Fermented Potatoes (Recipe plus Video How-to)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Fermented Foods, Recipes, Side Dishes, VideosComments: 68

fermented potatoesIs there anything quite as satisfying as potatoes with dinner?    I just love all forms of potatoes – baked, fried, mashed, even boiled!

Unfortunately, the starch in potatoes is really not all that easy to digest for many folks.   Especially these days with so many people suffering from digestive complaints of all kinds, starch can be a real pain  – literally!

The problem is with the starch molecule itself.    Each starch molecule is comprised of hundreds of monosugars connected in long, branch-like strands.

It takes much digestive work to break down the starch molecule and, as a result, much of it goes undigested in most cases.    For those with an imbalanced gut, the undigested starch is the perfect food for pathogens and they grow and produce toxins which cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms in susceptible individuals.

If you enjoy potatoes but find that they trigger digestive or autoimmune symptoms, it might be worth it for you to try your hand at fermented potatoes.

In addition, if you are coming off the GAPS or SCD diets and reintroducing starch in your diet after a period of gut healing, fermented potatoes would be a great first step.

We like fermented potatoes in our home to simply add that probiotic element to a meal of primarily cooked foods.   Adding enzyme rich, live food to your meals is nothing short of miraculous for boosting immunity and improving nutrient absorption.

If you’ve been wanting to make a fermented dish at home for the first time, this would be an easy and delicious one to start with!

Fermented Potatoes Video How-to

Fermented Potatoes Recipe

(adapted from Nourishing Traditions)


4 cups cooked, peeled, organic, Yukon Gold or sweet potatoes
2 cups plain yogurt or kefir
1 Tbl sea salt


Bake or boil potatoes and then mash them in a large glass bowl.  Do not microwave. With a handheld mixer or food processor, blend well with yogurt and sea salt.   Cover with a clean, cotton cloth and secure with a rubber band.   Leave the covered bowl on the counter for 2 days and then refrigerate.

Fermented potatoes will last about a month in the refrigerator.

Serve fermented potatoes with steak as an enzyme rich side dish or with any meal where potatoes work well.

Fermented potatoes may be slightly warmed on the stove before serving, but take care not to warm them too much or enzymes and probiotics will be lost.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


More Information

The Healthiest Starch for Your Gut

Comments (68)

  • Katie Riddle

    THANK YOU! This is amazingly helpful. I love your videos.

    November 4th, 2010 3:10 am Reply
  • Barbara

    Sarah, is it necessary to peel the potatoes? I usually make my mashed potatoes with the skin on as well as adding an onion…. can I do the same with the fermented potatoes?

    I'm definitely going to be serving these at Thanksgiving instead of traditional potatoes!

    November 4th, 2010 4:23 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Barbara, I don't see why not. I've always peeled them first, but give it a go. It would probably be fine.

    November 4th, 2010 11:52 am Reply
  • Carla

    Wow, I never ever thought that potatoes could be fermented. Of course I'm still new to most of this but wow, learn something new everyday! I will have to give this a whirl when I have more yogurt.

    November 4th, 2010 1:11 pm Reply
  • Nance

    Just wondering…could/should this be done with winter squash? They have a similar profile, don't they?

    November 4th, 2010 1:38 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Nance, squash is not as starchy as potatoes or even sweet potatoes, but it should work fine.

    November 4th, 2010 2:12 pm Reply
  • newhomeeconomics

    I'm having a hard time understanding how cooked foods ferment. I read Wild Fermentation and all, but it just seems like the natural enzymes, etc. in raw food are lost when it is cooked. Is that the reason for the yogurt?

    November 4th, 2010 2:12 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi newhomeeconomics, yes – the yogurt is live and full of probiotics/enzymes and these beneficial bacteria feed on the starch in the potatoes and the food is fermented in this manner.

    November 4th, 2010 2:14 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    I would also add that pasteurized milk can still be cultured back to life with a yogurt or kefir culture. The process is similar – the yogurt/kefir culture feeds on the lactose in the milk and the milk ferments into yogurt or kefir depending on what starter culture you used.

    November 4th, 2010 2:16 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Yup! I haven't gotten to the "switching to raw milk" thing yet, so I make stuff with pasteurized milk all the time. Fortunately I have access to what I consider to be the second-best thing to raw milk: Cedar Summit Farms near the Twin Cities has non-homogenized whole milk from grass-fed cows which they pasteurize (NOT ultra-pasteurize) right on the farm. It works great in every NT-related thing I make.

    I made fermented beets this summer, and it seemed odd to cook them first, and since they were tiny I just fermented them raw. As it turns out, they are quite tasty thinly sliced on top of a salad. I love that there are multiple right answers to this stuff.

    November 4th, 2010 2:37 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I wonder if sauerkraut juice would ferment the potatoes as well since we don't do dairy.

    November 4th, 2010 3:03 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Is starch the reason sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams and parsnips aren't allowed on GAPS and SCD?


    November 4th, 2010 3:05 pm Reply
  • Sally

    Great recipe! Can't wait to try this. Can I do it without peeling the potatoes? Or is there a reason for the peeling?

    November 4th, 2010 3:08 pm Reply
  • hobby baker

    Would it be okay to add something like garlic and chives to the potatoes or would that affect the fermentation? Maybe adding them in at serving time would be better. What does the flavor on this dish end up like?

    November 4th, 2010 5:11 pm Reply
  • Corinne

    Along with hobby baker, I too wonder what fermented potatoes taste like? My fist thought was that they don't sound appetizing at all. I love sauerkraut, beets, etc. but fermented potatoes is new to me. Thanks!

    November 4th, 2010 5:44 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Tina, yes – it's the starch that is a no no on GAPS and SCD. Starch is extremely difficult for a compromised gut to digest.

    November 4th, 2010 6:41 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Anonymous, try 2 cups water plus 2 TBL raw apple cider vinegar to ferment the potatoes instead. It wouldn't hurt to add the contents of a probiotic capsule to the liquid before mixing in as well.

    November 4th, 2010 6:43 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Sally, I've never done it without peeling the potatoes, but if you wash them really well and mash it up really well it should be fine. My only concern is that the skin would add a mold risk to the recipe that is not there otherwise.

    November 4th, 2010 6:44 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Corrine, the fermented potatoes taste like mashed potatoes with a bit of zing from the enzyme/fermentation.

    November 4th, 2010 6:45 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Hobby, garlic and chives would be absolutely fine to add! Creativity is so awesome once you get comfortable with the basic tenets of fermentation.

    November 4th, 2010 9:14 pm Reply
  • WordVixen

    Since I don't make raw yogurt, do you think I could use a cup of store bought yogurt and a cup of raw milk? Or even just two cups of store bought yogurt?

    November 4th, 2010 10:08 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Wordvixen, 2 cups of plain store yogurt would be fine. Try to find Seven Stars brand at the healthfood store – this is the best store bought brand to be had.

    November 4th, 2010 10:19 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi sarah
    I went to the store and bought sweet potatos to try the fermented recipe. We have not been eating them because of gaps diet so this is a great new idea for us to try for some variety! I just love this blog, you are so imaginative!
    Thanks so much!

    November 5th, 2010 2:22 am Reply
  • Josh

    By the way Whole Health Source did a 3 part article on potatoes and Stephen concluded that potatoes should be preferably peeled before eating because of the glucoalkaloids being mostly in the skin.


    November 5th, 2010 4:13 am Reply
  • K @ Prudent and Practical

    Just whipped up a batch right now. I left the skins on so we'll see how it goes. They look just like homestyle mashed potatoes. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    November 5th, 2010 4:15 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Jean, be careful of the sweet potatoes if you are on gaps. Even if fermented, they may cause a flare up of symptoms unless you are healing really well. If they cause a problem, be sure to re-eliminate them and wait until you come off GAPS to try them again.

    November 5th, 2010 11:54 am Reply
  • Dorsey

    I just tried this as well. Sounded so fascinating, I couldn't resist. I had an organic potato that was new to me…. called Natural Beauty. It says sweet on the little label but it is the color of the gold yukons. I made it with kefir as that is what I had. I am now waiting for the "brewing" process to complete but licking the beaters was a tasty experience.
    Thanks for the unique recipe.

    November 5th, 2010 6:02 pm Reply
  • WordVixen

    Thanks Sarah! I've never heard of that brand before, but I'll look for it. There's a local company that uses VAT pasteurized grassfed Jersey milk that's amazing, but I haven't seen plain from them yet, so I've been using Stonyfield. If I can find better, I'll grab it!

    November 5th, 2010 8:28 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Walling

    Yum! This looks amazing. I love, love, love potatoes. I eat them every day. But I never thought to ferment them! That's something I'll have to try. Right now I'm on a hashbrowns-fried-in-coconut-oil streak, but this might persuade me to try something new…

    November 5th, 2010 9:07 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Oh, I just LOVE hash browns fried up in coconut oil!!!

    November 5th, 2010 9:55 pm Reply
  • WordVixen

    I stand corrected- a local Amish natural foods store DOES have Seven Stars yogurt! They also have the plain of our local grassfed VAT yogurt. They're cash only, so I have to work it into our budget, but I can definitely get it. Even better, a lady I met there told me where to get Jersey raw milk- and it's the farm that already makes the raw cheese that I buy at the Amish store. Total score today!

    November 7th, 2010 3:51 am Reply
  • K @ Prudent and Practical

    Maybe you can help with troubleshooting? I made mine and let it "brew" for 48 hours. I took off the cloth and my potatoes were grayish on top and fuzzy. I'm assuming it's mold and wondering what I might have done wrong? I kept the skins on the potatoes and used russets.

    November 8th, 2010 1:42 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi K,

    I made a comment above that the leaving the skins on would be a mold risk. Try it again without the skins. I've never gotten mold with peeled potatoes.

    November 8th, 2010 1:20 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    I am interested in hearing a taste review from any of the visitors to the site who have made the potatoes.. Thanks so much!

    November 8th, 2010 6:28 pm Reply
  • Janetlynda

    Sarah, After you have made these fermented potatoes – how do you serve them? Can you HEAT the potatoes and cover them with butter and gravy? Or because of the 'ferments' do you have to eat them cold?

    November 9th, 2010 4:48 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Janetlynda, you can warm them but don't warm them to the point where they are hot (above 118F) else you will destroy the enzymes/probiotics.

    November 10th, 2010 2:07 am Reply
  • K @ Prudent and Practical

    Ok, round two. 24 hours after making they were fine. At 6 hours before the 48 hour mark, I was going to have some with lunch and about half is covered with a faint fuzz. I'm chalking this one up to non-organic russets on sale. I do think there is a reason why a 10 pound bag of potatoes is only $2…

    November 15th, 2010 11:41 pm Reply
    • Asta G

      Hi Sarah!

      Can you use ANY probiotic dairy? Could I for example use sour cream?

      December 3rd, 2011 11:49 pm Reply
  • kelly

    I’ve never been able to get my husband and pregnant daughter to try any of the fermented foods I’ve made or bought. I made the potatos and I LOVE them. Do you think I could add them to potato dishes such as potato salad in order to sneak them into my families diet???

    You’d be surprised how often I can sneak traditional foods into my families diet!

    January 4th, 2011 10:53 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, of course! What a creative idea! Glad you are enjoying the recipe. :)

      January 4th, 2011 11:49 pm Reply
  • Noelle


    Do you eat these potatoes cold or do you have a different way you like to eat them? Do you ever add any toppings or use them in another dish? Thanks!

    February 27th, 2011 8:01 pm Reply
  • Di

    Is this the Potatoe Cheese recipe? and if so do I drain the “cheese off ” and serve the potatoes? or keep everything together and serve as you mentioned in the video! I am excited to try this one because starch is a problem for me:)

    April 4th, 2011 2:48 pm Reply
  • Martine

    Hi Sarah,

    Why don’t you ferment the patatoes before cooking them like for French fries?

    June 8th, 2011 2:15 pm Reply
  • Jason

    Hi Sarah,

    I love your videos, thank you for providing so many of them!

    I want to use these fermented potatoes for backpacking meals. If I dehydrate them, will there be any problem with storage (I am thinking 2-4 weeks storage)? Such as, because of the live cultures, will they continue to ferment if stored dehydrated at ambient/room temps (assuming dehydrating under 118F)?

    FYI, I fermented my batch (first and only so far) leaving the skins on organic Yukons, no mold issues. I am in the Pacific NW, where it is humid, but not nearly as so as Florida.

    January 19th, 2012 4:09 am Reply
  • Zack

    Do you know if this can be done with water kefir? Thanks

    January 27th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
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  • Nancy

    was so looking forward to making this until I heard you had to use raw products, we can’t get anything Raw in Oklahoma,

    May 5th, 2012 10:33 am Reply
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  • Christine

    I made these and they were so delicious. I don’t know how I could ever live without preparing potatoes this way. When done I fry them in coconut oil with onions and season to taste.

    May 10th, 2013 1:23 pm Reply
    • Chris Clement

      That sounds awesome. I’m on it.

      July 31st, 2014 10:58 pm Reply
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  • Donna

    This begs to be done….Wondering if one can use water kefir or sauerkraut juice for the fermenting process?…I sadly lack a digestive enzyme for any dairy…Is this a possibility?

    Thank you for such a fantastic idea and recipe!

    September 11th, 2013 9:01 am Reply
  • Nicole

    Hello there – I am making this ferment for the first time (with a mixture of sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, horseradish and a beet). Today is day 2. I had a peek last night and it is covered with something that looks like kahm yeast. I’m still pretty new at all this. Is this ok? Is that what it’s supposed to look like? Do I just mix it up, put it in the fridge?

    October 11th, 2013 12:19 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    I fermented cooked diced organic yukons. When I cooked my potatoes, I added a small amount of onion and garlic, and when all was soft let it cool to room temp. I then mixed in some homemade sauerkraut juice… about 4 Tablespoons of the juice and celtic salt to taste. I then packed it in a quart jar (poured boiling water to clean first then cooled it) I put a top on the jar and let it sit 24 hours in a warm dark place. It was ready! SO DELICIOUS!! …. you might need more time for fermenting.. just depends.. maybe a couple days..just taste and see. YUM

    October 27th, 2013 10:04 am Reply
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  • Lillie

    Hi, Sarah

    I made the potato salad and it is suppose to taste a little sour right? I am new to fermenting foods and drinks only 2 months now, just wondering. By the way so glad I found you on here.

    June 23rd, 2014 5:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes … a bit sour but not at all unpleasant :)

      June 23rd, 2014 5:50 pm Reply
  • Julia

    Thanks for the recipe. I just though even if one over heats the fermented mash, it will still be easier to digest because some work has been done by the bacteria??

    June 23rd, 2014 11:28 pm Reply
  • Me

    Starches are actually one of the easiest to digest. Digestion of starches actually begins in the mouth. There’s an enzyme called amylase, which breaks down starch into sugars. Amylase gets secreted into the mouth and the small intestine.

    June 24th, 2014 12:19 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not true … which is why starches are excluded on the GAPS Diet while the gut is being rebuild to heal/seal the gut wall.

      June 24th, 2014 1:58 pm Reply
  • sarah

    I was just wondering if I can use whey from cheese making instead of yogurt.

    July 24th, 2014 9:34 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No, this whey doesn’t work as it has been heated.

      July 24th, 2014 9:40 am Reply
  • hedvig

    Hi! I am trying to make fermented potato mash now. It has been fermenting for a 24+ hours. To my big surprise when I opened the lid to check on things there was a strong smell of a chemical? I thought it was acetone, but not sure. I have found nothing on the web about that. Do you recognize this. I took a spoon and stirred. Took some mash smelled and tasted. Then it tasted only like slightly soured potato mash and smell was ok. But it was the built up gas in the jar that smelled weird. I wonder if it has anything to do with acrylamide content in potatoes or if I was just making acetone (obviously one can make acetone and butyl-something from potato according from google).

    August 31st, 2014 12:43 pm Reply
  • Nickie Robinson

    I am making this thinking it will lower the carbs. When done i want to bake it for twice baked potato recipe. I know it will hurt the probiotics, which we get in other drinks thru kefir…but will it still have the low carb count after baking (re-cooking)?

    March 27th, 2015 2:11 pm Reply
  • Eelkje Wouda

    Where do the enzymes come from in this enzyme rich side dish? Not from the potatoes, I think, as they have been boiled?

    August 18th, 2015 4:11 am Reply
    • stephanie

      the kefir

      September 22nd, 2015 4:48 pm Reply
  • Sharon Lurie

    I have some questions:

    1. How do the fermented potatoes taste compared to regular ones?
    2. Is the only problem with reheating the potatoes the loss of the probiotics? It wouldn’t affect the carbohydrate count, would it?

    Thank you.

    September 25th, 2015 3:40 pm Reply
  • Emily

    What! How cool is this! I had no idea, I will be sharing your recipe with our followers. Just in time for Thanksgiving.

    November 23rd, 2015 4:58 pm Reply

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