Fermentation For Beginners

Fermentation is as old as food itself. Today, many people love the hypercharged flavour of fermented foods, including top restaurants like our good friend at Silo, but it is their health benefits that are increasingly taking centre stage.

Fermentation uses microbes (commonly bacteria and yeast) to break down carbohydrates in food under conditions in which there is no oxygen.

During the process, these beneficial microbes break down sugars and starches into alcohols and acids, preserving the food so it can be stored for longer, whilst also altering the flavour! 

Fermented foods contain enzymes necessary for digestion, leading epidemiologist Tim Spector (the co-founder of the Zoe health app) to call them “fertiliser for our resident gut bacteria”.

How To Ferment Foods At Home

Making Fermented Foods is simple and fun. The biggest hurdle is getting your head around letting foods ferment! We are so used to refrigerating perishables, that leaving food on the side for days (and weeks!) can at first seem a little unsettling.

The three ferments that I make are kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.

Whether you're looking to dip you toe for the first time, moving away from expensive, store bought ferments or in the market for the new flaours, I hope my simple step by step guides below will help. 

And the best part is often you can make use of leftovers and the equipment required, are items that you'll already have in your kitchen!


The SCOBY looks like something you wouldn’t normally go near, let alone have in your kitchen! But it is a magical, living thing that will provide you with endless kombucha if you look after it.

Make Komboucha


This Korean staple is so easy to make. And once you've made it, you'll wonder how you ever did without it (or paid so much to buy it from the shop!).

Make Kimchi


Whilst fermented cabbage submerged in liquid to deprive it of air and oxygen might not sound like a delicious treat, once you start this simple process, you'll never stop.

Make Sauerkraut