10 Uses for Fermented Foods (plus an easy recipe) - Oh Lardy! (2024)

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ByTamara Mannelly


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This is the last post in a series on gut bacteria and fermented foods. You now know about gut bacteria, the benefits of fermented foods and how to ferment foods at home. We also have several recipes for fermented foods on Oh Lardy!

But…now what?! What do you do with these fermented foods?

Before I get into 10 uses for fermented foods, I wanted to give you another quick and easy recipe that shows you how simple it really can be to ferment foods. We call this recipe ‘Carrot Pickles.' My daughter loves them! You can follow this same guideline for almost any vegetable (jalapeno peppers, green beans, cauliflower, etc.).

Carrot Pickles

Print Recipe


  • carrots enough to fill jar
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whey or 1/2 tsp culture starter


  • Put carrots in a quart size mason jar

  • Add the garlic and salt

  • Add starter of your choice (usually 1/4 cup whey OR 1/2 tsp culture starter)

  • Fill with room temperature filtered water. Leave one inch headspace.

  • Tighten lid and leave at room temperature 4-7 days. You will know they are done when the water gets cloudy and you may see some bubbling action. The mason jar lid may also be firm from the gases that are building up.

  • Transfer to refrigerator. They will keep for 6 months or more.

  • Enjoy your carrots!

You can use fermented fruits and vegetables in so many different ways! If your family hasn't adjusted yet to the sour taste that many fermented foods have, you can ‘hide' them in a variety of meals.


1. As a side dish.

You can simply serve a small servingof fermented veggies or fruit as a side dish with your meal. I do this often with carrots, green beans and sauerkraut.

2. In green salads.

Chop up your fermented veggies and serve on a green salad.

3. In smoothies.

Fermented fruits (and the juice) are the perfect addition to smoothies.

4. As a sauce or topping.

You can use fermented fruits as a topping (or puree them for a sauce) for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, yogurt, etc.

5. Add to hearty salads.

Chop up fermented veggies are an excellent addition to pasta salads, tuna salads, egg salads, bean salads, etc. I add fermented carrots/peppers/cucumbers to these types of salads all the time. You could ferment cloves of garlic for this purpose too!

6. On a wrap or sandwich.

A small amount of fermented veggies make a crunchy topping for your favorite wrap or sandwich. Different varieties of sauerkrauts work great for this.

7. As a dip.

You can add almost any fermented veggie to your favorite guacamole recipe, sour cream dip, artichoke dip, etc.. Your family will never know! Fermented salsas are a great dip too. If your family doesn't care for the taste, mix fermented salsa with regular salsa.

8. As a condiment.

Almost any homemade condiment can be fermented. Kelly has a great recipe for mayo. Simply adding whey or culture starter to your favorite homemade ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce recipe (tighten lid and allow to sit at room temp overnight) will enable you to have probiotic goodness for condiments.

9. Use the juice to flavor soups and sauces.

Don't waste the precious juice of the vegetables that is laden with good bacteria. Add a little to soups or when making sauce. (Be sure to add at the end of cooking, so the temperature has less chance to kill the good bacteria!) Adds a nice bite to spaghetti sauce.

10. As a gift.

Make several batches of your favorite ferment and give as gifts to friends! It's the perfect time of year to give jars of deliciousness to help keep your friends' immune systems strong and gut bacteria in check!

Does the topic of fermenting baffle you? We created a Fermenting eCourse just for you and when you sign up, we will send you a Quick Start Guide! Grab the eCourse and the guide here!

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10 Uses for Fermented Foods (plus an easy recipe) - Oh Lardy! (2)

Do you have any other uses for fermented fruits and vegetables? Post them in the comments section below!

For the other posts in my fermented foods series:

The Bugs in Your Belly
The Science and History of Culturing Foods
What You Need to Culture Fruits and Vegetables at Home
Lacto-fermented berries
Lacto-fermented Pineapple Papaya Chutney…a delicious digestive aid

This post is featured on Simple Lives Thursday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday,Thank Your Body Thursday, Scratch Cooking Tuesday,Fight Back Fridays, Small Footprints Friday, Friday Homemaking Linkup, Sunday School Blog Carnival, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fat Tuesday, Family Table Tuesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Waysand Thrifty Thursday

10 Uses for Fermented Foods (plus an easy recipe) - Oh Lardy! (2024)
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