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Fermentools Blog

  • Delicious Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin

     Posted by Maat


    Lacto-fermented pumpkin is a great way to celebrate fall, and yields a firm but delicious addition to any meal. For this recipe, we used a sugar pumpkin, which is known as the best baking pumpkin out there. You can also substitute any winter squash or gourd in this great recipe.

    Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin |

    It’s also a new and different way to add the nutrients in pumpkins to your diet, while still consuming the beneficial lactobacillus to help keep your digestive system healthy.

    You can also play around with the spices. So, if cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t your thing, try your own special customized blend of spices. I like cinnamon and nutmeg, though, because they add a little bit of spiciness to the ferment, and summon the feel of colored leaves and crisp air better than anything else out there.

    One word of warning – don’t skip the Himalayan salt. It will stop the bad bacteria from growing, without interfering with lactobacillus, which is stronger and better able to resist salt.

    You can use a starter, juice from a previous ferment, or allow the lactobacillus and healthy good-for-you bacteria to grow using the rind from your pumpkin, squash or gourd since the beneficial bacteria love the outside of fruits and vegetables.

    How to use fermented pumpkin

    So the next question, once you have your fermented pumpkin on hand, is to decide how you will use your freshly-fermented pumpkin pieces.

    I like to blend it into smoothies for a probiotic treat, and children love it this way. It’s a sneaky way to introduce beneficial bacteria into their diet while making it easy for them to say “YES!” to a food they might otherwise avoid.

    Another option is to grate it or chop it in a blender and add it on top a leafy green salad for a nutritiously different flavor.

    How to make Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin


    • 1 pound sugar pumpkin, cut from the rind and into 1” pieces

    • 1 tablespoon Himalayan Salt

    • A piece of rind or starter culture

    • Filtered water

    • 1 cinnamon stick, about 3” length

    • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg


    1. Remove the rind from the pumpkin but reserve a small piece for later. Compost the remaining rind, or use it in another recipe.

    2. Remove the seeds and “guts” of the pumpkin.

    3. Cut the flesh of the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces until you have about a pound, or enough to fill a wide-mouthed mason jar.

    4. Assemble the pumpkin pieces into the jar. Include the small piece of rind if you are not using a starter or reserved brine from a prior batch.

    5. In a separate container, mix the salt with some filtered water, and add to the pumpkin, along with the remaining ingredients.

    6. Fill with filtered water, leaving a 1” gap at the top, and shake to incorporate all the ingredients together.

    7. Add a weight on top so the pumpkin stays submerged.

    Allow to ferment for about 7 days, or to taste. Sugar pumpkin, if allowed to ferment too long, will begin to taste like alcohol, so a shorter fermentation time is necessary.

    Fermenting pumpkin really is that easy – it’s no different than any other fruit or vegetable that you ferment, but it’s so different, that it’s almost like getting a healthy probiotic dessert!


    Maat van Uitert is a professional writer and homesteader based in the South. Maat is a fermenting nut who specializes in making cheeses, yogurts, probiotic sauces and condiments to spice up and create flavorful meals. You can read more about Maat and her homestead at FrugalChicken, where Maat helps everyday people achieve independence by raising chickens, learning traditional skills, and becoming more self-sufficient. You can also catch up with her on her weekly podcast, What The Cluck?!, available on iTunes now.
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  • Lacto-fermented Fermented Beets

    My son just gave me a bag of beets from his garden and I wanted to try fermenting some. But a quick scan of the internet turned up nothing for fermenting plain ol' beets. I could find beet salad, beets pickled with vinegar, or those with all manner of herbs and seasonings added. I think Chris was reading my mind when she submitted this post. Thanks, Chris.
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  • How to Make Fermented Coleslaw

    Coleslaw is one of our family's favorite foods. We cannot eat pulled pork bbq without it. I cannot wait to try Kristi's version of fermented coleslaw. Who knew we could make one of our favorite foods even healthier.
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  • Fermenting Weights--A Comparison

    I saw a friend use a water-filled plastic baggy as a weight in her ferment. I was concerned. I mean, what if the baggy leaked? Or, worse yet, plastic from the baggy leached into her ferment? Sarah addresses this very topic in this post. For more fermenting weights comparison, keep reading.
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  • How to Make Fermented Grape Leaves

    The great thing about fermenting foods is that it opens you up to a wide array of foods that you probably wouldn't try otherwise. In this post, Sarah makes something that sounds much unlike food to me, sound appetizing. Read on and see what you think.
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  • Fermenting with Dead Sea Salts

    Ever read the "How Things Work" kind of books? I love them. This post is one of those types of posts. If you are intrigued by science, and how things come about when you don't have what is prescribed on hand, keep reading. You'll be glad you did.
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  • What is Kahm Yeast & Is it safe?

    As a newbie fermenter, I came across kahm yeast and promptly threw everything out. I wish I knew then what I know now. If you are wondering if your ferment is safe, read on as Colleen explains what kahm yeast is and what it mean
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  • Can a lactose-intolerant person eat yogurt?

    People that cannot tolerate dairy products tend to shy away from fermented dairy, like yogurt, as well. Whether that is necessary is a topic that many question. Here, Sarah explains just what causes lactose intolerance and what you may be able to do to help tolerate yogurt, kefir and more.
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  • Fermented Foods for Depression

    The last time I took a child to the doctor for an ear infection the doctor suggested I let the infection run its course. A shocker after 28 years of parenting. But in those 28 years we have learned that over prescribing of antibiotics is causing more harm than good. Killing our healthy gut flora is one such harm. Read on to see what Abigail has discovered about the side-effects of an unhealthy gut.
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  • A Comparison of Canning vs Fermenting

    If you want the healthiest option for food preservation and have cold storage available that does not require electricity, you just might want to consider fermentation as your method of choice. Read on for a great comparison of canning vs fermenting.
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