Commercial condiments are bad for you, and fermented things are good for you. So why not improve your health by killing two birds with one stone?

Regular ol’ condiments are often some of the worst foods that people eat because they tend to be chalk full of damaged vegetable oils: canola oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, and it goes on. Not to mention all the sugar, emulsifiers, deoderizers, and preservatives.

Making your own is a great idea so you know exactly what is going in them! And it’s not that hard considering condiments are usually used sparingly. Make a batch once in a while and it will last you ages.

Fermenting Your Condiments

So why not take it one step further and actually ferment your condiments as well? You don’t have to – you can make all the recipes as is, but if you do you get a great probiotic boost every time you dip your eggs in ketchup 🙂

PS: All these recipes call for a bit of whey (the watery part of milk that has been separated from the milk curds) to help you ferment the food. You make whey by dripping yogurt, kefir, or soured milk through cheesecloth. If you don’t have this or think that’s way too much work, I just learned that you can use juice from your homemade sauerkraut as a fermentation starter instead.

Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

  • 12 ounces organic tomato paste (no salt added)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup water
  • 1/8 cup whey (or water)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (could probably use a prepared dijon mustard if you don’t have powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used larger grained salt.)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (You could even add a bit of molasses.)


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Pour sauce into a storage  container. Cover and leave at room temperature for two days. Move to the fridge.

-Picture and recipe from Gnowfglins

Lacto-Fermented Mustard

  • 1 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup of pure organic wasabi powder
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 tbs whey
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp honey (less or more)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbs whole black mustard seeds


  1. Soak the yellow mustard seed overnight.  Drain and grind into a paste.
  2. Mix in the wasabi powder, tumeric,  whey, sea salt, honey, lemon juice.
  3. Add  the water and blend until you obtain the desired consistency.
  4. Add the whole black mustard seeds.
  5. Place in a jar and cover tightly.
  6. Leave it at room temperature for about 3 days and then refrigerate.

-Picture and recipe from Heart of the House

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

  • Pastured egg yolks, room temperature (3)
  • Olive oil (1 1/2 – 2 cups)
  • Lemon juice or wine vinegar (3-5 tsp)
  • Sea salt (1/2 tsp)
  • Mustard (1/4 tsp)
  • Whey (2-3 tablespoon)


  1. Mix the egg yolks for 1-2 minutes. If using cold (not room temperature), mix a few minutes more. This is the key to mayonnaise that will set. If you use cold egg yolks, the mayo will not set unless they are warmed up in the blender (or whisked long enough in a warmed bowl).
  2. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar), sea salt, and mustard. Mix for 30 seconds more.
  3. With the blender running, add the olive oil drop by drop. When I say drop by drop, I mean drop by drop. Or at least a very thin, slow stream. This is the other very important element for making a mayo that will emulsify. If you go too fast, you’ll end up with runny mayonnaise.
  4. Once you’ve added about 1/2 a cup of olive oil, the sauce should have thickened into a heavy cream, and now you can add the oil in a thicker stream. Not too fast, though (especially if you are a beginner). If the mayo becomes too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
  5. Blend in the whey. Spoon into a mason jar, cover with a lid, and leave it on the counter or in a cupboard (at room temperature) for several hours. Then transfer to the fridge.

-Picture and recipe from Cheeseslave

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

  • 1 large onion or a large bunch of green onions, cut into large chunks
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves (unchopped)
  • 2.5 pounds roma tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons coarse celtic sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 cup whey
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water


  1. Combine onion, bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro in food processor. Pulse 3-5 times until coarsely chopped. (At this point if the lovely smells coming from this combination don’t make you swoon then I don’t understand you.) Add 1/3 of the tomatoes and pulse 2-3 times until room is made for additional tomatoes. Repeat with another one third of tomatoes. Finally, add the last of the tomatoes and pulse an additional 3-5 times.
  2. Pour contents of food processor into large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sea salt, cayenne powder, and whey. Stir well and allow to sit a few minutes while you prep your containers.
  3. Wash two quart jars or one 1/2 gallon jar well with soap and hot water. Do the same for a food funnel and jar lids. Ladle the salsa into jars, leaving 2-3 inches of head space. Add water to submerge the salsa.
  4. Close lid tightly and leave at room temperature for a few days, until bubbly and fermented. During this process the solid vegetables may separate from the liquid. Simply stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until redisbursed and submerged under the liquid. Transfer to cold storage. Should keep for months.

-Picture and recipe from Nourishing Days

Lacto-Fermented Fruit Chutney

  • 1/2 cup filtered water (the chlorine in straight tap water can halt the fermentation process)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. whey
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 3 cups peeled, cored, and finely chopped apples or other fruit
  • 1/2 cup raisins or small pieces of other dried fruit
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. slightly crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like your chutney spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground spicebush berries (or black pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds


Combine the water, vinegar, honey and whey. Mix with the other ingredients and pack firmly into a quart-size glass jar, leaving at least an inch of headspace. The liquid should come up to the top of the fruit. If it doesn’t, add a little filtered water.

Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days. Refrigerate and leave for another week before eating. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 months. Serve with whatever suits your fancy.

-Picture from Fiesta Farms, Recipe from Farm to Table

What’s your favourite condiment? Could you make it yourself? Could you ferment it?

photo by Chiot’s Run