Healthy Pumpkin Recipe: Ferment it for a Twist on Preserving Squash 5

For an unusually flavorful way to add probiotics to your diet, try this easy fermented, healthy pumpkin recipe.

orange pumpkin spears in canning jar

Pumpkins and other winter squash are a wonderful addition to any garden.

Not only do they provide ample fruit, but their thick rind makes preserving squash and pumpkin easy. It stores effortlessly for anyone with a root cellar or cool room.

Fermenting: A fun, healthy pumpkin recipe

This means fermentation isn’t really necessary for preserving squash and pumpkin – but it sure is fun in this healthy pumpkin recipe! [Click here for more fermenting recipes to try.]

There’s not much prep work involved in making these healthy pumpkin spears. Just be sure you have a sharp knife to work with.

peeled raw pumpkin on a cutting board with a knife

The extra probiotics and enzymes imparted to this yummy, fragrant snack food can’t be had in pumpkin pies or warming soups.

Cardamom is one of the spices that gives chai its intoxicating fragrance. Just a tiny pinch of these seeds imparts wonderful flavor to this fermented pumpkin and gives the pumpkin just a hint of those familiar fall flavors, even in this tangy ferment.

Try this small-batch fermented pumpkin or multiply the recipe to put up a bunch of golden fermented snacks. The key to successfully fermented pumpkin is to reserve a bit of the rind which will impart a bit of beneficial bacteria from the soil into the final ferment.

orange pumpkin spears in canning jar

Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin with Cardamom
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 27 kcal
Author: Shannon Stonger
  • Enough sliced pumpkin to fill a pint jar
  • A sliver of pumpkin rind
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 8 cardamom seeds
  • Water as needed
  1. Peel and clean out a small pumpkin, reserving a slice of the rind to lend bacteria to the fermentation process. Add salt, pumpkin rind sliver, and cardamom seeds to a pint-sized jar.
  2. Slice the pumpkin into small sticks just tall enough to fit into the jar, leaving about 1" of head space. Pack tightly into the jar, much like making cucumber pickles.
  3. Pour water over the pumpkin, salt, and cardamom until the pumpkin is entirely submerged. Place a lid on the jar so that it is airtight and leave to ferment at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. Check the jars daily, opening the jars to release pent up carbon dioxide each time pressure has built up.
  4. After 2-3 weeks taste the pumpkin. If it is sufficiently tangy, you can eat it right away or move it to cold storage.

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

For an unusually flavorful way to add probiotics to your diet, try this healthy pumpkin recipe. Fermenting pumpkin with cardamom seeds for a surprising snack! #fermenting #snack

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About Shannon Stonger

Shannon Stonger is the founder of the blog Nourishing Days, where she shares her family's journey towards sustainability. She is the author of the sourdough baking book 100% Rye and released Traditionally Fermented Foods in May 2017. She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and lives with her husband, five children, and various farm animals on their five-acre homestead in Texas.

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5 thoughts on “Healthy Pumpkin Recipe: Ferment it for a Twist on Preserving Squash

  • Norma

    Can I use Powder Cardamom or does it have to be seeds?

    • Kris Bordessa

      That should work, though might make the product a bit cloudy.

  • Donna Davey

    Should you use an air lock system on jar for the two weeks?

    • Kris Bordessa

      The airlock allows gas to escape as long as the product is fermenting/bubbling. Once it’s “done” you can cap the jar and refrigerate.

  • Carol L

    Raw pumpkin or cooked?
    The pumpkin is washed, yes? So how is there beneficial dirt remaining?
    Do you crush the cardamom or leave it whole?
    Thanks for this, I’d love to try it!