How to Make Fermented Vegetables

You can ferment your own vegetables two ways, and reap great taste and benefits.* You can try wild fermentation by allowing whatever is on the vegetables or fruit you're culturing to take hold and culture the food. Or you can speed up the process with a starter culture.  

To make your vegetable fermentation experience easier, you can also use Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture Lid. Featuring a unique carbon filter technology, this special fermentation lid regulates all types of gasses produced inside the jar during fermentation, effectively preventing your glass jars from breaking and eliminating the usual unpleasant odors in your fermented vegetables. You won’t find this anywhere else on the market!


General Recipe

You can experiment with various vegetables.
Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

  • Cabbage - Contains plenty of bacteria naturally available and is a recommended source for fermentation. It makes an excellent base for your fermented vegetables.
  • Carrots - Despite their sugar content, carrots are fine to use because the sugar gets broken down and turns into lactic acid during fermentation.
  • Celery - Used to make celery juice with which the starter culture is mixed.
  • Other veggies, herbs, and fruit in our recipe include: golden beets, ginger, garlic, Granny Smith apples, sweet potatoes, and parsley. You can add other herbs and vegetables for optimum taste.


Easy-to-Follow Steps

  1. Shred and cut your chosen vegetables. Cabbage makes a great base.
  2. Juice some celery. Used as a brine, it contains natural sodium and keeps the vegetables anaerobic. This also eliminates the need for sea salt, which prevents growth of pathogenic bacteria. Use one pre-measured stick pack for every quart of vegetables you have of Kinetic Culture in the juice.
  3. Pack the veggies and celery juice into a wide-mouthed canning jar. A kraut pounder tool can help compress the ingredients and eliminate air pockets.
  4. Top with a cabbage leaf, tucking it down the sides. Make sure the veggies are completely covered with celery juice and that the juice tops off the jar to eliminate trapped air.
  5. If using a regular Mason jar lid, cap the lid loosely to allow the gases to escape, or use one of my Fermenting Jar Lids, which will allow the gases to escape without releasing the odor. Then store the jar in a warm, slightly moist place for 24 to 96 hours, depending on the food being cultured. The ideal temperature range is 68-75° Fahrenheit, 85° max (20-24° Celsius, 29° max).
  6. When done, store in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. Experiment and enjoy the results!

To Make Our Recipe

  1. First, prepare the celery juice. Clean 1 bunch of celery, putting it through the juicer to extract the juice.
  2. Use one pre-measured packet of Kinetic Culture for every quart of vegetables. The vegetables mentioned in the recipe below will produce between 6 and 8 quarts. Add the starter culture to the celery juice and stir well.
  3. Gather the vegetables you want to use and scrub them clean.
  4. Cut them up into small enough pieces to add to your shredder. Save some cabbage leaves for later. If using hot peppers, be sure to use a plastic or rubber glove to avoid burning your fingers.
  5. Shred the vegetables. You will need:
    • 2 medium heads of cabbage
    • 3 ¼ pounds of carrots
    • ⅓ of a red bell pepper
    • ½ of a large sweet potato
    • ½ a bunch of golden beets
    • ½ of a Granny Smith apple
    • 1 bunch of parsley
    • ½ a bunch of cilantro
    • 4 inches of ginger root
    • 1 head of garlic
  6. Mix your ingredients evenly in your bowl. Add the celery juice with the probiotic and mix well. It's important to have the culture distributed throughout all the vegetables.
  7. Fill your cleaned jars. We use quart-sized Ball jars. Pack the shredded vegetables as tightly as you can, using a masher to eliminate air pockets.
  8. Be sure to leave a half inch or so at the top for your cabbage leaf cover.
  9. Arrange a cabbage leaf over the top of the vegetables, tucking the edges down inside the jar. Make sure the vegetables are completely submerged with the celery juice mixture.
  10. Screw on the lid loosely. Carbon dioxide is produced during fermentation, so you want to be able to allow air to escape as the vegetables ferment I recommend to use one of my Fermenting Jar Lids, which is equipped with a pressure valve to allow the gases to escape and a carbon filter to reduce odors. Find a location where the temperature will be stable, like a cooler, and allow to ferment for about seven days.

Best Practices

  • Your fermented vegetables will last for approximately 3 months in the refrigerator. Do not freeze them.
  • Do NOT seal the jar tightly with a standard jar lid. During the fermentation process, carbon dioxide is produced. If you close the jar too tightly, the gas will not be able to escape and your jar can break ideally you’ll want to use a Fermenting Jar Lid, which has been specially designed to allow the gases to escape while eliminating odors.
  • Make sure your vegetables are always covered in brine. This prevents your vegetables from turning rancid.
  • Resist the urge to eat out of the jar! This can introduce organisms from your mouth into the jar. Instead, always use a clean spoon to portion what you want to eat; then, ensuring the remaining veggies are covered with brine solution, recap the jar.

Storing and Enjoying Your Fermented Vegetables

Your fermented vegetables should keep for approximately 3 months in your refrigerator.

You can remove the cabbage leaf after your vegetables are done with their initial ferment. Just make sure your vegetables remain under the brine. If they are not under the brine, they can become rotten.

Use a clean spoon to get your fermented vegetables out of your jar. Using a dirty spoon can introduce unwanted bacteria into your fermented vegetables.

If you haven't eaten fermented vegetables before, start with just a few teaspoons and work your way up to a ½ cup with each meal.

An Even More Convenient Way to Ferment

Introducing my Kinetic Culture Starter Packets! Each pre-measured pack will yield one quart of fermented veggies.

Using my enhanced formula, my Kinetic Culture Starter Packets are as easy and convenient as ever. Just open the pack, add it to your brine, and start fermenting! No measuring and no mess means more time to yourself.

You’ll get 10 packs to a box, so you and your family can keep enjoying the benefits of fermented veggies.


The Perfect Pair: Starter Packets and Jar Lids

Now that you’re armed with my truly beneficial and easy-to-use Kinetic Culture Starter Packets and an easy recipe, take convenience a step further with my exclusive Fermenting Jar Lids.

These jar lids offer a critical benefit that other lids don’t—a special carbon filter technology to eliminate odors while fermenting. Other features of these innovative, patent-pending lids include:

  • Releases fermentation gases in a controlled manner throughout the fermentation process – reducing unwanted odors
  • Facilitates the removal of sulfur gases
  • Prevents environmental oxygen and other gases from entering the container during fermentation
  • Releases pressure build-up, preventing the jar from breaking
  • Prevents mold growth in the container due to environmental contamination
  • BPA and BPS-free (in contrast to metal canning lids which may contain BPA)
  • Reusable, easy to clean covers
  • Simple to use

Each lid can be used multiple times before it no longer prevents odors—we’ve been using the same filters at the Mercola office for months without needing to replace them.

Each box of Fermenting Jar Lids includes 3 Kinetic Culture Jar Lids, (lid, cover, and seal), 3 extra seals, and 6 individually-wrapped filters. My Fermenting Jar Lids are an easy, inexpensive solution to making the fermenting process quick, fun and odor-free.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.