To aid in digestion with heavy meals, especially for the holidays, enjoy this delicious Fermented Citrus and Spice Cranberry Chutney. It is sure to be a winner on your holiday table.
I have been preparing Fermented Citrus & Spice Cranberry Chutney for over fifteen years and look forward to serving it alongside our Thanksgiving table. Of course, it is not to be confused with my Spiced Cranberry & Hibiscus Sauce. Ferments are a whole different ball game. That is, cranberry sauce is cooked and sweeter. Fermented Citrus & Spice Chutney is a living food, bursting with citrusy, spicy, and salty notes. More refreshing as a palate cleanser rather than a sauce you want to spread all over a leftover turkey sandwich.
Fermented Citrus & Spice Cranberry Chutney is loaded with warming spices, citrus, and the puckering punch of cranberries. Additionally, it is a delicious way to add the benefits of probiotics and digestive enzymes to any of your heavy meals. Keep in mind that it does take two days to ferment on the countertop, so I usually prepare this recipe the Sunday before Thanksgiving so it is ready in time.
A TABLESPOON A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY
The Benefits of Fermented Foods
Actually, I don’t know if it will keep the doctor away, but hey, it helps. I am a big fan of any way you can build a healthy gut microbiome. In our house we call these the “good guys” and my 6-year-old can tell you all about them. Check out this little book by Lindsey Garvin called The Army Inside You: A Children’s Guide to the Microbiome if you are interested in teaching your littles about the impact of their food choices. Brilliantly done!
I remember hearing once that the first thing you feed your body in the morning sets the stage for how your body will function throughout the day. Fermenting foods multiplies their nutrient content and helps the digestion process. Your gut is the center of your immune system, so the healthier your gut, the healthier your body. We must work with our body to give it what it needs to heal, repair, strengthen and thrive. If you give your body foods loaded with probiotics and prebiotics (high fiber foods that the healthy gut bacteria, the “good guys,” feed on) then they will multiply and take over your microbiome which will leave less room for the “bad guys.”
In simplified terms, if you were going to surround a city with police officers sent in to protect an area, it is less likely going to be invaded by the “bad guys” because they are surrounded. Shout out to our Police Force for all the amazing work they do and the sacrifices they make for our continuous safety!!!
FERMENTED FOOD SOURCES
I like to try and serve a Tablespoon of fermented foods along with every meal, especially heavy holiday meals, to aid in digestion and give our bodies living food. Foods like fermented applesauce, sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, sourdough bread, fermented salsa, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, shrubs, fermented ginger carrots, and even condiments like fermented ketchup or mayonnaise, preserved lemon, and fermented jalapeños, are all amazing ways to keep your microbiome happy.
The Recipe for Fermented Citrus & Spice Cranberry Chutney
- 3 cups cranberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 cup Sucanant or coconut sugar
- 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup whey
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice or tart cherry juice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Juice from 1 orange
- Juice from 1 lemon
- zest from 1 each lemon and orange
- Whey, a biproduct of cultured dairy, is the liquidy substance that forms at the top of your yogurt. You can use a cheesecloth to separate the whey from the yogurt by placing a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl for a few hours in the refrigerator. You can usually get about 1 cup of whey from 1 qt of yogurt. The yogurt leftover is the same consistency as Greek yogurt and can be saved for later. I use a Greek yogurt maker instead of this process which makes life easier.
- Zest and juice the lemon and orange and add to a food processor. Discard the juiced rinds.
- Add all additional ingredients into the food processor and process.
- Pour into a clean, sterilized quart jar with tight fitting lid and set on the counter for 2 days.
- After 2 days, refrigerate and enjoy a Tablespoon with all your favorite festive holiday meals.
WHEY STARTER CULTURE
Whey is a quick culture and easily accessible. Actually, It is the liquid remaining after milk is curdled and cultured. You have probably seen this liquid form at the top of your yogurt after scooping some out. To separate the whey from yogurt, I use a Greek yogurt maker. This is the super easy cheaters method. Sorry, I love useful kitchen gadgets that multiply my time. I also prefer to eat a thicker yogurt.
To prepare, I purchase regular plain yogurt, dump it in my Greek yogurt maker filter basket, and let gravity work for me in only a few hours. One quart of plain grass-fed yogurt produces about 1/2 cup of whey. You can watch a YouTube video from The Healthy Home Economist on how to separate whey from store-bought yogurt here if you don’t have a Greek yogurt maker.
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Greek Yogurt Maker (Whey Separator)