December 15, 2021

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Pineapple

Last year, I started experimenting with lacto-fermented fruit. One that I made contained apples, cranberries, and pecans, and it was delicious. I blogged about that one. The other contained pineapple, cranberry, and apple, but I didn't blog about that one. Unfortunately, that means that I can't find the recipe! I do believe I bookmarked it, but that was on a now dead computer and so is lost. I found a similar recipe after a lot of internet searching, and ended up combining the two. This time I'm going to document it! Following is my adaptation.

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Pineapple

  • 12 oz bag of cranberries, chopped
  • 4 small apples, chopped
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar, honey, or maple syrup
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whey
  • filtered water or juice (apple or pineapple) to cover contents of jar

Mix all but the water or juice and place in a half-gallon jar. Pound the fruit down and add water until contents are covered. Put a lid on the jar and let sit in a room temperature place for 2-3 days. Unscrew the lid occasionally, to release the build-up of carbon dioxide. Refrigerate or store in a cold cellar after that. It will gradually become more tart over time.

Fermenting pineapple, cranberries, and apples on the left.
Pineapple core and peel being made into vinegar on right.

One question I have been asked about fermenting fruit is, won't it turn to wine? My answer is no, and here's why. When wine is made, yeast (commercial or natural air-borne) and extra sugar are added. It's the yeast that converts the sugars to alcohol. For example, for my elderberry wine, I add equal weights of sugar and fruit, which gives the wine a 5% alcohol content.

With lacto-fermentation of fruit, no yeast and very little sugar (if any) is added. Plus, the fermenting jar is kept closed (except occasional "burping" to release the CO2), so that will keep most air-borne yeasts out. The process is a primarily a natural bacterial ferment. It's possible that some stray air-borne yeast could enter the ferment, but fortunately (or unfortunately) you won't get any more tipsy on it than from eating a ripe banana.

Lastly, a bit of promotion for something useful. I was able to source organic pineapple and cranberries through Misfits Market, an online ordering and delivery service. I finally joined and have been pleased to economically supplement our diet with organic produce I can't (or don't) grow in our home garden. Highly recommended. In fact, if you haven't joined Misfits yet, use my referral code COOKWME-SD6SOLPHRAB and we'll both get $10 off an order. There are no subscription fees and you can cancel any time.


John said...

Hello Leigh, interesting post m'dear and I have to admit to have being ignorant of 'lacto-fermented fruit' before reading it (who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks!). Just an idea about the CO2 release or burping as you so eloquently put it, would it not be be possible to retro fit a gas release tube (as used in home brewing) to ease the pressure build up so that the jars can be left undisturbed until ready? Just a wee thought...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Weird question Leigh: What does it taste like? Those are all things I like on their own, but my mind has rather unhappy memories of random fruit and jello salads from when I was young to base tastes on.

Ed said...

Probably the only reason I don't try this is the short shelf life. I've heard you get only two or three months. How long have you kept some around?

Leigh said...

John, yes! That would work very well for releasing the CO2. Good idea.

Lacto-fermentation is well worth looking into, because of how positively it effects gut health. We usually think of digestion, but studies are show a link between digestive health and mental alertness, so there are a lot of wonderful benefits. Yogurt and sauerkraut are common examples.

TB, it tastes nothing like jello salad!!! Jello isn't a great food anyway, and adding canned fruit (with optional marshmallows - YUK!) does nothing to improve it. I always pass on that stuff.

The taste of this recipe is tart, as with all lacto-fermented foods, and the cranberries add to that. We're so used to fermented foods though, that we like tartness. It could also be made without the cranberries for less tart.

Ed, well, it doesn't go "bad" (as in spoil), but it's a living food, so it continues to become more tart over time. Refrigeration slows that down but doesn't stop it. So, shelf life is a matter of preference and how sweet or sour one prefers. Then it's a matter of making an amount that you'll eat before it gets too tart to enjoy.

Nancy In Boise said...

Can you make this without whey?

Debby Riddle said...

This is wonderful. It looks delicious! Thanks for the tip with Misfits Market.

Leigh said...

Nancy, absolutely. The whey just kickstarts it because whey is rich in Lactobacillus. You'd just need to increase the salt. 2 tablespoons per quart of water or apple juice would do.

Debby, you're welcome! (And thanks :)

Rain said...

Very cool Leigh. I love how you experiment. I laughed a little too loud when you mentioned the ripe banana! ☺☺

Tom said...

...lacto-fermented fruit is new to me. I think that cranberries, apples and pineapple would be a nice fresh combination. Thanks for stopping by my blog, enjoy Christmas with your new camera.

Nancy In Boise said...


Leigh said...

Thank you Tom!

You're welcome, Nancy. :)

Mama Pea said...

Much appreciate you sharing the source for organic fruit as that was my first thought (said with a mental wail in my voice): But I can't get organic pineapple at our local co-op except during a short, couple of weeks a year. You (and Dan) are so generous and sharing with all of your ideas, experiments and homesteady projects. And that's much appreciated.

Chris said...

I love seeing what you get up to in the kitchen, Leigh. Always something new to learn. I never would have thought of that combo of fruit, but I can see it working a treat! Please do let us know how it tastes, and how you end up using it.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, you're welcome. :) I confess I'm not a stickler for organic, but it's always preferred. And I love sharing our ideas because it only seems fitting, considering how much we learn from others.

Chris, it's long gone! lol We just at it as a breakfast fruit in it's own dish. I also mixed some of it with my oatmeal, which was quite good.

I'm going to try my next batch without cranberries (which are very seasonal here). It will likely be less colorful and less tart.

Just Me said...

Can you give an idea of what it actually costs for misfit foods? What would a 10 lb bag of potatoes cost? Or 5 lbs of carrots?

This sounds quite intriguing!

Leigh said...

Just Me, that's a good question, and I think the answer is for you to sign up for a free account and take a look for yourself. There's no obligation to order, and you'll be able to scroll through the items and look at what you might be interested in. The offerings change from week to week, with some relatively stable items and others changing according to the season. If you like what you see, you can make an order. You need a $30 minimum and it's about $5.50 flat rate shipping. If it doesn't look like it's for you, there's no penalty to cancel.