How to Make Fermented Cranberries!
Have you ever cleaned out your freezer and found things in there that you should really just use already? I found a bag of frozen fresh cranberries hiding out in my freezer, and I decided I'd just go ahead and ferment them! Here’s how I fermented cranberries. This recipe is easy, tasty, and healthy, with a flavor that is unlike any cranberry taste you’ve ever tried!
But why cranberries?
The reason I decided to ferment these frozen cranberries is because 1) I just didn't feel like a cranberry sauce deal; and 2) I just wanted to see how it would go! 3) I had to get them used up, as they were getting on the old side, and…
Fermented foods are GREAT for your gut! So here's how I fermented my cranberries and also how I used these red beauties in our food.
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Recipe for Fermented Cranberries
You’ll need a quart wide mouth mason jar to make these. You really don’t need any fancy equipment, although you could use a mason jar airlock system if you like.
Ingredients for Making Fermented Cranberries
1) One bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
2) Sea Salt
3) Juice from 1 squeezed lemon or orange
4) Optional: Spices, such as Cinnamon Chips, Cloves, Ginger, etc.
Directions for Fermented Cranberries
Step 1) Since my cranberries were frozen, I put them in a colander and let them defrost. If you're using a fresh bag, you can skip this step. Rinse them well!
Step 2) Crush them up. You can use a large fork, a sauerkraut masher, or even a potato masher. You want to try to bust most of them up a bit to allow the juices out and to help them ferment better as the brine will soak into them more easily.
Step 3) Place them in a wide mouthed quart Mason jar or other fermenting vessel.
Step 4) Squeeze the juice of a lemon into the jar---or you can use an orange.
Step 5) Add some Cinnamon Chips and Clove Buds if you like.
Step 6) Add about 3/4 tablespoon up to 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Step 7) Fill up the rest of the way to within one inch of the top of the jar with distilled water. Since we are on a well, I just use our well water.
Step 8) Place your weight on top of the cranberries, making sure they are all under the liquid.
Step 9) Now put on your airlock system. For Mason jars, my favorites are these silicone "nipple" types, but you can also purchase lids with an actual airlock that will fit on a Mason jar. Alternatively, you can simply use a regular Mason jar lid---if you do this, you will HAVE to "burp" your fermenting jar once or twice a day to allow the gases to escape.
Step 10) After you feel they have fermented long enough (I let mine go about 2 to 3 weeks on my counter), it's time to test them out!
Step 11) Enjoy!
How Do Fermented Cranberries Taste, You Wonder?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised! You know how cranberries are usually super tart? To the point where you can't really eat them by themselves? Fermenting cranberries makes them MUCH more mild. They are slightly salty, and not sweet. Since I like my cranberries a little tiny bit sweet, I added some Lemon Infused Honey, and MMMmmmmm! So, So Good!
Final Reflections on Fermenting Cranberries
I admit. This was initially a move of desperation. You see, I hate waste. When I pulled out that old bag of frozen berries, I had three choices: 1) Give them to the chickens (but I wasn’t sure they’d go for them); 2) Compost them; 3) Try an experiment and see what happens if I fermented them.
Well, I’m glad I chose number three. This experiment just underscored for me how wonderful the traditional food preservation practice and skill of fermentation is. What would have been a waste turned into a delicious treat and side-dish.
Besides adding them to yogurt like I did in the above picture, you could try adding them to stuffings, potatoes, marinades, soups, and whatever else you think they might go with! Keep in mind, cooking them will kill off the raw probiotics, but if you are just going for a different taste or a unique addition to a traditional recipe, I think you’ll like these!
I hope you enjoyed this unique cranberry recipe as much as I enjoyed experimenting and writing it for you! :-)
I should mention where I first learned how to ferment foods. These are my first and favorite books on fermentation and traditional food preparation methods: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a feast of excellent research and information from the Weston A. Price Foundation. I love this book.
You may also enjoy these related articles on fermentation:
If you just want more information about what fermentation is, you’ll enjoy: What is Fermentation and Why You Should Eat Fermented Foods Every Day!
What have you fermented lately? Have questions or comments? Please leave them in the comments section. I’ll be replying!
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance!
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