Keep citrus fresh and ready to give you a boost all winter long! These Fermented Lemons couldn't be easier to make and will last you months.
I'm all about a practical approach to wellness. I use homeopathic remedies both internal and external. I reach for elderberry syrup and these lemons when I need a boost. That doesn't mean I don't use conventional medicines, too. But I know what to use when and don't hesitate to care for my family in the best way possible!
Fermenting foods gives you so much good bacteria and is just a great boost to your system. I recommend making these as soon as citrus is in season (often winter for North America!) and it's a great way to preserve a crop if you live where citrus grows in your yard.
Why You Need This Recipe
- everyone needs a bright boost in winter, am I right?
- take a hit of this as soon as you start to feel a bit under the weather!
Lemons - any that are fresh and fully ripened. We don't worry about organic.
Honey - use a raw, local honey to get the most benefit. Make sure it is a liquid honey that pours and hasn't begun to crystalize. This ensures it will coat all slices.
Ginger - optional, use as much as you like. Simply wash and slice, no need to peel.
Cinnamon - optional, pop a whole stick in the jar to flavour.
Hot pepper - optional, but dried or fresh works here!
How to Make Fermented Lemons
***See recipe card below for precise measurements and instructions.***
Step 1: Wash everything well. No need to peel anything. Slice the lemons and ginger in rounds.
Step 2: Begin layering lemons in a clean quart jar, adding the optional items in between.
Step 3: Slowly pour honey over the lemons. You may need to pour some and let it settle into the cracks before adding more.
Step 4: Once full, put on the lid and set it aside to ferment. Watch for gas buildup and give it a turn/flip every day and "burp" the jar.
Step 5: After two weeks, taste the honey. Keep it out longer if you like or move to the fridge to slow fermentation.
Tips and Tricks
- Don't add water - this is just using honey to ferment.
- This is a wild yeast fermentation and I do not can it/don't recommend you do.
- Store in the fridge to slow fermentation and keep the taste where you like. It's certainly safe to sit out longer, but you'll want to keep tabs on it. You'll know it's done fermenting when it no longer needs burping.
How to Use Fermented Lemons
Add a slice of lemon with a scoop of the honey to a mug of warm (not hot!) water for a quick hit.
Grownups, I won't tell if you drizzle some in to a whiskey hot toddy!
You'll see many recommend organic since we are leaving the peels on. However, it's nearly impossible to find organic citrus in Canada and if we did, the cost would be exorbitant. I simply wash well and don't worry at all. Feel free to use organic or homegrown or whatever you have at the store. Just make sure they are fresh and ripe!
Ginger and hot pepper also give you a boost, but they add great flavour. You can make several jars to adjust the flavour and taste to fit anyone in your family. The kids love it with cinnamon in there, and I prefer the boost of the pepper and ginger.
I don't recommend this as the mixture can get watery on top and thick on the bottom. I prefer wire lids so they are quick and easy to burp, and also have a bit of leeway compared to a screw top.
Photos by Dante from Shire by the Sea
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- Quart jar with lid
- 2-3 lemons washed well
- 3 cups liquid raw honey
- 1 hot pepper fresh or dried
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Fresh ginger washed and sliced
- In a very clean quart jar, tuck in sliced lemon rounds. Fill the jar about ⅔ of the way.
- If you want any of the optional additions, tuck them in as you add lemons.
- Cover with honey; it will take a couple pours and letting it settle until full.
- Wipe jar rim and put lid on well.
- Each day, flip/turn the jar and give it a burp. After two weeks you can taste and see where you are at, or sooner if it stops letting off gas.
- Taste after 2 weeks and if you like it, move to fridge. If you want to see what it
will taste like if you leave longer, leave longer! It lasts months in the fridge. If it
doesn't get used up in cold and flu season, make lemonade with it!