Lacto-fermented Spinach

Fermentation modifies the sometimes bitter taste of spinach, making it more sour and salty instead. The lemon adds a fresh bright flavor.


  • Enough spinach to tightly fill a wide-mouth quart jar, rinsed lightly and stemmed
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup unfiltered water
  • 1 tablespoon starter (This is optional. You can use whey, brine from a previous lacto-fermentation project, or live apple cider vinegar. Or you can leave out the starter and use just the simple brine.)
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices with the peel



  1. Thoroughly clean and rinse the jar you will be using for fermenting.
  2. Cut the spinach into strips, a bit wider than those you would cut for sauerkraut.
  3. In a large bowl or crock, layer the salt with the spinach and garlic, tossing them together with your hands. When it is all in the bowl, press the ingredients down a bit with your fists and cover the bowl lightly with a towel. Allow the bowl to sit for 15 to 30 minutes to let the juices begin to draw and blend. Take the towel off now and again to pound the spinach down with your hands or a kraut pounder or similar utensil.
  4. Begin packing handfuls of the salted spinach into the clean quart jar you have prepared. Periodically add a slice of lemon, layering and pressing the lemons and the spinach into the jar with your fist or the meat hammer.
  5. Once you have filled the jar with the spinach mixture and the lemons, pour the water in slowly, only adding enough to bring the liquid level up to 1 inch away from the mouth of the jar.
  6. Cover the jar with the clean lid. Allow the jar to ferment at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, checking it frequently to burp the lid and press down the spinach. 


Once it is finished fermenting, transfer to cool storage.


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