December 28, 2020

Tasty Fermented Fruit: Apples & Cranberries

Right after the holidays, fresh cranberries go on clearance, so it's a great time to buy a bunch. 

Last year I made and canned cranberry sauce, but this year I wanted to try a recipe I found at Homesteading Family blog for fermented cranberry sauce. I lacto-ferment a lot of vegetables, but have never tried fruit before; this just seemed like the time to try it.

Ingredients: fresh cranberries, apples, raisins, pecans,
sea salt (mine is Himalayan), whey, and apple juice.

The fruit and pecans are chopped to bite-size pieces.

Sweetener is stirred in (I used unbleached sugar),
and the mixture spooned into a large glass jar.

The brine is made from apple juice, whey, & salt.

Ferment time is only a couple of days. Then it's ready to eat.

I was pleased with how delicious this is.
A wonderful addition to our winter diet.

I try to serve something probiotic at least once a day. When we have fresh milk, that's usually kefir and fruit as part of our breakfast. But with less milk now, I was looking for something else to fit with oatmeal or toast. Fermented fruit is perfect. I noticed pineapple is on sale at Aldi. Maybe I'll give that a try next.

Have you lacto-fermented fruit? Have a favorite? I'm looking for other ideas to try.


Cockeyed Jo said...

Lacto fermented pineapple is great!!! I do it all the time.
Next time you make the apple/cranberry add some celery. You get something similar to Waldorf salad. I do it fairly regularly like that.

SmartAlex said...

Nice! I'm always looking for some variations to garden/veggie side dishes and I love cranberries.

Leigh said...

Jo, I'm going to get started on the pineapple today, and probably add some cranberries since I still have some. Then I'll try my recipe for pineapple vinegar from the cores and peelings. :)

Alex, apparently, there isn't much you can't ferment! Probably the healthiest way to preserve foods there is.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I am cautiously curious? I have having flashbacks from bad Jello salads of my youth...

wyomingheart said...

Ok, Leigh,... we absolutely despise kimchi! We do love sauerkraut, so my question to you... What does this taste like? Is it just sour fruit, or sweet? Thanks again for adding more knowledge to my little pea brain! Lol ! It does Look really awesome!

Leigh said...

TB, lol. It's about as similar to jello as it is to a tomato salad, In other words, nowhere near the same! Loaded with probiotics, I say it's worth an experiment or two.

Wyomingheart, the recipe calls for sweetener, so it's tangy-sweet. It's a live ferment, so the longer it sits, the tangier it gets. By the end of the jar, I was mixing it with some of our applesauce. Very tasty.

Simply Handmade Farmhouse said...

Hello Leigh, how are you? I hope you are well!

Tom and Sue said...

Hey Leigh,
It's been a long time sense I have commented. But I still read all your posts and Sue wanted me to ask a question of this one.
Once the fermentation is done, She wanted to know if it can be canned or will that make it turn to mush?

Leigh said...

Simply Farmhouse, how are you?! Good to hear from you! All is well here, and I hope the same is true for you as well.

Tom and Sue, good to hear from you too!

Yes, you can can fermented fruits and veggies (it's acidic, so follow the guidelines for the acidic fruit) BUT, if you can it, you kill the probiotics. They must be alive to do their probiotic goodness, but you destroy them when heat processed. The other side of that coin, is that canning will halt the acidifying (souring) of the product because the lacto-bacteria are dead. So you can stop it at your desired level of tanginess, and some people choose to do that. It can also mean more variety on your pantry shelves. So canning has some preservation benefits, but also a health downside.

Nancy In Boise said...

Bummer I don't have whey or I would try for sure!!!

Leigh said...

Nancy, I'm not really sure that you need whey. I think it could be treated like a veg ferment by simply adding more salt. The whey just seems to kick start it.

Kelly said...

I was all excited about trying this until I saw that it had whey in it, which doesn't fit my vegan diet. My favorite thing to do with fresh cranberries is to make salsa.

Wishing y'all the very best in the coming year!

Leigh said...

Kelly, if I didn't want to use whey, I'd do a regular brine ferment, just like for sauerkraut, and omit the whey. It will still ferment nicely. They whey just kick starts it. :)

Chris said...

I wonder if kombucha would work to replace the whey, as it also has probiotics? My only concern with fermenting fruit, is making sure it doesn't turn into wine, lol. Do you know the suggested time for consumption? I do like the idea of fermentation, as it helps predigest the food, before you consume it and makes your tummy happier. My husband is always looking for things to put on his porridge, so I might have to give this a try. Great idea, thanks for sharing. :)

Leigh said...

Chris, I've only 11 months late to answer this. :o

The difference between wine and fermented fruit is that with wine, you are deliberately introducing yeast; either commercial or natural air-borne yeasts. It's the yeast that converts the sugars to alcohol. When fermenting fruit, no yeast is added, in fact, it's lidded with an occasional burping to let CO2 escape, but no yeast can get in. So with fermented fruit, the lacto-bacteria do the fermenting and no alcohol is produced.