Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lacto-fermented cranberry chutney

My grandma gave me a ton of fresh cranberries about three weeks ago--my grandparents and my parents are former cranberry growers, so I guess you could say cranberries hold a special place in all of our hearts. I still miss the smell of harvest (um, but not getting home from school, putting on hip boots and having to go help!).

Anyways, I am bad and still had a stash of LAST year's cranberries in my freezer. I had purposely left some in the fridge, so that I'd get moving on them, instead of continuing to accumulate them...

I'm making cranberry sauce right now (part of tomorrow's snack for Thanksgiving week of preschool!), but there were way too many for just sauce. A friend had mentioned cranberry chutney to me, which got me thinking about fermented cranberry chutney.

What did I do before google?! It took a me a little while, but I found a thread in a Mothering forum (YES! Reason #149 why I love Mothering!), with a recipe for lacto-fermented cranberry chutney. I probably would have just done it myself, but I had a few bombs trying to adapt pickling recipes into fermented recipes this summer (watermelon rinds, yuck), and I hate wasting the ingredients. The woman who posted the recipe happens to live in Portland, too. Would it be creepy to try and contact her?!

Danny helped me make the chutney--if it involves the food processor, that kid will help with anything. You'd think pushing the "pulse" button on the Cuisinart delivered an IV shot of chocolate, the way he acts! But it's nice, I like him to be involved in the kitchen--I'm hoping my sons will be able to cook. Future daughters-in-law, you're welcome :)

For my family, who may think I'm weird with the fermenting stuff and not want to eat my food anymore, read what Sally Fallon has to say and eat up!

Lacto-fermented cranberry chutney
  • 3 cups of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of nuts (pecans was suggested in the recipe I found, we used hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 cup of rapadura 
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 cup of whey
  • 1/2 cup of prune juice or other juice (I used apple juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
  • juice from 1 orange
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
Pulse all, except raisins, in food processor. Stir in raisins. Ferment 48 hours, then refrigerate.

Usually the fruit ferments are good for 1-2 months, I've found. I weighed mine down with a smaller jar, to keep the solids under the liquids. And--I totally forgot the raisins. Maybe I'll stir them in afterwards. Or maybe I'll just chalk it up as a good excuse to make more of this later on in winter!

And this is what the boys were doing, while I played with cranberries:

 UPDATE! This is delicious. We will be making it again. Danny and Isaac both liked it, too :) I did let it ferment for a little longer than the recommended time--probably more like 60 hours. It just didn't taste tangy enough for me at the 48 hour mark, and probably could have gone even a full 3 days. Maybe next time...


  1. this sounds delicious!

    but the main thing i wanted to comment on was the boys! they look so happy, healthy, and vibrant!!

  2. Wow! I live in Portland too! And I ferment things! and I blog! We are so the same!!! Anyway, I have also been wondering of creative ways to ferment cranberries; I am going to try this!!!

    Thank you!


  3. Thanks for posting, this is extremely useful to me right now, as I am just getting into lacto-fermentation, and I wanted to do a cranberry chutney for thanksgiving this year. And btw, you should always look people up who have similar interests and live in your area. I went to a food bloggers conference last summer, and everyone so cool, so happy to meet each other, so excited to find connections in real life after connecting online. Thanks again!