain yogurt, then spooning out any liquid that collects in it as you eat it (you can also strain it by hanging it in cheesecloth over a large bowl for a few hours). Stir the whey into anything – mustard, fresh salsa, jam, potato salad, tuna salad, even a glass of orange juice – and you’ll get a nice dose of probiotics without the texture or flavor of your food changing. Obviously, only stir in as much as the particular food can take without changing texture!

      So, now to address your questions of heat and safety of your homemade foods.

      You are correct – heat does damage the probiotics, but it’s not like it’s instantaneous. For example, by stirring sauerkraut into a bowl of hot soup, you’re not rendering it useless by any stretch of the imagination. It might not be as potent as if you ate it crisp and cold, but it’s still chock full of those good bacteria. If you simmer it in the soup for hours, however, you’ll likely kill them all. But think of sourdough – that’s baked at high temperatures for long periods of time. The bacteria may not be present, but the fact that those bacteria “pre-digested” much of the flour when they were alive in the dough still gives you great benefit and helps feed the good bacteria in your colon.

      And lastly, you’ll likely be able to tell if your ferment is safe or not. If it smells good and you don’t see any mold or funny colors (pink, black, orange, green, or blue – unless you’re making bleu cheese of course!) then you can be pretty sure it’s good to go. I would recommend investing in an airlock – the kind that sit on top of a mason jar usually cost about $10-20 depending on the kind you get. I felt MUCH more confident in my fermenting once I started using airlocks and you can observe through the jar easily. Also, if it smells good and you don’t see any wayward signs, but you’re still feeling unsure, then just take one bite (or add it to a smoothie!), set it in the refrigerator, and observe how you feel for a day. (I’m assuming you’re not fighting chronic illness of any sort…) The next day you can dive in and eat heartily. 🙂

      So, I hope all of that is helpful in some regard! {hugs}

  2. How did I not know that cream cheese is fermented? I love pickles. I guess that I should eat more fermented things. I lived in Korea for 6 months, but I never got into liking kimchi. I wish I did because it is so healthy. I remember when I lived there, my Korean boss telling me that when the whole SARS thing was going on, there were no SARS cases in Korea and she thought it had to do with Koreans eating kimchi 24/7. I don’t doubt that there is something true about that.How else does an entire nation not get sick when the rest of the world is getting it?

  3. Hi Kresha.

    Nice collection of recipes for fermented foods. I’ve consumed fermented vegetables daily for years and I’m always on the lookout for new, interesting recipes. This collection contains some nice recipes I’ve not seen before; I will try a few of them for sure.


  4. I had a question… more like a concern i am just starting to learn about fermented foods due to i cannot afford to buy the supplements i need to clean some issues up with my gut and he said this would help. Well as i have a compromised immune system i was reading one of the recipes that sounded super yummy until i got to the part where she said if it starts to mold and its white don’t worry and just skim it off the top……… i was pretty grossed out and so was my friend . That doesn’t seem safe to me to tell people to just skim it off….. does it???????????

    1. Well, it depends on what is fermenting. If the food itself is entirely submerged in brine and there’s white mold (not orange, not black, not green) on the top of the brine, it’s okay to scrape that off. But if the food is sticking up out of the brine and there’s mold on it, I typically toss it.

      That said, mold typically only happens on mason jar ferments or ferments that are left to sit in a bowl with just a tea towel or something like that where air is circulating around the ferment. I have come to *strongly* prefer (and recommend) using a fermentation lock or a system that doesn’t allow any oxygen to get to the food, as that exchange is what is going to allow for mold to grow. Also, these ferments tend to grow much higher percentages of beneficial bacteria, so it’s worth it to invest in some basic fermentation tools, especially if the thought of mold grosses you out. 🙂

      Does that help?

  5. Pingback: How to Preserve {Pretty Much} Anything: Part 2 - Keeper of the Home

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