Five Fermented Food Recipes for Good Gut Health

These simple recipes will get you started.


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Having tummy troubles? Try incorporating more fermented foods into your diet.

Fermented foods are packed with probiotics, which are thought to introduce good bacteria to the gut. Though research on probiotics is evolving, many experts believe good bacteria can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and possibly even soothe allergies.

To get you started, we found five healthy fermented food recipes easy enough to make at home.

1. Sauerkraut
via Martha Stewart

Sauerkraut is one of the most common fermented foods. It’s traditionally made only with cabbage, caraway seeds, and salt, but you can also add other fruits or vegetables, such as carrots or apples.

You’ll need a fermentation crock or airtight jar to make your own sauerkraut. Bacteria releases gas as it ferments, so you’ll need to open the lid and release some of the pressure after five days.

2. Kimchi
via Platings and Pairings

Kimchi’s funky flavor comes from a blend of spices and fish sauce. It ferments at a lower temperature than sauerkraut and uses larger chunks of cabbage, along with ingredients such as radishes, scallions, and ginger.

Kimchi is also made in a tightly sealed jar and can be eaten after 48 hours, although it tastes best after sitting for one week.

3. Lemon, Rosemary, and Garlic Pickles
via Nomad with Cookies

Yep, your go-to sandwich topping packs in some probiotics. This recipe uses a brine of salt, sugar, vinegar, and water that’s boiled until the salt and sugar dissolve. After that, you’ll add large chunks of garlic, sprigs of rosemary, and the zest of two lemons, giving your cucumbers a tangy flavor. The pickles should sit in a mason jar for at least six hours before eating.

4. Kombucha Tea
via Stay Healthy, Stay Happy

Kombucha is a sour, carbonated tea that’s made through fermentation. More specifically, kombucha uses a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to catalyze fermentation. You can buy a SCOBY online or grow your own.

For this recipe, you’ll use store-bought kombucha to get your batch started, along with tea bags, vinegar, and juice for flavoring. You’ll also need pH strips to determine when the kombucha is done and when it’s safe to drink.

5. Fermented Cinnamon Apples
via Hettman Homestead

Vegetables aren’t the only foods that can be fermented. This recipe combines kombucha, lemon juice, apples, and cinnamon for a tangy, sweet snack.

The apples should be kept out of the sun for 48 hours. If you don’t use them right away, they’ll last up to three months in a sealed container in the refrigerator.