Curious about fermentation, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? These fermentation recipes for beginners are easy and delicious! Here’s what to ferment when you’re just starting out.
One of my missions as a fermentation enthusiast is to get people excited about fermenting! It’s why I volunteer my time to teach fermentation skills for local non-profit organizations. And why I wrote Fermenting Made Simple. 🙂
–> This round-up of fermentation recipes is focused on new fermenters. However, if you’re really keen on developing your skills, sign up for my newsletter to receive my free quick-start guide to fermenting. It’s a series of emails designed to get you going!
–> You can also check out my 5 Steps to Fermenting Success for more tips.
Qualities of these fermentation recipes
When putting together this list, I wanted to make sure the fermentation recipes were perfect for beginners. Here’s why these recipes made the list:
- Reliable: I want you to succeed! I’ve never had a problem with any of these recipes, even when I was new to fermenting.
- Simple: Fermenting is SOOO simple. Just pack everything into a jar and you’re done. No cooking involved! Many of these recipes are perfect pack-and-go ferments.
- Delicious: These recipes are quite popular and don’t require you to be adventurous or eat something more unique than delicious. 😉
- Worth-while: I’ve included a few recipes that are a bit more ambitious. However, the payoff is good.
- Favorites: All of these recipes are favorites at my house. We make them all the time and you can pretty much always find them in my kitchen or pantry!
Fermented pickles are absolutely amazing. Sour, salty, crunchy, and perfect. All you have to do is fill a jar with vegetables and and brine and leave them to ferment until you’re ready to eat them!
Cabbage is a particularly reliable ferment. It’s so low-maintenance ferment that I’ve gone into schools to teach kids how to make it. Teens really like pounding cabbage into jars and preschool kids love using my rotary grater.
I love fermented vegetables so much that they have their own recipe round-up. Here are fermented vegetables recipes from Avocados to Zucchini.
I’ll admit, my favorite way of fermenting fruit is to turn it into wine! However, that is definitely a next-level recipe. Here are some sweet and savory recipes for first-time fermenters.
- Try fermenting fruit with raw ACV, honey, or kombucha.
- Rhubarb is one of my favorite fruits to ferment. The fermenting cuts the tartness while keeping that wonderful flavor of spring.
- Did you know fruit scraps can be turned into vinegar? Try this reliable zero-waste ferment the next time you make apple pie.
Dairy & Alternatives
Fermented dairy and non-dairy alternatives are the best options for anyone wanting to get a dose of probiotics. The calcium in milk and fortified dairy alternatives protect the probiotic cultures from stomach acid and help them get to your gut.
It’s also really easy to add fermented dairy to your diet. Yogurt is actually a tricky ferment. It needs heating and maintaining the temperature. However, it’s also something that many people have tried making, even if don’t make other types of ferments.
Here’s a few recommended dairy ferments:
- Milk kefir is super simple and has tons of health benefits.
- If milk kefir is too sour for you, try cultured buttermilk. It has a lightly cheesy flavor and can be cultured at room temperature.
- Yogurt is always popular.
- I have make a bunch of different non-dairy yogurts. My favorites are soy milk (see photo above) and coconut cream.
Sourdough wouldn’t have probably made this list of beginner-friendly ferments if it weren’t for the craze of 2020. However, the flavor and texture of sourdough bread is amazing. It is so worth the effort! Especially if you follow my no-fuss sourdough routine. 😉
- A traditional sourdough starter takes about 7 days to get going.
- It only takes about 3-4 days to catch a vigorous gluten-free sourdough starter with buckwheat flour.
- If you’re not up for the work of a regular sourdough starter, here’s how to make one with kombucha.
- This rustic sourdough bread is one of my most popular recipes.
- I LOVE my gluten-free sourdough rolls.
There are a bunch of off-beat ferments that are really fun! So I decided to include a few in this list. These might not be recipes that you would normally consider trying, but they’re so delicious and reliable that it’s totally worth it!
- Miso is the EASIEST of the offbeat ferments. It does take about 8 months to ferment… but really… it’s only a few hours worth of work and it will last for years, so make a big batch! I recommend making soy-free miso which saves a LOT of prep time.
- If you’re into kombucha, you’re probably already making it. This honey-fermented kvass is a delicious alternative. Feel free to switch up the flavor for a simple summer beverage.
- I’m a huge fan of fermented condiments. They’re such a delicious way to get probiotics into your diet. Try this lentil dip for your new favorite chip dip!