Fermented Cranberry Relish (dairy free)

Last night I prepared this fermented cranberry relish so it will be ready in time for Thanksgiving.  The only recipe I’ve seen calls for whey, which is a problem for us, since I’m planning to serve this with turkey and we don’t serve meat and dairy together.  So I came up with my own version.

Fermented Cranberry Relish

  • 3 c. raw cranberries
  • 1 large navel orange, chopped into large sections (try to get organic since you’ll be using the peel, or peel it and use just the fruit)
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds, soaked and dehydrated (you can also walnuts or pecans, too – the only nuts I had on hand that were ready to use were almonds)
  • less than 1/2 c. organic sucanat – be sure it’s the real stuff (I used half of a 2/3 c. measure))
  • 1/2 -3/4 c. grape juice (you can use any juice)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • opt – 1/2 c. dried diced fruit
  • 2 t. coarse Celtic salt

Process the cranberries, nuts, and orange sections in the food processor until they’re processed to a medium consistency (not large chunks, not liquified – somewhere in the middle).  Stir in the sucanat, 1/2 c. of juice, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  If it looks like it needs some more liquid, add another 1/4 c. of juice – this will depend on the size and juiciness of your orange.  :)  If you want to add dried fruit, stir it in now.  (I didn’t – it’s sweet enough for us without it.)

Once everything is mixed well, put into a glass quart sized jar.  Press down so that the liquid rises up to the top, then add 2 t. coarse Celtic salt to the top.  (You can use any good quality salt, but I use coarse Celtic for all of my ferments.)  Cover and let sit on the counter at room temperature for two days to ferment.  Put it in the fridge after two days.

(Next time I make this I’m planning to blend up raisins and dates to see if I can eliminate the sucanat.)

Serve as a yummy side dish that will enhance your Thanksgiving dinner as well as your digestive system!

(This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.)


37 thoughts on “Fermented Cranberry Relish (dairy free)

    1. Hi, Kelly – thanks for your comment! It does take kids a while to get used to the taste of fermented vegetables, and you’re right that this would be a good starter! I found that letting my kids in on how beneficial the fermented veggies are for them was helpful in getting them on board.

      Right now on the counter I have 2 gallons of curried sauerkraut, 1 gallon of ginger carrots, 1/2 gallon of pickles, 1 quart of preserved lemons, and 1/2 quart of this cranberry relish (we ate the rest on Thanksgiving.) They look so pretty – guests often ask about them and it turns into a chance to share with others how nutritious and easy to make these are.

      1. Avivah, I would love the recipes for curried sauerkraut, preserved lemons and ginger carrots…please. I ferment sauerkraut with whey and salt, but curry sounds really delicious. I also make morocan lemons and we use them in salads, not sure if preserved lemons are the same.
        I sure would appreciate the recipes. I like to use recipes from people that make and use them.
        Thank you

      2. Aviva, when you say those items are “on the counter”, does that mean you leave them out all the time? I made NT sauerkraut once and the book said to keep in the fridge after the initial fermentation. So, is it fine, safe and tasty to keep the foods out of the fridge altogether. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

        1. Hi, Amanda, welcome! I don’t leave the fermented vegetables out all the time, but in the winter the house is much cooler in the summer so I tend to leave them out for long periods of time. When it’s warm out, it ferments quickly, but in the cool weather, it has a slow and mellow fermenting process.

          Hi, Peaches, welcome! Are you referring to the apricot butter recipe in NT? If so, you can use your frozen apricots as they are. Generally when a recipe calls for dried fruit and then recommends rehydrating them by soaking, you can use fresh or frozen fruit and omit the soaking step, then following the recipe exactly as it says. Good luck!

          1. I made the apricot butter with frozen apricots, using about 8 cups frozen in place of the 4 cups dried. It turned out fantastic (once it fermented, too tart & salty tasting before that)!!!! Thanks! 😀

  1. Well, since I’ve mentioned this recipe in a few of my blog posts, now I’m asked for the link all the time so I’m doing a separate post on it tonight with a link here! (I’m doing it selfishly, just so it’s easier for me and others to find on my blog.)

    Thanks again for a great recipe!

    Kelly (p.s. I hope you’ve gotten some good hits from my links!)

  2. Hi, Sherri, welcome!

    The recipe for the curried sauerkraut is here – this is one of my favorites: http://oceansofjoy.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/curried-carrot-sauerkraut/.

    Do you have Nourishing Traditions? For the ginger carrots and preserved lemons, I adapted the recipes there, basically cutting out the whey and leaving the amount of salt as recommended (not increasing it to compensate for taking the whey out). I find the amount of salt in the NT ferments to be way too much and it doesn’t improve them nutritionally in any way.

  3. I am looking for a way to make fermented apricots from frozen apricots (I have a bunch!). Nourishing Traditions has a recipe, but using dried apricots. Seems like a lot of work for me to dry my frozen ones, then rehydrate them in the fermentation process. Any ideas or suggestions for recipes, or how to make my own? Maybe I will try following your basic recipe above & use the apricots instead. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Yes, I am referring to the apricot butter (I wasn’t clear on that). That is great – I have all the ingredients, so I am “anxious” to get some started. Yuuuummmy!!! Thanks! =)

    I have some jars of gingered carrots & cortido (Latin Amer. “sauerkraut” – from Nourishing Traditions) going now. I added some water to cover, because the juices didn’t seem like they were covering it enough. Our house is pretty cool, so I think I’ll leave them out longer than the 3 days; thanks for that “tip”. Will they have a fermented/other taste when ready? I tasted the cortido tonight (day 3), and they don’t seem to taste much different, but boy are they spicy!!! Glad I added less of the pepper flakes!

    Thanks, again, Avivah

    1. I’ve often found that my ferments of most vegetables take longer than what’s recommended in NT to properly ferment; anything with cabbage takes much longer. I don’t know if that’s because my house is cooler than average. I actually prefer the flavor of a slower ferment because it has a more mellow flavor. So yes, it will still taste fermented, but it will be a little less strong in intensity.

    1. Hi, Jenna! You can stir it in if you want, but as it ferments and the juices are drawn out, the salt naturally mixes in somewhat. I like to mix it before eating it, though, so that I don’t have a mouthful of saltiness. :)

      1. Thanks! I printed this out and will be mixing it up after supper. I’ve fermented a number of drinks (beet kvass, kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir), but not too many foods (only saurkraut, pickled cucumbers, ginger carrots and villi yogurt).

  5. Hmmm, I’m thinking of making this, glad to have been reminded of it (thanks to getting an e-mail update on the responses). I’m away from home, & don’t have whey, but may try using my kombucha or Rejuvelac I brought with me…or just do it without, per the recipe. Happy, blessed Thanksgiving everyone! :)

  6. This sounds delicious. When you say raw cranberries can I assume you mean none dried whole fresh cranberries? I’ve tried to use whey in the past and found it isn’t a taste I like and I make a fruit kimchi that works every time without it. I can’t wait to try it.

    1. Hmm, that’s a good question! If you’re preparing them to use just for this dish, then I don’t think you need to dehydrate them after soaking them. I guess you’ll have to try it and see how it tastes!

  7. A question…I’m new to this, took a class in making the pickles and veggies and they came out great fermented. Just made the cranberry stuff and put the salt on top… Do I need a special lid like I did with the pickles? I guess I had better see to that if so. Can I use a regular lid with holes poked in it. Sounds silly, but I have to ask. Thanks, j

  8. How do I know when it’s ready? Does it change colour or texture? I am making a beetroot & apple relish and I have had it in the pantry for 4 Days but it’s with winter and outside it’s about 4 degrees! I know that if you open it too early it ruins and there goes all my work! Help!

    1. It doesn’t change color. As far as when it’s ready, it’s a matter of personal preference and I like it when there’s a bit of crunch left. If you let it ferment longer it would be softer.

  9. Did you ever add the dried fruit and eliminate the sweetener? I’m sorry if you mentioned it before, but I couldn’t find it in the comments.

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