Dec 11, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Chutney

My sister-in-law sent me this link to lacto-fermented cranberry apple chutney before Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving she emailed back to say it was super yummy and that I should try it.  I had some of the ingredients on hand, but not all.  After consulting with other chutneys in Nourishing Traditions, this is the recipe that I created.  And really like. {Keepin' it real: the first batch was waaay too salty, so I made a second batch and it tastes much better - recipe at the end.}  This is one more jar to add to my lacto-fermented arsenal in the fridge.  Both my children will eat this (my 19-month old has been eating the radish relish by the handfuls!).

Lacto-fermenting is not rocket science.  And just a couple of tablespoons at each meal not only aids digestion but also is a powerhouse of nutrition.  Go buy some cranberries while you still can!

Before you go chopping everything, start your whey dripping.  You can use yogurt or kefir.  In the above picture, I poured kefir into a coffee filter that I sat on a strainer/funnel combo on top of my jar.  The clear-ish liquid that comes out the bottom is whey.
In a food processor, coarsely chop cranberries and apples.  I used my blade attachment but the shredded attachment would work, too.  (My shredder fell jumped off the counter and broke.  Boo.)
Pour everything into a bowl and stir.
Stuff it into a jar.
I'm pointing to the liquid level.  You'll want to add enough filtered water (no fluoride or chlorine) to cover the top of the fruit.
At this point I decided to use the remainder of the can of pineapple and added about a cup of filtered water.
Let it sit on your counter for 2-3 days before putting into the fridge.  If your kitchen is cool (less than 65*), consider setting your ferment near an alternative heat source - like run a dehydrator for warmth or plug up your crock pot.

Here's my recipe for a two quart (or half gallon) jar:
10 oz cranberries, chopped
4 small apples, chopped
1 can (18oz?) crushed pineapple, I drained it to use the juice for something else but the juice would be fine in this.  Actually a fresh pineapple would be best, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $5 for one.
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 t powdered cloves
2 t cinnamon, heaping
1/4 c rapadura or sucanat (unrefined sugar)
1 t real salt
1/2 cup whey
filtered water as needed.

Mix the above and keep on your counter for 2-3 days then refrigerate.

Unlike sauerkraut that will keep for months (a year?!) in the fridge, Nourishing Traditions recommends eating the chutney within two months.


11/14/12 EDIT:
When I made this today, I decided to add 2 oranges (processed with apples) - because I had them on hand.  As a result, I did not add the half squeezed lemon nor was the extra water needed.

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  1. This stuff is AMAZING, thanks for sharing! :) I made a batch at the beginning of November, and had a serving every day. At thanksgiving it was a huge hit, and no one had a clue that it was fermented. I'm about to make another batch now, this time with orange pieces instead of pineapple because I'm out.

  2. This is a family favourite. I have made it a few times. Pineapples have been $2.50 or $2.99 here so I splurged. Lovely recipe Thank you.

  3. Would you be able to modify the recipe if using a packet of dried culture (non dairy source)? Thanks, Brenda

    1. Yours is a good question and maybe someone else will read the comments and be able to answer. I've not used dried cultures before, so I don't know.

    2. I sprinkled a small amount of Caldwell's in half a cup of warm water in lieu of the whey. The finished product was fabulous! I ended up fermenting it for 5 days. Not sure if that was due to the starter or that my kitchen isn't terribly warm. Definitely try it with a dried culture.

  4. I've never dared try a fermented food (Lots of yogurt and beverages, but never food...) This recipe gave me the guts to try. It tastes great right now, I hope it just improves with age. Thanks!

  5. Can you buy whey because I don't have kefir and know nothing about it.

    1. Sara, strain yogurt to get whey (use the same method I mention above with the kefir).

  6. Hi Julie,
    Do you know if Xylitol might be used as sweetner?
    Love your blog btw :)

    1. Liz, I don't know. If you try it, let us know!

  7. I'm interested in making this for Thanksgiving, but I'd like to skip the whey. What would you recommend? Water kefir grains, perhaps? I've read that salt can be increased to replace whey, although the probably won't taste good here - but can you clarify the amount of salt? Is "1 t real salt" supposed to be 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon? The other option I'm curious about is using kombucha culture as a starter - I have cultured tea and scobys at home, so that's the most accessible for me. Would love to hear what you think; I'm new to all this. Many thanks!

    1. I'm not sure what to tell you about whey substitutions. If you increase the salt, I think it would be too salty. Recipe above is for 1teaspoon (usually upper case T is for Tablespoon).

  8. hi, is the salt just for taste? I didn't add it to mine. thanks

    1. Hi Poodles - the salt, when used for lacto-fermentation, helps ward off the growth of the wrong kinds of bacteria. If you plant to eat the chutney right away (and not ferment), you do not need the salt. If you do not use the salt and do not let it ferment on your counter, you also do not get the beneficial bacteria.



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