Micro Batch LIVE Culture Lemons (or limes)


update July 22nd: another batch of live culture lemons was made on the 8th (lemons sliced accordion style – as if making Hasselback potatoes and no salt in the lemons); less than three weeks and the lemons are falling apart, ready for use.

Delicious citrus flavor and probiotic health. I had a wedge with my lunch yesterday; body was happy and unhappy stomach settled down.

tweaked version of original recipe from various videos and Culturesforhealth.com’s recipe.

I used apple cider vinegar in part as a starter and in part for it’s benefits. The organic lemons I used came bulk bagged. I also tried a batch with limes and fresh slivers of ginger; it took longer to culture.

Ingredients and necessities

  • 2 TBS organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • Brine (recipe follows after procedures with lemons)
  • 4 organic lemons; rinsed, patted dry and stem end trimmed off
  • Mineral rich salt (for example: Celtic, Himalayan Pink, Redmond’s); use 1/2-tsp to 1-tsp per lemon.
  • Spices or dried herbs of your preference
  • Clean glass jar large enough to fit all the lemons with about 1″ to 1-1/2″ space from top of brine to lid when closed.

With each lemon…

1. Quarter the fruit from one pointed end to almost the other pointed end (don’t slice it completely through).

You can de-seed them at this point or leave the seeds in – the lemon falls apart as it goes through the culturing process.

2. Stuff the opening of each lemon with a half to one and a half teaspoon of salt.

3. Add a generous pinch of dried herbs or spices to your preference (extra seasonings can be added to the jar before putting in the ACV and brine).

4. Close up stuffed lemon and place into jar. Push firmly down. Do this with each lemon.

5. Pour in the apple cider vinegar.

6. Pour in the brine until it just covers the topmost lemon. Cover and place in a dim place to culture.

Press lemons down every day for about a week.

Allow to live culture in a dim but warm place at about 75℉ (I had mine in the basement so it took longer) for roughly 6 to 8 weeks.

The lemons are ready to be used as fresh condiments when they look like they are collapsing inward/falling apart in the jar.

The lemon brine/juice can also be used as well.

Live cultured lemons are slightly milder in sour flavor than fresh; the rinds themselves have a texture faintly reminiscent of candied lemons.



4 Cups clean water

3 TBS mineral rich salt.

Mix together and store in a glass jar.

>>>recipe adapted from Fermented Foods for Health by Deidre Rawlings.