Lacto-fermentation Fruit and Vegetables Recipes

Fermentation is one of the most ancient forms of food preservation and one of the easiest. Here are some recipes for fermented vegetables and fruits that are delicious and full of good-for-you bacteria (like the ones in yogurt).

  • 01 of 11

    How Lacto-fermentation Works

    Pickeled vegetables and herbs in preserving jar
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    Lacto-fermentation takes nothing more than salt, vegetables, and water–no canning, no fancy equipment. This simple process works because of the lucky fact that bacteria that could be harmful to us can't tolerate much salt, but there are healthy bacteria (think yogurt) that can. Let's think of them as the bad guys vs. the good guys. Lacto-fermentation wipes out the bad guys in its first stage, then lets the good guys get to work during stage two.

  • 02 of 11

    Lacto-fermentation Without Added Salt

    Assortment of glass jars filled with pickled vegetables
    Mutlu Kurtbas / Getty Images

    Traditional lacto-fermentation–the process that produces real sauerkraut and kimchi–starts by adding salt. Lots of salt. But there are two ways to lacto-ferment food without adding salt.

  • 03 of 11

    Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

    Chopped red cabbage in a close-up view
    Heike Kampe / Getty Images

    Red cabbage makes a colorful variation of traditional sauerkraut. We like to add caraway and juniper berries. Try serving it with crisp, chopped apples for a quick, delicious salad.

  • 04 of 11

    Lacto-fermented Green Beans

    Glass bowl with green beans
    Andreas Kaspar / Getty Images

    Green beans are terrific when they are fermented. We like to eat them straight out of the jar, but they are also good added to soups and salads.

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  • 05 of 11

    Carrot Kimchi

    Making kimchi: grating carrots
    Lucia Lambriex / Getty Images

    This easy to make kimchi is a colorful, spicy variation of the more common cabbage kimchi. It is loaded with naturally good-for-you probiotics. Delicious served alongside Korean or other Asian-style dishes, it is also good mixed into rice and other cooked grains.

  • 06 of 11

    Radish Kimchi

    John Madden / Getty Images

    Traditional kimchi usually includes a type of radish–daikon–among its ingredients. Here the proportions of radish to cabbage have been reversed to showcase the radish crunch and taste. Using red-skinned cherry radishes or French breakfast radishes gives this recipe its cheerful color.

  • 07 of 11

    Sauerruuben–Fermented Turnip Pickle

    Stacks of turnips
    Brasil2 / Getty Images

    Fermented turnips are a traditional treat in both Asia and Europe. Crunchy and lightly tangy, they are excellent as part of a mixed vegetable salad. They are also great served alongside meat or poultry.

  • 08 of 11

    Fermented Apple Chutney

    Wooden crates of organic apples
    Diana Miller / Getty Images

    This lacto-fermented apple chutney is crunchy, lightly tangy and delicious enough to use as a side dish rather than a condiment. Plus you get all the awesome probiotic health benefits of lacto-fermented foods.

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  • 09 of 11

    Lacto-fermented Carrots

    Glass of fermenting carrots with red peppercorns and dill
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Fermented carrots are not only healthy but also delicious. This method will safely preserve them for months.

  • 10 of 11

    Fermented Green Tomato Pickle Recipe

    Green Tomatoes on a Rustic Wood Board
    Jill Fromer / Getty Images

    Green cherry tomato pickles are a tangy treat that is delicious served with cheese, or simply as an olive-like snack. This recipe makes great use of this end-of-the-gardening-season ingredient.

  • 11 of 11

    Fermented Swiss Chard Stems Recipe

    Swiss rainbow chard
    Carl Pendle / Getty Images

    Chard's juicy, crunchy leafstalks deserve to be treated as a unique ingredient entirely separate from the leafy green parts. "Swiss" chard contains enough natural salts that it doesn't even need a salt brine to achieve lacto-fermentation. All you need is water and chard.