Fermented Pumpkin Syrup

What You'll Need

  • medium-sized saucepan
  • strainer
  • wide-mouth pint and a half jar
  • canning jar funnel
  • wooden spoon
  • Pickle Pipe jar top fermentation lid
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • vegetable peeler
  • cheese grater or food processor with grater attachment
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 10 1/2 oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup active ginger bug

This warmly spiced pumpkin syrup can be used in many ways. Just a day or two after it has been made, it is thick and sweet, with just a touch of sparkle from the ginger bug. At this stage, we like to use it over yogurt, breakfast foods, or as a sweetener in recipes that call for date or maple syrup. Left to ferment for longer, however, it becomes sharper and tangier. We like it at this stage in cocktails, as a zippy bit of seasonal flavor. The ginger bug is a key ingredient here; it initiates fermentation, and adds a note of ginger heat to the pumpkin and spices.

If you don’t have a ginger bug, you’ll need to make one for this recipe. Luckily, they’re easy to make, and it only takes a few days to get one going.

After you have the ginger bug made, this recipe should ferment for at least 24 hours. It can be left for up to a week at room temperature, if you would like to continue fermentation beyond the initial 24 hour period. The syrup will become thinner and less sweet the longer it ferments.

Adapted from the book Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals by Simon Poffley and Gaba Smolinska-Poffley.
fermented pumpkin syrup


Prepare the ingredients.
cook pumpkin
Combine all ingredients except ginger bug together in a medium-sized saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
simmer on stovetop
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain the liquid into a wide mouth jar.
strain liquid
Add the ginger bug to the cooled liquid (heat will kill off the beneficial bacteria in the bug).

add ginger bug
Cover loosely, or affix an airlock to the jar. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 24 hours before chilling in the fridge.
affix fermentation lid
Shake well before using. This syrup should keep for a month in the fridge.

Over to You

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