Fermenting food is some of the easiest food preservation that there is. These fermentation recipes for beginners will help you and your family to restore your gut health with beneficial microbes. There’s also great fun and a fun new hobby.
Fermenting is a lost art that is now resurfacing in popularity. It has literally changed my life. Has it changed yours? Few things are really life-changing, you know, but the process of fermenting foods into high-enzyme, high-probiotic life-giving creations has helped turn our health around in a way that not much else has.
I had first read about fermented foods from the health cookbook that started it all for me: Nourishing Traditions. It seemed so intimidating at first, and it was a while before I was brave enough to try it on my own. Eventually, after learning a bit more, I became comfortable with the process and now really enjoy it. We’ve usually got something fermenting over here on the countertop or in the pantry. Weird, yes, but not really… not if you go way back. It’s an ingenious historical method of storing food.
I will never forget how unsure I was getting started, and so I want to share these 15 EASY fermenting recipes with you. They are all simple, and for the fermenting beginner.
The best way to start fermenting is just to start fermenting. 🙂 So try some of these out and watch your body thank you in the process.
Be sure to check out our Fermentation Pinterest board for more inspiration!
- 1 Easy Fermentation Recipes For beginners
- 2 Fermented vegetable recipes
- 3 Fermented Drinks Recipes
- 4 Kombucha
- 5 Yogurt
- 6 Fermented Fruits Recipes
- 7 Which are the best vegetables to ferment?
- 8 What supplies do i need to start fermenting?
Easy Fermentation Recipes For beginners
Each of these recipes is tried and tested. I am sure that you will have great success with your first beginner fermenting projects!
Fermented vegetable recipes
Fermented foods are one of the best ways to get powerful probiotics into your diet, and this Easy Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe from Whole New Mom is likely the most frugal and the simplest way to do it. Saurkraut is made with cabbage and salt, and the resulting brine can be used in many other fermenting recipes.
Many recipes for pickles or pickled cucumbers are quick pickles – essentially just cucumbers plus vinegar and spices. This easy to follow dill pickles recipe actually involves fermenting your cucumbers, so it’s a great step up from simple vinegar pickles.
Our beginner-friendly fermented carrots recipe is a twist on lacto-fermentation and is essentially wild fermented using the natural bacteria from the air and from the carrots. You could even add some saurkraut brine if you have leftovers!
Fermented Mushrooms from Oh Lardy
Oh Lardy literally wrote the book on fermenting, and so when they released this recipe for fermented mushrooms I had to try it. It is so, so easy and a perfect ferment for beginners. It has a simple ingredient list and uses a bit of culture starter. You could use brine or saurkraut brine if you don’t have the culture starter though.
Fermented Honey Garlic by Grow Forage Ferment
This fermented honey garlic is the perfect thing to make to boost your immune system! Both honey and garlic have strong medicinal benefits, so you’ll want to have this delicious home remedy on hand for cold and flu season.
Made with only raw honey and organic garlic, fermented honey can’t be any easier and it’s super tasty, too! Perfect drizzled over pizza or veggies, fermented honey garlic is a great way to add fermented foods into your diet.
Easy Beginner Fermented Cauliflower Bites by Attainable Sustainable
These crunchy cauliflower bites are excellent for snacking, packs a probiotic punch and is full of beneficial microbes. Serve this fermented vegetable recipe on a crudite platter, alongside a sandwich, or straight out of the jar. https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/lacto-fermented…/
It turns out you can combine your love of hot sauce with the health benefits and good bacteria from fermenting! I used a basic fermenting method to make hatch chiles. If you want to make this into a sauce, simply blend with an immersion blender after the fermentation process. Yum!
Fermented turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, and the fermentation process makes the compounds more bio-available than regular turmeric.
When you lacto-ferment turmeric, you enable its anti-inflammatory property, curcumin, to become more bioavailable. Try fermented turmeric over your next wok or Ramen bowl.
This recipe for fermented turmeric has an option for sugar brine or salt brine, plus has links to 4 different ways to use your fermented turmeric.
I’m hesitant to include a kimchi recipe in this list, because kimchi requires a lot more ingredients than any of the recipes above. But, it is one of the most popular fermenting recipes and a way to really level up your fermenting skills. This recipe has detailed step by step instructions, so even a complete beginner can follow along.
Fermented Drinks Recipes
There are two types of kefir, milk and water. They can both be used to make a variety of drinks.
Water kefir sort of changed my life. Does that sound unbelievable? It’s true; if I could pinpoint one change we made that made the most difference in our lives, I would chalk it up to water kefir. That fizzy, bubbly, tingly, probiotic vitamin powerhouse. It was our first ferment that I kept up with, kind of like my gateway ferment.
Kefir is a great beginner fermentation project. You don’t need much in the way of space or tools, and you can usually pick up some kefir grains either cheaply or free from someone else who is making kefir regularly. If you don’t know anyone who is making kefir, you can grab them from Amazon.
Milk kefir is made in exactly the same way as water kefir but using milk instead of water. You can use any type of milk so long as it has lactose. Unfortunately, you can’t use milk kefir grains to make water kefir.
Theoretically, you should be able to drink dairy milk kefir even if you are lactose intolerant. But I have found that the small amounts of lactose will still upset my stomach.
Did you know that the commercial sodas that we drink today evolved from healthful lacto-fermented beverages?
Fermented beverages were made from roots, leaves, and barks. You might think of root beer and sasparilla, which are two modern examples which you can occasionally find made from traditional ingredients.
Modern sodas have nothing healthy about them, but this delicous recipe has all the benefits of a fermented drink, plus the sweet taste of blueberries.
You can use whey or another starter, like a ginger bug or kefir.
Brewing kombucha is one of the best beginner fermentation recipes. There is absolutely no reason to be intimidated when making your first batch. It’s simple and super fun. And you can always start again, because each batch is so cheap to make. I only wish I had started brewing earlier!
This recipe contains details for your first fermentation as well as how to use fruit juice to flavor your second fermentation.
Yogurt is a really simple cultured food that you can make overnight.
Not feeling the lactose love from whole milk? Our recipe for coconut yogurt is ridiculously simple and doesn’t need a yogurt maker – just a mason jar in the oven overnight. It also uses probiotic powder instead of leftover yogurt or commercial starter.
Fermented Fruits Recipes
Combine fragrant Meyer lemons and raw honey into a syrup-y concoction. Use this basic lemon honey recipe for everything from soothing sore throats to making a delightful vinaigrette!
Orange & Onion Vinegar
My kids put ketchup on just about everything. It’s a legitimate kitchen staple. So, when I found this recipe for a healthier ketchup, that includes all the positives of fermented foods like better gut health and increased probiotics, i jumped at the chance! It’s a simple beginner ferment recipe
This recipe for watermelon rind pickles uses an airlock lid device which makes fermenting super simple. There is no need to ‘burp’ your recipe, and you can be sure that no nasty bugs are getting in there with your ferment.
Which are the best vegetables to ferment?
You can ferment just about any fruit or vegetable that you can think of. Everything from beets, to apples to cabbage or pineapple can be fermented. As you can see on our list of easy fermenting recipes for beginners, there are many ways to ferment, and a great recipe for every fruit and vegetable.
What supplies do i need to start fermenting?
As a beginner, you can start with some simple equipment for your first few batches of fermented foods.
For probiotic fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir and soda, you just need a big jar for your first ferment, and some fermentation bottles for your second ferment (which is where you add flavors and the carbonation builds).
The most popular fermenting bottles are these ones. They are great because the lids are nice and snug, no metal comes into contact with your liquid and they are easy to ‘burp’. Another important point is that they are really solid, so less likely to explode if there is too much air buildup.
For your main fermenting vessel, any large jar will do, but I love these ones:
Other items that you might need include a strainer, funnel and teapot. Most of these things you will find in your house, but if not, check out these supplies on Amazon.
For fermenting vegetables, most of the recipes here are made in large mason jars, just like this one.
For saukraut and kimchi, a fermenting crock can be a good idea as it helps to keep bugs out while allowing your ferment to burp naturally.
My absolute FAVORITE fermenting vessel is Fido Jars. Pretty much perfect results each time I ferment where a lid is needed.