It’s been a few weeks since we enjoyed Thanksgiving – I was excited to get these beautiful, red cranberries in my CSA bag just a few days before the big ole turkey day.
I debated using them for cranberry sauce… but remembered that most of my extended family like the cranberry sauce in the can (not me – but I regress!)… and since I’m outnumbered there… I figured I’d save them for something I wanted to eat so I didn’t have to share. I know.. that sounds so terribly mean, but it’s really not at all.
Why make something for everyone when not everyone will appreciate the beauty?
I found this wonderful recipe from Phickle.. and decided to give it a try.
I used some of our cranberries to make a few batches of kombucha – which was quite incredible and just might be my favorite flavor. Then I saved the rest for making fermented pickled cranberries. I’ve fermented quite a bit of veggies over this past year – from cauliflower to peppers, hot sauce, zucchini… and even turmeric carrots (which are the most requested from our oldest) – but this was definitely the first time I had ever considered cranberries.
Aren’t they gorgeous? Who can deny that these red beauties make your kitchen pop with color?! I haven’t made fermented pickled cranberries before – so this was definitely a first for me. Cranberries are traditionally a great natural option for things like a urinary tract infection .. but I wasn’t sure if they would ferment quite the same as some of our past ferments.
They are super for you though — very high in antioxidants and flavonoids that give them that beautiful red color.. high in fiber and vitamins C and E. Like anything, you probably don’t want to eat too many at a sitting though because they are high in fructose – so moderation is important.
To get started, wash 2 C. of local, organic cranberries, and slice up the peel from an orange – pith removed. Stuff the peel in the bottom of a wide-mouth canning jar (ours still floated upward), and add your cranberries and a little cinnamon. Feel free to use a stick or, 1/2 tsp of organic cinnamon.
Combine the water with the salt, until dissolved – pour this brine over the cranberries and orange, and add your fermentation weight – we always use a 4 oz jelly jar inserted in the mouth of our wide-mouth canning jar, but you can also use fermentation weights, too. Make sure everything is submerged, and then add your fermentation lid, making sure to add a little water to the airlock.
You can certainly start your fermentation with a little kefir whey – as that might help initiate a ferment a little faster. This ferment took a little over a week to get going – and once it did, it fermented like crazy.
I hope you enjoy these cranberries as much as we did ~ it wasn’t the fastest ferment we have done, but it’s certainly one of the most delicious!