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

optional screen reader

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

Plus IconGetty Images

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.

optional screen reader

Leave a Comment

More Stories from Food & Recipes


by Justina Huddleston

Food News

There’s Still Time to Order Ina Garten’s Signature Carrot Cake for Your EasterDinner

by Kenzie Mastroe

by Delilah Gray, Olivia Harvey

Food News

by Kay Snowden

Food News

This Colorful Keurig For Small Spaces Is 40% off For Amazon’s Big SpringSale

by Justina Huddleston

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


What's better than kombucha? ›

However, water kefir contains a greater number of bacteria strains than those found in kombucha. Both beverages are beneficial in aiding natural systems of the body, and both are great for hydration. Depending on your needs, consuming one or both is a matter of individual taste.

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.

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 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.

What drink has the most probiotics? ›

Kombucha Is an Excellent Source of Probiotics

Kombucha typically has billions and billions of microscopic probiotics in even a very small serving. How many billions depends on how the kombucha is made, what ingredients are added, and how it's stored.

What is the best drink for gut health? ›

The bottom line

Fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir may promote gut health. Green tea and ginger tea might also help ease gut symptoms.

What happens if you eat fermented foods everyday? ›

A review of many studies shows that fermented foods can help reduce the risk and progression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. This happens because these probiotic-rich foods increase your body's antioxidant capacity and reduce inflammation while also helping to lower blood glucose and increase insulin sensitivity.

What happens when you first start eating fermented foods? ›

The most common reaction to fermented foods is a temporary increase in gas and bloating. This is the result of excess gas being produced after probiotics kill harmful gut bacteria and fungi. Probiotics secrete antimicrobial peptides that kill harmful pathogenic organisms like Salmonella and E. Coli.

What foods ferment in the colon? ›

Vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic-containing spices, onions, mushrooms, lentils, and other legumes. Milk and milk products. Foods containing wheat and rye, which contain little absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates that are ideal for bacterial fermentation.

Are pickles fermented food? ›

Quick pickles, the most common type of pickle found in grocery stores, are not fermented because they use an acid, such as vinegar, in their pickling brine. However, Lacto-fermented pickles are fermented because they follow the lactic acid fermentation method, which only uses water and salt in its brine.

Should you eat fermented food on an empty stomach? ›

It's most optimal to eat enzyme rich fermented food at the beginning of the meal, so they can begin the work of helping digestion as soon as they land in the stomach.

What is a fermented food for breakfast? ›

BREAKFAST. Cultured dairy (yogurt, kefir, buttermilk) are naturals for breakfast. Add yogurt, kefir or buttermilk to your morning smoothies or top granola or oatmeal with fruit and homemade yogurt.

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

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.

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.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 5827

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.