How to naturally ferment vegetables

add here

How to naturally ferment vegetables

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins


  • 3-4 cups firm vegetables like cucumbers, radishes, turnips, carrots, cauliflower, okra, green beans, green tomatoes, small summer squash, whole chili peppers, baby eggplant, etc chopped into bite sized pieces (about 1")
  • 2-3 tablespoons iodine-free salt (bit more for fine salt, bit less for coarse)
  • 1 liter of water (1 large mason jar) filtered or purified/dechlorinated is best, but use what you have!

Optional spices

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 bay leaf helps to keep the vegetable's color bright
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes or a dried chili pepper

For that classic "dill pickle taste", add all the spices above plus:

  • 2 teaspoon dill seeds, for fresh leave whole and double the amount
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon all spice ground


  • Place salt, water, and desired spices in a jar and shake, to combine. This is your brine.
  • Fill one empty jar with chopped vegetables. Try to pack the vegetable in, leaving as little space between the vegetables as possible (like you're playing tetris!) This will keep them from floating up once we add the liquid. Leave about 1 inch of space between the vegetables and the top of the jar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, until it is about 1 centimeter below the neck of the jar.
  • Now you want to fill another jar with chopped vegetables. If you don't have a third jar, then pour the brine into another container and use the second mason jar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, until it is about 1 centimeter below the neck of the jar.
  • Use a cabbage leaf, a sturdy leaf/stem (like kale, collards, lettuce, etc). You can also fill a ziplock bag inside of the jar, and then fill it water, just below the lid to the jar.
    This helps keep the vegetables submerged under the brine and prevents mold growth. If you do encounter any mold or yeasty scum, simply skim it off.
    Screw the lid on to the jar – it does not need to be very tight.
  • Let veggies ferment for about 4-10 days. Place your jars on top of a towel, incase any liquid bubbles over the lid. About once every few days, open the jar to taste the pickles and release gases produced during fermentation. You will see bubbles come to surface – this is a sign that there is lift in your fermentation!!
  • Once they taste tangy enough for you, store in the fridge for 1-2 months.
  • Use on top of tacos, burgers, salads, rice bowls, pasta dishes, with sandwiches, eggs & toast – really anything that needs a pop of acid and tang!

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @thesproutingkitchen on Instagram and hashtag #thesproutingkitchen OR send us an email with your recipe photo and feedback!

About the author

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating