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Easy Homemade Fermented Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce shouldn’t be reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas alone. You’ll want to enjoy this fermented cranberry sauce (that’s more like a chutney) all-year-round! Not only is this recipe healthy and easy to make, but it sure beats those canned or jellied cranberry sauces, too! 

Woman pouring some starter liquid into a jar of fermented cranberry sauce.

Health Benefits of Fermented Cranberry Sauce

This Thanksgiving, start a tradition of feeding your family REAL food by serving them fermented cranberry sauce instead of those cans that are filled with questionable ingredients.

The process of fermentation breaks down the natural and added sugars to form beneficial bacteria that are great for good gut health and digestion. When fermented foods are added to our meals, they can actually aid in digestion. Not only that, but through fermentation, the naturally occurring nutrients are more bioavailable, meaning we’re getting more bang for our buck by eating the fermented product over eating them raw.

Many people also consider cranberries to be a superfood because of their high antioxidant content. 

Besides all that, they’re just so delicious when paired alongside your Thanksgiving turkey! This Nantucket Cranberry Pie is another great recipe to add to your holiday menu.

How Long Do I Have to Ferment My Cranberries?

One of the great things about making a fermented cranberry sauce is that it only takes about two days before it’s ready to eat. 

Because of the amount of sugar naturally occurring in the fruit, it will turn into alcohol if left to ferment for too long. And we want to make a sweet chutney-like sauce, not mead!

Fermented Cranberry Sauce vs. Traditional Cranberry Sauce

Fermented cranberry sauce is much healthier for you, especially if you choose to add a natural sweetener such as maple syrup or honey. There will be much less sugar in the end product and you’re not eating all that refined sugar like in the store-bought varieties. 

How to Make Fermented Cranberry Sauce

The process of making homemade fermented cranberry sauce is so simple. There’s no reason to fear the word “fermented”, it’s simply a method of preservation that’s been around for centuries. When following these basic steps, you’ll have a healthy and delicious ferment in just two days’ time.

I like to begin the process with all my ingredients prepped and ready to go, so chop your apples, cranberries, and nuts and set aside. 

Woman pouring ingredients into a bowl.

Stir in the optional dried fruit, apple cider, and maple syrup and stir well.

Woman stirring ingredients for fermented cranberry sauce in a bowl.

Pour the starter liquid over the chopped mixture and sprinkle with salt.

A woman scooping cranberry sauce into a mason jar.

Stir everything together well to combine and ladle into a quart-sized mason jar. Pack your mixture down into the jar and top with apple cider until all food pieces are covered. 

Woman screwing a lid onto a jar of cranberry sauce.

Cover with an airtight mason jar lid and set at room temperature. 2-4 times a day, burp your jar and give it a turn or two. After 2 days, transfer the ferment to the refrigerator.

More Fermentation Resources

Fermented cranberry sauce in a jar.

FERMENTED CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE

4.79 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 73kcal
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Ingredients

  • 2 apples, chopped (organic)
  • 2 cups cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (or walnuts or other nut)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice, plus more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey, or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup whey (or kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut juice, etc.)
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Chop apples, cranberries and nuts and add to a large bowl.
  • Stir in the optional dried fruit, apple cider, and maple syrup.
  • Pour the starter liquid over the chopped mixture and sprinkle with salt. Then stir to combine and ladle into a quart-sized mason jar.
  • Pack your mixture down into the jar and top with apple cider until all food pieces are covered.
  • Cover with an airtight mason jar lid and set at room temperature.
  • 2-4 times a day, burp your jar and give it a turn or two.
  • After 2 days, transfer the ferment to the refrigerator.

Notes

  • There is a lot of variations you can do with this ferment. Experiment with your faorite fruits and seasonings until you find your family’s favorite!
  • Be sure to check your jar and burp it daily to avoid having your jar crack or break.
  • Once ferment is moved to the refrigerator it’s best consumed within a few months.
  • As the ferment sits in the refrigerator, the flavor will continue to change and get less and less sweet. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.

Other Holiday Recipes

Don’t forget these other holiday favorites: homemade pumpkin pie made completely from scratch (even the pumpkin puree!), and plum jelly (+time-saving trick).

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