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Fermented Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Ginger

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These fermented sweet potatoes make an unexpected addition to your list of homemade probiotic ferments. 

Looking for more fermentation recipes? There are 50+ ferments to try here!

fermented sweet potatoes on a fork suspended over a glass jar

I started my fermenting journey several years ago. This recipe, though? Is one I wouldn’t have dreamed up! 

My friend Angi who blogs over at Schneiderpeeps has a brand new book out, called The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables. I received a copy for review purposes and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it

Making these fermented sweet potatoes

You might notice that my fermented sweet potatoes are decidedly…pink. That’s because I started with our locally grown Okinawan purple sweet potatoes

Angi’s recipe utilizes more familiar orange sweet potatoes. You should use what you have readily available. The recipe will work with either!

I used my food processor to shred the potatoes. If you don’t have access to one, a regular grater will work just fine. 

shredded vegetables in a food processor

Packing the potatoes

When fermenting, it’s necessary to remove all the air pockets around the vegetables in the jar. The sweet potatoes need to be completely submerged in liquid. In this case, you’ll pack them in their own juices

Much like making sauerkraut, I packed the grated sweet potatoes and ginger by pounding them down into the jar. (I use a large dowel for this.) 

I found that the sweet potatoes didn’t create quite enough juice. This will likely vary depending on the sweet potatoes. If you find you don’t have enough juice after pressing them tightly into the jar, add just a bit of filtered water to cover. It’s essential that the veggie pieces aren’t exposed to air. 

fork with fermented sweet potatoes, plus a jar from above

How do they taste?

These are an interesting ferment, compared to the sauerkraut and fermented cauliflower we make regularly. 

The flavor of the ginger is evident in a spoonful, as is the sweetness of the potatoes. And of course they have the wonderful tang of a homemade ferment.

Because they’re a starchy vegetable, the texture of the ferment is thicker than a green veggie ferment, which I might use as a side salad of sorts. 

Preserving sweet potatoes this way allows me, instead, to use them as a healthy, probiotic-rich addition to potato salad, chicken salad, or even as a topping for a burger. They’d be good inside an omelette, too.

book cover: Preserving vegetables

The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables

If you’re delving into food preservation as a way to extend the harvest and “put food by” for the winter months, Angi covers a variety of methods in this beautiful book. 

Those new to the idea of saving some of summer’s abundance will feel immediately comfortable with her easy-to-follow instructions, whether you’re keeping it simple with freezing or delving into water bath canning. 

The book features 100 different recipes, with each type of produce — from green beans to spaghetti squash — getting its own space in the book. Angi discusses the best methods for preserving each, and includes several recipes for readers to try.

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

glass jar from above filled with shredded fermented purple sweet potatoes

Fermented Sweet Potatoes with Ginger

Yield: 1 quart
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Fermenting Time: 5 days
Total Time: 5 days 25 minutes

Fermenting sweet potatoes extends their shelf life and imbues them with gut-healthy probiotics. Stir them into a potato salad, chicken salad, or top a burger with them.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, ginger, lemon juice and zest, and the salt. The vegetables should begin to release some of their juices and make their own brine. ingredients for fermented sweet potatoes
  2. Pack the sweet potato mixture and juices into a clean wide-mouth quart jar. Put a weight in the jar, make sure all the solids are covered in brine and put on a fermentation lid. put the jar on a plate or small cookie sheet to catch any overflow. jar with purple liquid visible
  3. Set the jar in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, for 5 to 10 days. You can taste the sweet potatoes any time after 5 days. If they need to ferment longer, replace the weight and fermentation lid and ferment for a few more days.
  4. When the ferment is to your liking, replace the weight and fermentation lid with a plastic storage lid and store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 9 months.

Notes

If you find you don't have enough juice after pressing them tightly into the jar, add just a bit of filtered water to cover. It's essential that the veggie pieces aren't exposed to air. 

Nutrition information is calculated on a serving size of 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

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jar full of shredded sweet potatoes

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

1 comment… add one
  • Marilyn Sep 11, 2020, 2:57 am

    Greetings from Kauai.
    Thanks for this idea. I never considered fermenting potatoes. I’ve been fretting over what to do with my accumulating CSA potatoes. This is the perfect solution!
    Mahalo,
    Marilyn VanOs
    Certified Master Food Preserver

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