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!
Originally contributed by Shannon Stonger in September 2017; this post has been updated.
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.
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Fermentation isn’t really necessary for preserving squash and pumpkin – but it sure is fun!
There’s not much prep work involved in making these fermented pumpkin spears. Just be sure you have a sharp knife to work with.
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The extra probiotics and enzymes imparted to this yummy, fragrant snack food can’t be had in pumpkin pies or warming soups.
Pumpkin — You can make this recipe using any type of fresh pumpkin or winter squash.
Cardamom — 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.
Salt — Opt for sea salt here, or another natural salt without any additives like iodine or anti-caking agents. Table salt often has anti-caking agents that can interfere with the fermentation.
Making this 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.
Remove peel from pumpkin, retaining a small piece. Measure the salt and cardamom into a pint sized jar, then pack the pumpkin spears into the jar.
Top with water to submerge the pumpkin. Allow jar to sit at room temperature for two to three weeks.
New to fermenting foods? Be sure to read this compilation of frequently asked questions before you get started!
More Recipes for Fermentation:
If you loved this recipe (and the idea of adding more probiotics to your diet!) there’s so much more exploring to do!
These spicy fermented snap peas are a delicious addition to a salad, chop them in small bits and add to your deviled eggs, or serve them alongside a cold beer.
Try these fermented carrots with garam masala seasoning for something different.
Turn the heat up even more with this banana pepper hot sauce.
Try fermenting cauliflower to serve with your favorite sandwich.
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- Enough sliced pumpkin to fill a pint jar
- A sliver of pumpkin rind
- 2 teaspoons 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.
Check the pumpkin spears often to make sure that they remain submerged under the liquid.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 27Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 956mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g