15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (2024)

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15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (1)

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Fermented foods have started gaining traction, not just because they’re tasty, but also because according to WebMD, they could be good for our digestive systems, potentially reducing risk of diseases like diabetes and IBS. Fermented drinks like kombucha are on all the grocery shelves, and people have even been purchasing their own scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to make kombucha at home, which made us wonder — what other fermented foods are totally attainable for the home chef?

It turns out plenty! The internet has seemingly endless resources for whatever kind of fermented food you’re interested in trying. Sauerkraut? Yep. Kimchi? Of course. But even foods you may not have considered for fermenting are possibilities, like ketchup or jalapeños.

We rounded up the fermented recipes that sounded the most interesting to try, like blueberry kefir and cinnamon roll sourdough. Get them right, and we’ll have some of the happiest guts around. Get them wrong, and… well, there’s always the grocery store.

A version of this article was originally published June 2018.

  • Sauerkraut

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (3)

    Super-popular in Germany — you’ve probably seen it at American barbecues or on top of a bratwurst — sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. This recipe uses red cabbage for extra visual appeal.

  • Kimchi

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (4)

    Kimchi is a Korean dish of spicy fermented vegetables, usually cabbage or radish. This recipe uses cabbage. You’ll want to start the fermenting process about a week before you plan to eat it.

  • Miso

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (5)

    Miso is fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt, most often used in Japanese cooking, and while you can make the paste yourself, the stuff you can buy at the store is great. Instead, spend your time experimenting with different recipes — like these miso-glazed grilled zucchini spears — perfect for summer.

  • Tempeh

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (6)

    Tempeh is lightly fermented soybeans that are formed into blocks and often used as a meat alternative. Again, it is something you can make on your own, but you’re better off buying premade tempeh and focusing your experimenting around exciting recipes, like this recipe for baked buffalo tempeh tenders.

  • Yogurt

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (7)

    You already know about yogurt, of course, but this is one staple that can be worth making on your own. It takes about 15 minutes, and you can even make your own yogurt cups for a grab-and-go breakfast.

  • Lassi

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (8)

    Once you’ve mastered yogurt (or even if you’re just gonna buy it from the store, no judgment) give Lassi, an Indian drink, a try. It’s traditionally savory, but if you’re looking for something that might feel more familiar, start with this mango lassi recipe.

  • Sourdough

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (9)

    Bread is fermented? The answer when it comes to sourdough is yes. Sourdough is made through the fermentation of dough via bacteria and yeast. Being able to make your own sourdough starter is a skill all on its own and takes some experience to master. If you’re not a big bread fan, that doesn’t mean it’s a skill you should skip — you could, for example, make these amazing sourdough cinnamon rolls.

  • Kefir

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (10)

    Kefir is kind of like a yogurt drink and is traditionally fermented cow’s milk (although there is also something called water kefir, which is dairy-free.) There are all kinds of things you can make with kefir, like butter, cheese and puddings. This blueberry kefir chia pudding, for example, looks delicious.

  • Fermented Ketchup

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (11)

    Yep, even some of your favorite condiments can be fermented, like this relatively simple recipe for fermented ketchup.

  • Fermented Jalapeño

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (12)

    Great for adding to nachos, sandwiches or anywhere else you want a little heat, these fermented jalapeños only take about 20 minutes to make.

  • Fermented Mayo

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (13)

    Another condiment that can be fermented, this mayo uses a small amount of whey to keep it fresh for up to a month.

  • Fermented Cinnamon Apples

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (14)

    This recipe uses a little bit of fermented tea to preserve cinnamon apples, meaning you can have a healthy apple pie-flavored snack whenever you want.

  • Fermented Honey Garlic

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (15)

    It takes about a month for the honey and garlic to ferment, but then you can add this tasty food to marinades or glazes.

  • Fermented Salsa

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (16)

    Pickle juice or juice from sauerkraut is what gives this salsa its fermentation.

  • Beet Kvass

    15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (17)

    Beet kvass is a fermented beverage made from beets. It’s kind of like kombucha but with beets instead of tea.

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15 Fermented Food Recipes That Go Way Beyond Kombucha (2024)


How much fermented food should I eat a day for gut health? ›

While there are currently no official guidelines regarding how often you should eat fermented foods, adding a few servings to your daily diet may be beneficial ( 44 ). For the best results, start by eating one or two servings per day, and then slowly work your way up.

What foods can you ferment at home? ›

You can ferment a variety of vegetables at home, including cabbage (for sauerkraut), cucumbers (for pickles), carrots, radishes, beets, and more. Experiment with different combinations and seasonings to find your favorite flavors!

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

What fermented foods should I eat daily? ›

Top fermented foods you can add to your diet
  • Kefir.
  • Kimchi.
  • Kombucha.
  • Sauerkraut.
  • Yogurt.
  • Miso.
  • Cheese.
  • Sourdough.
Mar 18, 2024

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.

Can eating kimchi everyday destroy gut bacteria? ›

Along with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, kimchi contains natural probiotic bacteria. If you eat them regularly, the probiotics in fermented foods can be beneficial to your gut microbiome. Studies suggest that eating kimchi on a daily basis could help to improve some digestive problems.

Can one suffer from food poisoning by eating fermented foods? ›

While most fermented foods are safe, it's still possible for them to get contaminated with bacteria that can cause illness.

What is the easiest fermented food to make? ›

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.

Is it better to take probiotics or eat fermented foods? ›

If you want specific, scientifically validated health benefits, your best option is to take a probiotic supplement. But fermented foods can be delicious and nutritious options to include in your diet. So it's not an “either/or” situation.

What is a fermented food for breakfast? ›

  • Cultured dairy (yogurt, kefir, buttermilk) are naturals for breakfast. ...
  • For the more adventurous, make breakfast bowls with yogurt and cooked beans and grains.
  • Top your scrambled eggs with fermented salsa.

What is the healthiest vegetable to ferment? ›

  1. Cabbage. Cabbage is the perfect vegetable for fermentation, and not without good reason! ...
  2. Carrots. Carrots can be used in all kinds of fermentations, but they also shine on their own! ...
  3. Beets. Beets are great for fermentation! ...
  4. Tomatoes. Managing the abundance of tomatoes in the fall… ...
  5. Cauliflower. ...
  6. Green Beans. ...
  7. Celery. ...
  8. Hot Peppers.

What are the top 5 fermented foods? ›

Here are the best fermented foods you should add to your diet.
  1. Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut has been consumed across cultures for centuries. ...
  2. Kombucha. juan antonio barrio miguel / Getty Images. ...
  3. Kimchi. Fudio / Getty Images. ...
  4. Tempeh. Kathleen Juanda Teo / Getty Images. ...
  5. Kefir. ...
  6. Yogurt. ...
  7. Miso and Natto. ...
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar.
Jan 9, 2024

How to make simple fermented food? ›

Here's how to make fermented vegetables from scratch using the simple brine method:
  1. Begin by thoroughly sterilising your chosen jar. ...
  2. Prep your vegetables. ...
  3. Make a brine. ...
  4. Add your veg to the jar. ...
  5. Pour over the brine. ...
  6. Leave to ferment at room temperature. ...
  7. Pop it in the fridge to finish fermentation.
Apr 7, 2022

Can I eat fermented foods everyday? ›

"Yes, but how much fermented food should I eat?" We advocate eating fermented foods three times per day, as snacks or with meals. It's the consistent introduction of these live culture fermented foods to your microbiome that creates the most gut health benefits.

Which is better for gut health kimchi or sauerkraut? ›

Kimchi is healthier than sauerkraut due to its higher probiotic content and increased nutrients. What 3 Foods Are Bad For Your Gut? Diet soda, processed and refined foods make up some of the worst foods for your gut bio and overall health.

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.

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