Fermenting with Pumpkin
Folks go crazy in the fall for pumpkin spice. Everything from lattes to candles to Twinkies are flavored or scented to resemble a pumpkin pie. At Fermentools we want you to enjoy the fall pumpkin season, but we want you to enjoy it with healthy foods. In this post, Ashley shares several ways of fermenting with pumpkin that will surely inspire you.
Posted by Ashley
In my house, November 1st is pumpkin day. That’s when pumpkins go on sale because Halloween is over and store managers are eager to get the pumpkins off their shelves. Most merchants practically give them away. A few years back, whole pie pumpkins were two for a dollar. That amounts to roughly two full quarts of fresh pumpkin puree for $1. We stock up!
With all that pumpkin fervor, how can you get your home fermenter going to boost the nutrients and probiotics while you get your pumpkin fix? There are lots of ways!
Delicious Ways for Fermenting with Pumpkin
The most simple way is to ferment the pumpkin itself in raw chunks, just like any other vegetable. Chop the pumpkin into cubes, add your favorite spices and ferment in a brine using your Fermentools kit for about a week. Think of it as quick fall-spiced pumpkin pickles.
Fermented Pumpkin Seeds
There’s always so many extra seeds when processing pumpkin, I’d love to find a good way to ferment them. You may want to try this recipe for fermented pepitas. It uses shell-less pepitas, which come from a special type of pumpkin that’s not commonly grown in gardens. Since I don’t grow them, I’m still looking for a good way to ferment fresh ones scooped out of more common pumpkin varieties. If you’ve tried it with success, share your secret in the comments below.
Fermented Pumpkin Kraut
I found another recipe that has you ferment shredded pumpkin in one fermenter and then a fresh batch of sauerkraut in another before mixing them for pumpkin confetti sauerkraut. Personally, I’d just mix them and ferment them together so they both have a fuller flavor, but to each is own
I’m a huge fan of homemade pumpkin beer, but it’s often messy to make. The pumpkin goops up the works and it’s hard to get all your equipment clean afterward. I was really impressed to find this guide from the beer and wine journal that has you use a pumpkin as the actual fermentation vesicle.
After scooping the seeds and goop out of the inside, you replace the pumpkin top and attach your fermentools water lock into a small hole at the top. The pumpkin serves as a sealed fermentation chamber and adds flavor at the same time.
Pumpkin beer just uses pumpkin as a flavoring agent, but most of the fermentables are coming from malted grain. An innovative recipe from common sense home just uses the pumpkin itself and ferments it into a simple pumpkin wine along with a bit of sugar. This method brings out even more pumpkin flavor and doesn’t hide it behind malt notes like in a beer.
On my agenda, this fall is a quick small batch pumpkin mead made with honey and pumpkin chunks in a mason jar using my Fermentools kit. In the past, I’ve gotten a bit overzealous with my beer, mead, and winemaking using one- and five-gallon fermenters. I still want to ferment, but large batch sizes mean I have way more than I actually want to drink. I’ve started making one-quart and half-gallon micro batch meads to scratch that fermentation itch without making more than I actually want to drink.
What about you? How are you fermenting your pumpkin this fall?
Pumpkin rules every fall. And at Fermentools, we want you to have no lack of pumpkin recipes. Here are a few sure to please:
Ashley is an off-grid homesteader in central Vermont. She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie, and foraging. Read more about her adventures at PracticalSelfReliance.com.