8 Fermented Food Recipes–For Your Health

The Flu is rampant! More than 50% of the nation is being hit with it right now. I’m taking precautions; eating healthier, getting sleep, washing my hands after being in public places and praying!

At every meal I’m eating at least a tablespoon of fermented foods. I know, you never hear of them anymore. In the olden days everyone knew how to preserve vegetables. It’s done through a process called lacto-fermentation. The lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances digestibility, increases vitamin levels, produces helpful enzymes and antibiotic properties critical to our health.

Lactic acid in the fermented foods keeps them perfectly preserved and promotes healthy flora in our intestines (80% of your immune system is in our gut).

Making them is easy. You don’t need any special equipment. The most important thing is to use the highest quality ingredients. When available use organic fruit or vegetables.  If the vegetables are deficit in nutrients the fermentation is likely not to work. Use pure water, not chemical laden and use sea salt when available.

Most people don’t have access to homemade whey that’s in the recipes.  Don’t use commercial concentrated whey, it’s not the same thing at all. You must have whey to ferment fruit but you don’t have to have whey to make the vegetables. Just use additional salt as I state in the recipe.  If you want to know how to make whey read my post: http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/07/how-to-make-curds-and-whey/. If you don’t have access to raw/unpasteurized milk you can make your own whey using plain yogurt from the store. Here is a site that tells you how to do it http://wellnessmama.com/2402/how-to-make-whey-and-cream-cheese-in-one-step/.

Wash your fruit or vegetables, cut them up, add; salt, spices, water, then pound down gently to release juices. The salt helps eliminate bacteria while the fermentation is taking place. Put top on the jar, close tight. Don’t open while on the counter, it is a anaerobic process and the presence of oxygen can ruin the final product.

When you are ready to eat your fermented food–If  it has a horrible odor toss it out. It should smell fermented and maybe sprity.  Some vegetables don’t smell like  anything. Once I made a batch of fermented cucumbers and when opening they were mushy on top, I tossed those out.  They should have been the texture of it’s natural state.

Eat in small quantities, like a condiment.  Enjoy the benefits of being healthy! Recipes are taken from Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions book.

Homemade sauerkraut recipe: http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/05/making-sauerkraut/

Homemade preserved lemons :http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/05/preserved-lemons/!

Fermented Beets

9 medium beets (when possible use organic)

1 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons whey (if you have none, use an additional 1 tablespoon salt)

1 cup filtered water

Chop greens off and wash beets well. Place on cookie sheet and bake on 300 degrees for 3 hours. Peel and chop beet’s into thin strips. Don’t mince beets. Place beets in quart jar with wide mouth. Press down slightly. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Press down lightly. Should be 1 inch below top. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to refrigerator.

Beets in 300 degree oven for three hours


Pour all other ingredients into beet and pound lightly

Pickled Radish

1 bunch of radishes

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons whey (if you have none, use 1 additional teaspoon salt)

Take greens off, wash and grate radishes. Place grated radishes into pint size mason jar. Pound down the radishes, then pour other ingredients on top. Pound again. The top of the radish mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before storing in refrigerator.

One bunch of organic radishes

Greens off and washed

Grate them–not your fingernails!

Put into pint size jar and pound down


Add salt

Pickled Garlic

6 heads of of organic garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons whey (if you have none, use 1 additional tablespoon salt)

1/4 cup water

Bake garlic heads in 300 degree oven until cloves open. It will smell wonderful in your kitchen. Take outer layers off the cloves and put cloves into jar. Pour rest of ingredients on top. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before storing in refrigerator. This is DELICIOUS! Our daughter Rachael spreads it on toast and sprinkles cheese on top-said it was heavenly.

Baking garlic on 300 degrees

Took clove out

Done, now cover tightly and let sit for 3 days at room temperature

Pickled Cucumbers

3 cucumbers

1 tablespoon of fresh dill if you have it

1 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons whey (if you have none, use additional 1 tablespoon salt)

1 cup of filtered water

Wash cucumbers and slice in long quarters. Place in wide mouth quart sized jar. Combine rest of ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Top of liquid should be 1 inch below top. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days before transferring to refrigerator.

Wash cucumbers well, then slice in long quarters

Put cucumber pieces into wide mouth quart jar and then pour water and whey on top

Sliced and ready for the water, whey and salt

Mango Chutney (or Papaya)

3 cups of firm mango, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 red pepper, diced

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup  lime juice

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 cup whey

1/2 cup filtered water

Mix all in large bowl, then pour into wide mouth quart sized jar. Press down. If it doesn’t all fit don’t force it. Eat the left over’s for lunch. The fruit should be covered in liquid, if it is not add more water. Leave 1 inch a top. Cover tightly and sit at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to refrigerator. We’ve used this as a condiment with Mexican dishes, yum!!!

Getting ingredients ready for Mango Chutney

You don’t have to have one of these mango slicers–but it helps

Chopped mango

Lime juice, cilantro and ginger in the mango

Onions, red pepper and salt added

Rest of ingredients added and stirred

Pour into jar and pound–extra left in the bowl was yummy for lunch

Incredibly yummy– put lid on and let sit for 3 days at room temperature

Pineapple Chutney

1 pineapple, chopped- if at all possible use organic

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons fresh  lime juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup of whey

1/2 cup of filtered water

Mix all in large bowl. pour  into wide mouth quart jar. Press down lightly. If it doesn’t all fit, eat that part for lunch! You should have 1 inch head space at top. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature for 3 days until transferring to refrigerator. I didn’t like this one as much, it tasted really fizzy! But I eat it! You need whey to make this one.

Ingredients for pineapple chutney

Took skin off pineapple and cored it- it’s hard

Chopped pineapple

Grated ginger

Add chopped cilantro, water, lime juice and whey

Add Salt

Stir and pour into wide mouth mason jar- Pound, add more if there is room. Extra is delicious to eat right away!

I had to pour some off the top. There is suppose to be 1 inch head room at top

Video of me milking our goat. I use unpasteurized milk to make our whey.  http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/07/how-to-milk-a-goat/




  • Janet said:

    wow, I didn't know it was so easy to make! thanks for the recipes! Can't wait to try them all out!

    • Yep, it took me 3 hours to make all of them including photographing the process. Health and life Blessings!

  • Rachel Olsen said:

    The mango chutney looks amazingly yummy! Wish I could spend the morning in the kitchen with you.

    • It is yummy! That would indeed be a fun morning to spend time together cooking! Love you--see you soon!

  • Beth said:

    Sharon, I read your post about making whey, but was wondering if I could use the whey drained off of yogurt instead. Especially because I am not sure where to get raw milk nearby. Thanks for the help!

    • Beth- that's a great question! Yes, you can use the whey off the top of yogurt. Make sure you strain it, you don't want any solid pieces in it if at all possible. Blessings! Sharon

    • I just added a link to my blog post of someone who tells how to make the whey from store bought yogurt. I think you already know how to do it but it's on there if you want to read it:).

  • Amanda said:

    Hi Mrs. Glasgow,
    Thanks for posting these recipes. I was mainly interested in the chutnies. I wanted to know what would happen if I made them without the whey and just added extra salt?

    • Amanda- Yes, I suggest you make them with whey you make from organic plain whole milk yogurt you buy at the grocery store. I added a link to my post yesterday on how to make it from store bought yogurt. Fruit chutney really needs the good bacteria to make it successfully. Fermented vegetables are successful with just added salt. hope this helps you! Blessings! Sharon

      • Amanda said:

        Yes, the answer was very helpful. I wanted to make the mango chutney, but wanted it "Daniel's Fast" friendly- no dairy. But when I looked into possibly using water kefir as a substitute for the whey, I found it's made with sugar, so I couldn't use that either. So, I really have to go according to the book on this. But that just means I get to enjoy it any other time =) Can't wait to try this out and share it with the ladies @ church..! Thanks so much..! God bless.

  • Christy said:

    I was wondering if the pickles get soggy at all?

    • Hi Christy, No the pickles are not soggy if they are fermented correctly. If liquid doesn't cover them completely they don't turn out and will get soggy. I have had to throw some away that I didn't cover completely. If ever you fail once, don't get discouraged. Fermenting foods is so good for you it is well worth the trial and error phase. Once you get it, you'll be hooked for life, literally. Blessings,

  • Amanda T said:

    Hi Sharon,
    In your recipe for the mango chutney, you show onions in your pictures, but do not list them in the ingredients. How much and what kind of onion did you use?

    • Hi Amanda! I didn't measure how much I put in. Let's say 1/2 cup, chopped red organic onion. Blessings, Sharon

  • Anna Walker said:

    Just thought you might like this. And I am not trying to get you to buy from me or anything like that, just suggesting that some newer tools might be handy(maybe you could find some on craigslist or Bed Bath & Beyond?) You just said the pineapple tore up your hands and I thought of this tool. There is also a cool mango one too. http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=26431&words=pineapple
    I did enjoy the article, and am hoping to do some canning myself in the future. :D I am subscribing to your blog now too. It was great to hear you on the Melissa Taylor OBS Conference Call. I am feeling like I want to live more simply myself. :D Although I don't think I want to quite go into a shed LOL. God bless you Sharon!

    • Thank you Anna! I'm thrilled that you recommended those handy tools. I'll have to look into those! May the Lord bless you Anna! Hugs!

  • Elgin said:

    Hi Sharon, I like the idea of fermented foods. Is it possible to make them salt free? If not, how much salt would we be consuming by following these wonderful recipes?

    • Marissa said:

      Below is a link for a great starter culture for fermented veggies without needing salt.

  • Thanks on your marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it,
    you're a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back very soon. I want to encourage you continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

  • Kathleen Burson said:

    ... my mango chutneys are coming out very fizzy tangy. It overpowers the flavors and is not enjoyable to me. Any suggestions? I used whey in one and fermented sauerkraut juice as a starter for the other. It is about 78 degrees in the kitchen. The chutneys look great but tasted better before the fermentation.

    • Yep it does taste tangy and it does taste better before fermenting. Just remember, the fermentation makes it healthier. The kitchen may have been a little too warm and became over processed. It shouldn't be too fizzy and tangy. Maybe next time put it in fridge after two days if the house temp seem warm.

  • Matt said:

    I have 3 questions. My sister makes homemade yogurt from Wegmans organic milk. WOuld that be an acceptable means for whey?

    Secondly, how long can the fruits or veggie tables last after being fermented?

    And lastly, Since you are fermenting and not canning, its compounding the bacterial and nutritional factors of the foods. Do you have experience with fermented tomatoes?

    Thank you so much for your time! This has been an awesome blog full of great knowledge and amazing stories!


    • Hi Matt,

      I'm glad you found the post to be helpful!

      1. No, pasteurized milk doesn't produce acceptable whey. Pasteurized organic yogurt however can be used for making whey.
      2. Fermented fruits only last a month, sometimes less. However, lemons can last almost a year! You'll know when a fruit is done- they get mushy. Each Vegetable has a different lifespan. Some can last 6 months to a year depending on which you are making.
      3. If you are using true whey from unpasteurized milk, the good bacteria gobbles up the bad bacteria and produces more good bacteria!
      4. I have made fermented salsa with tomatoes and it lasted for months. I'm not sure about other concoctions with tomatoes.


  • Daphne said:

    I'm a beginner and planning to make cortido and then your garlic for the first time.
    A little worried about the extra tablespoon of salt (I can't use whey) making everything too salty. Will it really not?
    I'd like to try to ferment mushrooms. I'm thinking I could get a clue about how from your other recipes, in terms of proportions. Still concerned about the extra salt.
    Thanks for the help.

  • Daphne said:

    One more question please.
    I see now that there isn't much information on fermenting mushrooms. Have you done it? Do you need to add sugar since they (apparently) have little or none of their own? I found 1 recipe that looks amazing but there's no added sugar. Not sure they'd actually ferment without it.
    Thanks again.

    • Anonymous said:

      thank you. i am new to this. but i will start today. will do the pineapple.

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  • Kristy H. Spring said:

    I am planning to ferment mango chutney this weekend. I do have a question about the whey. I have recently frozen some whey from organic raw milk. I typically use it in smoothies for my children. Can I simply thaw a bit to use in the mango chutney, or since it has been frozen, is it no good for fermenting foods? Thanks for your advice!!!

    • Hi Kristy! I wouldn't count on it to ferment perfectly. I've never tried it myself.

      • Kristy H. Spring said:

        Thanks! I am giving it a go with the whey from my freezer...I will let you know how it turns out:)

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  • Carole said:

    I made the beets using the extra salt method, as I can't do dairy, and the beets were far too salty! Two tablespoons is a bit much! Is there a chance that you meant teaspoons instead? Can't use the culture started, either, as is may contain dairy. What's a gal to do?

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  • Sophia said:

    Do your have to use whey? is there a way i could do it vegan?

    • You can use salt in the vegetable's but not in the fruit. You can buy Caldwell's Starter Culture instead of using whey. I'm not sure if it is vegan approved.

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  • DENISE said:

    Can you please tell me what size jars are you using. Thank you!

    • Denise, I used quart jars for the mango, pineapple, cucumber and beets. A pint jar for the radishes. 1/2 cup jar for garlic.

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  • Judy Bernes said:


    thank you for posting these! HAve been looking for something to ferment other than cabbage; love it, just need a change. I'm lactose (dairy) intolerant and whey is one of the worst for me. I like that salt can be substituted.......is this true even for your recipes that call for a 1/4 cup of it ?


  • Nad said:

    I just placed the fermented radishes in the fridge. Now do I rinse the portion I take out of the jar before eating, or does that wash away the good bacteria too? I don't want to overload my diet with salt.

    • Yes. If using whey you wouldn't need to rinse, if using salt you would. It does not wash away live enzymes.

  • Nad said:

    the radish is changing to a brownish color while in the fridge (within a few days). Does that mean its gone past the point of healthy fermentation? I had it on the counter 3 days then placed it in the fridge. It tasted awful (rinsed), but that won't stop me from eating it if its healthy for me. I just don't want to get food poisoning.

  • Tamara Carr-Morgan said:

    Okay, these look right up my ally. Going for the veggies first. Now, which is your favorite? Which do you crave the most? I want to know which one you are scraping the bottom of the jar for that last microscopic little bit.

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    • Anonymous said:

      Can you use a nutbag instead of cheesecloth to make whey?

      • I've never used a nugbag, but if it's thin- probably so!

  • Rhianon said:

    Hi, this is such a great list of fermented food recipes! Thanks for sharing. I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more fermented food into my diet! One of my favorite recipes that I recently found is for miso peanut butter cookies- they're amazing!

  • Anonymous said:

    Can you use a nutbag instead of cheesecloth to make the whey?