Rich in probiotics, the Gut Shot is a fermented vegetable drink that supports gut health by creating diversity in the microbiome—an easy step-by-step guide using veggies you already have with just 15 minutes of hands-on time.

jar of veggies and liquid fermented to create a gut shot - cabbage leaves, celery, carrots, red pepper, cauliflower.

Introducing the Gut Shot! Tangy, flavorful and incredibly delicious, it is one of the easiest ways to increase diversity in our gut microbiome and support healthy digestion! Even a tablespoon a day is enough to flood your microbiome with gut-supporting probiotics, and it really doesn’t get easier than this! If you’ve made our sauerkraut or kimchi recipe, you’ll love this!

What I love about this easy recipe is how you can use veggies you already have on hand that need to be used up. A gut shot is different from kombucha or water kefir in that it is savory, not sweet, with no added sugar. And with no dairy, it is vegan and of course, gluten-free. With just 15 minutes of hands-on time, you’ll have a healthy, potent, gut-healthy brew with very little cost or effort in 3-5 days. Mother Nature is incredible!

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Incredibly nutritious! Full of raw fermented plant foods that provide healthy probiotics to support gut health and boost immunity!
  2. Use up extra veggies. A convenient way to use up leftover vegetables!
  3. Quick and easy. Only 15 minutes of hands-on time.

What Does a Gut Shot Taste Like?

Unlike kombucha or kefir, the gut shot is savory and made from vegetables. It is not sweet and has no added sugar. The flavor is tangy, pleasantly salty, almost like pickle brine, only even better! The longer you ferment it, the tangier it will taste. For optimal taste, ferment for 5 days.

Gut Shot Ingredients

ingredients needed for making a homemade gut shot laid out on cloth - vegetables, whole spices, salt.
  • Organic vegetables: Choose 2-3 veggies, such as celery, carrots, fennel, bell pepper, red beets, or cabbage. Wash the veggies, but do not peel them.
  • Whole spices: Fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, dill seeds, anise seeds, allspice, black peppercorns, star anise
  • Onion: Use sliced onion or sub with leeks or shallot.
  • Garlic cloves: Peel and slice them in half.
  • Cabbage leaves: just a couple to hold things down in the jar.
  • Optional additions: Sliced turmeric root and (or) sliced ginger root (⅛-¼ cup total).
  • Fine sea salt: Or use Himalayan pink salt.
  • Filtered water: Tap water can contain chlorine, which can prohibit fermentation.
  • Equipment: 8-cup mason jar, lid, and fermentation weight (or something clean that can be used as a weight that fits inside the jar, like a small shot glass)

How to make Fermented Gut Shot

Place whole spices in the bottom of a clean, 8-cup jar. Add onion, garlic, and optional turmeric root and ginger root. Add the organic veggies, slicing thinly, filling up roughly half the jar.

Cover with a few cabbage leaves (which will keep everything under the brine) and press down.

using a cabbage leaf to keep veggies down in the jar.

Weigh down the cabbage leaves using a fermentation weight or something small and clean that fits into the jar like a shot glass.

Make the salt water brine using a 3% solution. Mix 4 cups filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt and stir until salt dissolves. Pour this over the weighted cabbage leaves.

filtered water in measuring cup with teaspoon of salt over top to make a brine for the gut shot.

Fill the jar, leaving 1 1/2 inches of headroom. If you need more brine to fill the jar, use a mixture of 1 cup water with 1 heaping teaspoon salt.

Pouring the salt water brine into the jar.

If any seeds or scraps float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon. Any debris that floats to the surface may cause mold, so everything needs to be submerged under the brine. (You can check for this daily during the fermentation period.)

Rich in probiotics, the Gut Shot is a fermented vegetable drink that supports gut health by creating diversity in the gut microbiome—an easy step-by-step guide using veggies you already have with just 15 minutes of hands-on time.

Cover, but do not tighten the lid, and place the jar over a plate to catch any overflow. You want the bubbles from the fermentation to be able to escape. 

lid on the jar.

You can also use an airlock system like shown below, but know that a simple lid will suffice.

glass jar of fermented liquid with an airlock system.

Place the jar in a cool place; 65F-70F is ideal. (In winter, I leave it on my kitchen counter and check daily for any seeds that may have escaped and floated to the surface. In summer, placing the jar in a cool basement or lower cupboard is ideal.)

Let this ferment for 3-4 days, then taste. The longer you ferment, the more tangy it will become. As the healthy bacteria “eat” the sugars or lactose from the veggies, they create acidity; also known as lacto-fermentation.

Lacto-fermentation is a two-step process: in the first step, the salt inhibits the bad bacteria, allowing the good bacteria to grow, flourish and have more space. Once the good guys grow, they feed on the sugars in the veggies and produce the acidity as a byproduct. This is the second stage or step. The tangy flavor indicates it has indeed reached the second step and is fermenting.

I like to leave this five days for optimum flavor. You may notice bubbles as you tap the jar. Or a slight cloudiness. Both are good signs. The jar should smell like pickle juice- clean and briny. Once satisfied with the smell and flavor, place the fermented brine in the fridge, lightly covered.

It will continue to ferment in the refrigerator but more slowly and will keep indefinitely.

fermented gut shot in mason jar with vegetables and liquid sealed with an airlock.

Serving and Storage

For optimal microbiome health, drink a 2-ounce gut shot every day (just strain it out of the jar). Consider this your daily dose of digestive strength! It is a positive habit to add to your daily routine.

TIP: If you are new to probiotics, start with one teaspoon or one tablespoon per meal per day. You can gradually work up from there.

You can also take a shot before each meal. They can give you a boost for the day when taken in the morning, or you can take it after a meal to stimulate digestion. We think the flavor is delicious, but if it’s too tangy or savory for you, try diluting it a bit with water.

The veggies are edible and are full of probiotics too!

In order to keep the cultures alive and active, store in the refrigerator in a sealed jar.

Gut shot FAQs

What is in a gut shot?

Store-bought gut shots are usually made with sugar and juices, but this homemade gut shot is savory, made with fermented organic vegetables (creating a vegetable juice), sea salt, whole spices, and filtered water.

Do gut shots actually work?

Yes! Taking a gut shot every day is similar to taking a probiotic or consuming yogurt for microbiome health. The veggie drink contains active probiotic cultures, giving your body an effective probiotic boost.

How often should I take a gut shot?

You can take a gut shot three times a day, with each meal, or you can take one every morning. Overall a few shots a day is ideal to stay healthy!

Do I need to use organic ingredients?

Yes, or homegrown or from your local farmers market. You do not want to ferment anything that has been treated with herbicides or glyphosates.

gut shot in a glass in front of jar of fermenting vegetables.

Probiotic Benefits

There are so many reasons to consume fermented foods and probiotics daily, like this gut shot that contains strains of live probiotic cultures. Here are the benefits of consuming live active cultures:

  1. Improved Digestion: Probiotics can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, preventing dysbiosis or leaky gut. Probiotics aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. Read more.
  2. Enhanced Immunity: A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, and probiotics can help support this by promoting a balanced gut microbiome. Further information.
  3. Mental Health Support: Some studies suggest that probiotics may have a positive impact on mental health, potentially helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Explore the study.
  4. Reduced Inflammation: Certain probiotic strains have been linked to a reduction in inflammation in the body, which may benefit overall health. Read this.
  5. Metabolic Health. Adding fermented foods to the diet can play a role in preventing and managing metabolic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. The metabolites produced during fermentation can help regulate appetite and improve insulin sensitivity. Some fermented foods have been associated with better weight management. Delve into the details.
  6. Cardiovascular Health. The bioactive peptides produced during the fermentation process have been recognized for their role in cardiovascular health. These substances can lower blood pressure and have anti-thrombotic properties, which are important in the prevention of heart disease. Check out the research.

We hope you enjoy this tangy shot and your new digestive glow!

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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Rich in probiotics, the Gut Shot is a fermented vegetable drink that supports gut health by creating diversity in the gut microbiome—an easy step-by-step guide using veggies you already have with just 15 minutes of hands-on time.

Gut Shot Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5 days
  • Total Time: 120 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: drinks, probiotic, fermentation
  • Method: fermented
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Rich in probiotics, the Gut Shot is a fermented vegetable drink that supports gut health by creating diversity in the gut microbiome—an easy step-by-step guide using veggies you already have with just 15 minutes of hands-on time.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons whole spices: fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, dill seeds, anise seeds, allspice, black peppercorns, star anise.
  • 1/21 onion, sliced (or sub leeks or shallot)
  • 1020 garlic cloves, sliced in half
  • Optional additions: sliced turmeric root and or sliced ginger root (1/8-1/4 cup total)
  • Organic Vegetables (choose 2-3) celery, carrots, fennel, bell pepper, beets, cabbage, etc. sliced or chopped small. (about 3-4 cups). Wash the veggies, but do not peel.
  • 2 cabbage leaves
  • Fine Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • Filtered Water (tap water can contain chlorine, which can prohibit fermentation)

Instructions

  1. Place whole spices in the bottom of a clean, 8-cup jar.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and optional turmeric root and ginger root.
  3. Add vegetables, slicing thinly, filling up roughly half the jar.
  4. Cover with cabbage leaves (which will keep everything under the brine)
  5. Weight down the cabbage leaves using a fermentation weight or something small and clean that fits into the jar like a shot glass. Press down a little.
  6. Make the brine using a 3% solution. Mix 4 cups filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt. Pour this over the weighted cabbage leaves. Fill the jar, leaving 1 1/2 inches of headroom. If you need more brine to fill the jar, use 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt.
  7. If any seeds or scraps float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon. Any debris that floats to the surface may cause mold, so everything needs to be submerged under the brine. ( You can check for this daily during the fermentation period.)
  8. Cover, but do not tighten the lid, and place over a plate to catch any overflow. You want the bubbles from the fermentation to be able to escape.  You can also use an airlock system (see photos above).
  9. Place it in a cool place; 65F-70F is ideal. ( In winter, I leave it on my kitchen counter and check daily for any seeds that may have escaped and floated to the surface. In summer, placing the jar in a cool basement or lower cupboard is ideal. )
  10. Let this ferment for 3 days, then taste. The longer you ferment, the more tangy it will become. I like to leave this 5 days for optimum flavor. Place in the fridge, lightly covered. It will continue to ferment in the refrigerator but more slowly and will keep indefinitely.
  11. Drink a 2-ounce glass full of gut shot each day or with each meal. And Yes, the vegetables are edible and delicious!

Notes

If you are new to consuming probiotics, start gently, consuming one teaspoon or tablespoon, per meal, gradually adding more as tolerated.

This must be refrigerated and can not be canned, or frozen in order to keep the cultures alive and active.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 ounces
  • Calories: 12
  • Sugar: 0.8 g
  • Sodium: 767.7 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: gut shot, probiotic drink, vegetable brine, fermented gut shot , fermented gut shot

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Comments

  1. My first batch just moved into the fridge a few days ago. I’ve been having a 1 ounce shot with breakfast and lunch since it finished. The flavor is interesting, but enjoyable. I’m looking forward the the health benefits I’ll hopefully start to see in a month or two.

  2. Hello, thank you for this recipe. When I added the salt solution it only filled the jar up to the level of the vegetables, so I added the same amount of salt solution again. It was only after that I saw the part of the recipe where it says to add 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt if you need more water. I let the mixture ferment for 5 days on the counter and it bubbled nicely, after a couple of days in the fridge I took a shot this morning and it tastes incredibly salty. I’m not sure if I should just throw it away and start again as consuming this much salt likely isn’t healthy, what do you think? Many thanks in advance for any tips.

    1. Hi Ciara- yes, the gut shot is salty. But like a pickle brine, with a tanginess that tempers the salt. So I am clear, do you think you added more salt than the suggested ratio?

      1. Hi Sylvia, thanks for your response. I added 4 cups filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt but this barely covered the vegetables, so then I added another 4 cups filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt, and there was still room in the jar, only then did I see that you had said to add 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt if more liquid was needed, so I added that too. So yes it sounds like I added far too much salt, what do you think? My gut shot doesn’t have a pickle tanginess, it just tastes overwhelmingly salty. I think I should throw it out and start again. So for next time, after I add 4 cups filtered water with 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt, if there is still room left for more liquid, should I just keep adding 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt until the jar is full? Thanks in advance!

        1. Hi Ciara, yes, that is what I would do. If you don’t have tanginess, or cloudiness, it may have bee too much salt which will halt the fermentation.

  3. Hi! Love this recipe but there’s a small bit of mold at the top. Is it safe for me to scoop it out, get rid of the cabbage leaves and stick it in the fridge to store for daily drinking?

    1. Hi Manju- if the mold is contained to the outside of the brine, and you can remove it wtih out it touching the brine, then probably ok, but I would not drink it personally if the mold is touching the brine. Others may say differently…

        1. Hi Suzanne- so still no bubbles when you tap the jar or cloudiness in the bottem? Does it smell tangy?

  4. It was my first attempt, so I wasn’t sure about success. Mine turned an interesting purple color because of the cabbage. But it tastes just as I expected and I’m grateful for the recipe

  5. Hi, I’ve made this exactly as instructed, it looks great, but I have very few bubbles after 5-6 days. Not sure what it should look like. It’s been kept at 70 degrees.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Michelle, look for cloudiness in the brine, maybe at the bottom of the jar. Do you see thatA Bubbles, when you tap the jar.

  6. Hi, I think I did something wrong. I’m not getting much in the way of bubbles. It’s been 5 days. Any suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. Look for cloudiness in the brine, at the bottom of the jar. Smell, and tap the jar to see if small bubbles rise up. The cloudiness is a good indicator.

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