Nov 21 2014

Episode 15 – Thanksgiving Ideas & Recipes with Fermentation

Thanksgiving Ideas & Recipes with FermentationIt’s time to give thanks and that means Thanksgiving is close! I decided to put together an episode to give you some ideas on how to add fermentation, fermented foods, and fermented drinks into your Thanksgiving dinner.

You might not think it, but Thanksgiving is actually a great time of the year for fermentation to shine! There are so many fresh foods that can be fermented and added to the Thanksgiving table including desserts. Whether it’s cranberries, stuffing, pies, wine, coffee, or chocolate, there’s several areas where fermentation can fit into the Thanksgiving meal.

I hope you enjoy this episode and don’t forget, time is short! Get started right away to get your ferments going for next week!

The other thing I want to stress is that this is a time for thanks, family, friends, and not a day for going out shopping with all the crazies out there at stores that insidiously decide to open their doors on Thanksgiving day. Stores like that shouldn’t be supported.

Anyways, I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and don’t get lost too far in your food coma!

Check out Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast for his Thanksgiving Special Episode 2014 for a great story on why much of what we learn about Thanksgiving is wrong or inaccurate, how Thanksgiving became a way for our nation to heal and reunite after a terrible civil war, why Thanksgiving has been moved around to different dates, and what feasting actually meant 100 years ago. This is a must listen every Thanksgiving and it’s updated every year.



  • You have less than a week to get your fermentations started and finished by Thanksgiving!
  • Incorporating fermented foods into your Thanksgiving meal
  • Fermented appetizers including pickles, carrots, green beans, onions, hummus, pickled eggs
  • Getting flavorful brined black and green olives better than what you’d get in a jar or can
  • Roasting garlic heads and mixing them with balsamic vinegar and also using balsamic vinegar for cherry tomatoes
  • Thoughts on cheese for Thanksgiving
  • Encouraging everyone to make their own butter and sour cream rather than buying it
  • Side dishes like fermented cranberries sauce, pumpkin butter, apple sauce, sweet potatoes, and pickle soup
  • My great-grandpa’s recipe for making sauteed sweet potatoes slices in a cast-iron skillet
  • Other side dishes like roasting roots like potatoes, butternut squash, and cauliflowers
  • Making fermented mashed potatoes with dill pickle juice
  • Fermenting mushrooms and making a nice homemade gravy using fermented mushrooms and soy sauce
  • Sourdough bread, sourdough pie crust, and encouraging you to make homemade whipped cream
  • After dinner, what desserts can be like pumpkin pie, chocolate along with drinks like ice wine, ice cider, and coffee
  • Alcoholic drinks like wine, mead, beer, and cider
  • Non-alcoholic drinks like lacto-fermented sodas, ginger ale, traditional Russian kvass, kombucha, and even pickle shots
  • And finally general tips for making your cooking more flavorful with techniques to capture, preserve, and enhance flavor




Side Dishes

Breads & Grains



Fermented Thanksgiving Recipes In General


Savory Brown Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Savory Brown Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Ingredient List 1:

1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water

1 onion, finely chopped

1 16oz container cremini button mushrooms or baby portobellos, finely diced and sliced

1 tsp dried thyme

Ingredient List 2:

1 1/2 cups cashew milk (or other nondairy milk)

4 T soy sauce or tamari (or 3/4 tsp salt)

black pepper

1/2 tsp salt


  1. Bring ingredient list 1 to boil in a pot, then simmer until fully cooked.
  2. Add ingredient list 2 and stir.
  3. Spoon out a bowl full of chunks and set aside.
  4. Pour remaining into a blender and blend until smooth or insert an immersion blender into pot to blend until smooth
  5. Pour chunks back into the gravy


Crock Pot Stuffing (or Dressing) Recipe

Crock Pot Stuffing Recipe


2 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 cup diced tart apple, peeled and cored

1/4 cup butter

1 tablespoon ground sage

1 teaspoon ground marjoram

3 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon savory (or sage)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

12 cups lightly toasted bread, cubes

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock


  1. In a large fry pan sautee onions, celery and apple in butter until onion is just translucent.
  2. Stir in sage, marjoram, salt, pepper, savory and thyme.
  3. Combine vegetable mixture with the bread cubes and parsley.
  4. Toss well.
  5. Pour stock over mixture, tossing well.
  6. Spoon into your crock-pot.
  7. Cover and cook on high for one hour.
  8. Reduce to low and continue cooking for 1-2 hours, stirring every hour.




I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s show so be sure to comment below or if you have an idea for the show, email me at paul at fermentationpodcast.com or just click on the Contact button on top of this page and fill out the form. I look forward to hearing from you!


1 ping

  1. Richard

    I liked the idea of rescuing a ferment gone mushy via dehydrating, I’ve done that too, but it got me thinking about using fermented food in conventional recipes. I’ve always shelved that idea because if you cook it the bacteria is killed, but I don’t consider the taste benefit. Today I added fermented chile pepper to a soup and there was a detectable change in flavor over adding dried pepper flakes. And then I wonder about using miso, you want it for flavor but mostly for the beneficial bacteria, does soupmaking kill the good stuff?

    1. Paul Bates

      It does always feel like we make these ferments and then we don’t want to add them to cooked food since it kills the life, but if there’s a great flavor there, then I would always try it to make something taste better. I’ve added my pickle pepper brine to soups and steamed rice and there’s definitely a flavor change. When you add it to soup it does kill off the beneficial bacteria, but you can still use the flavor they made!

      Also, what I do a lot in cooking is when I add things that I want more of the medicinal properties of, I’ll add it at the very end of cooking right before serving it like with garlic. When I add brine to soup, I also add it right at the end and that’s usually what the instructions say for miso paste. So I’m sure the life is destroyed but a lot of the vitamins, minerals, and healthy compounds should still be there, and the flavor!

  1. Thanksgiving Ferments in Progress | The Fermentation Podcast

    […] « Episode 15 – Thanksgiving Ideas & Recipes with Fermentation […]

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