How to make Fermented Butternut Squash

This recipe is so simple but I love it. There are only 3 ingredients, butternut squash (also works with other types of squash or pumpkin), salt and water. I’ve tried adding various flavourings and seasonings but I always go back to this simple recipe as it tastes the best.

I’ve talked about fermented foods before on this blog, they are wonderful for digestion, assimilation and detoxing and I eat several different fermented foods every day.

Start by cutting your squash into pieces suitable for grating, and then grate using a file grater:

Pack the grated squash into a jar, a kilner jar works well. Don’t fill the jar right to the top, make sure you leave some space as it can bubble up during the fermentation.

Next, add salt water so that all the squash is covered by water. The ratio of salt is approx 1 teaspoon of salt per litre of grated squash – so for example the jar I used was 1.7 litres, so I used just over 1 and a half teaspoons of salt. The amount of water you will need will depend on how much water is naturally in the squash. So mix the salt into a small amount of water and pour in, then add more water if necessary.

Finally, place something on top of the squash to keep it all under the water. I use a stone, cleaned thoroughly first of course. Check every day to make sure that the squash is still under the water.

Store at room temperature during the fermentation process. It usually takes 3 to 4 days to ferment, although it will take longer in colder climates. You can taste after 3 days and see what is happening. Once it is fermented to your liking, you can store in the fridge to stop it fermenting more.

What is your favourite fermented food? Please leave your comments below.

16 thoughts on “How to make Fermented Butternut Squash

  1. Interesting. What do you eat it with? I love all the different kinds of fermented veggies but having various levels of success making them myself.

  2. How long will the squash last in the fridge? Can this method be used to ferment veggies in the fall that will last into the winter?

    • I don’t know how long it will last. I think they will keep in the fridge but I haven’t tried it (we live in a van with a tiny fridge so we always eat our ferments within a week or so) – more research required.

  3. I have just made my first batch of sauerkraut which I am very pleased with. I have a lot of mature courgettes (for seed), and I am wondering about fermenting them. Have you ever tried courgettes or marrows?

    • I’ve fermented various squash/pumpkins, I’m sure some of them were marrows, but I’m not sure which is which! With the squash/pumpkins I just cut the flesh into cubes and use the same salt and water as above.

  4. I am wondering why we cover with a tighted lid (kilner jar) on some ferments and open/cheese cloth on another?… and thank you for this site!

  5. I have puree from a pumpkin I roasted several weeks ago in my fridge and when I opened it up today, It had no mold or foul smell but it was very tangy in flavor. There is no salt in it so is it possible it’s fermented, and if so, still able to be used? Thanks for any insight.

    • Hi Kendra
      Interesting question. I’ve no direct experience with this so can’t comment whether it is safe to eat or not, but fermented foods do have a tangy flavour so it is possible that it has fermented.

    • I put the lid on – I use the Kilner style clamp jars which allows any gasses to escape but doesn’t let oxygen or anything else back in. If you are using a screw top jar, you need to loosen the lid once a day to let any gasses escape.

    • I think I did when I made this specific recipe, but I have since found out that pumpkin/squash skin is very good for you, so I think if you are grating it (and it is organic), leave the skin on. If you are making cubes of squash to fermented, best to remove the skin as it is too hard and stops the cube fermenting properly.

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