For an unusually flavorful way to add probiotics to your diet, try this easy fermented pumpkin recipe. It’s a tasty way to preserve pumpkin!
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.
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.
Related: Lacto-Fermented Cauliflower
The extra probiotics and enzymes imparted to this yummy, fragrant snack food can’t be had in pumpkin pies or warming soups.
Fermenting at Home
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 fermenting recipe to preserve 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.
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Lacto-Fermented Pumpkin with Cardamom
These pumpkin spears are an unusual twist on fermentation, resulting in a firm pickle with a rootsy flavor. It's an easy way to preserve pumpkin.
- Enough sliced pumpkin to fill a pint jar
- A sliver of pumpkin rind
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 8 cardamom seeds
- Water as needed
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- After 2-3 weeks taste the pumpkin. If it is sufficiently tangy, you can eat it right away or move it to cold storage.