Honey ferments are the easiest fermentation recipes around. You’ll find this sweet yet nutritionally redemptive and probiotic-rich cranberry ferment way too satisfying!
While many of us enjoy using these autumn rubies to make cranberry sauce from scratch, their goodness doesn’t stop there. When you have honey fermented cranberries on your kitchen shelf, you’ll find yourself enjoying the versatility of this recipe as a medicinal elixir, condiment, or dessert spread all throughout the fall and winter season.
This is a super simple recipe. Too easy, actually.
Come in close…closer. Okay. I gotta admit that I can easily share this recipe with you in one sentence, so, here it is, “ Cover cranberries in raw honey, add spices, cover with a lid and rotate the jar for a few days while you store it in a cool dark place for 3-4 weeks.” Boom–that’s the process in a nutshell.
So why keep scrolling?
Because honey ferments are alllll about figuring out the spice and herb combinations that wow YOUR tastebuds and meld together to create an assortment of flavors you won’t find anywhere else but your home kitchen. PLUS, there are so many uses for this recipe. We’ll get to that too!
Favorite Uses for Honey Fermented Cranberries
- Talk about “scoop and dump”- that’s exactly what I do with these for a quick, healthy, sweet and tart oatmeal topping that’s already seasoned to perfection.
- Speaking of breakfast, honey fermented cranberries are also wonderful on pancakes, biscuits, waffles and cornbread muffins.
- But let’s not leave out lunch and dinner. Honey fermented cranberries make for a quick (and fancy without the fuss) topping on grilled hamburgers, hotdogs or relish for your charcuterie platter. Want more ideas? Check out 9 Delicious Ways to Serve Fermented Cranberries.
What are the health benefits of fermented cranberries?
- Honey fermented cranberries are packed with beneficial bacteria and known to improve digestion.
- Raw honey ferments retain honey’s beneficial enzymes and 9 vitamins and minerals (niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc).
- Cranberries have an impressive list of health benefits while also being high in antioxidants, cancer fighting properties and are anti-inflammatory.
Here’s what you’ll need
- Quart mason jar
- 16 oz cranberries
- 4 cups honey
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2, 1 inch slices of ginger or 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger (to taste)
- 2 medium oranges OR teaspoon of orange juice (apple juice substitutes deliciously)
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced orange rind (remove as much white pith as possible)
Recipe Tips and Notes
- This recipe will carbonate, so be sure to use a fido jar or a tea towel to prevent attracting creatures that fly (or crawl)!
- Within 24-48 hours you’ll start to notice bubbling. This is your first clue that fermentation has started! However, the critical stage of fermentation will continue over the next three to four weeks, or until the bubbly yeast action subsides.
Honey Fermented Cranberries| Recipe
- Start by puncturing each berry with a short blade kitchen knife. This helps the fermentation process to penetrate through the tough skin of the berries by activating the enzymatic action needed to kickstart things waaaay faster than if you skip this step.
- But, you can mimic the same outcome by using a food processor to pulse the berries 2-3 times. What’s the difference? Zero. Zip. Zilch. It’s purely a matter of aesthetic. Short on ntime? Do this. If you want to keep the round berry shape, do step 1.
- Next, fill your jar with the cranberries and the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour in the honey until the ingredients are submerged. Depending on the viscosity of your honey, it may take a minute or two to run down and cover everything so be prepared to perform multiple pours. Be sure to leave an inch of headspace because this recipe will carbonate!
- Step back and look at how purrrrty that jar is! Oohhh….aaah! Ok, proceed to step 6.
- Drats, are some of those cranberries floating to the top? No worries, they’ll settle down over the next few days.
- Cover the jar with the weighted lid (or a regular canning metal lid using parchment paper or plastic to avoid a metal reaction and taste).
- Shake it up babe, now! (And throw in a twist and shout for added measure that’ll come with a side eye look from your dog).
- Ah hem- I mean, turn the jar back and forth several times to ensure everything is coated.
- Inspect the lid to make sure its “fingertip tight” but loose enough so that some air can pass through.
- Set the jar in a dark cupboard or corner but, more importantly, some place where you won’t forget about it. And, save yourself the almost inevitable annoyance of coming across a sticky counter spill by placing the jar on a sheet of wax paper or on a plate.
- Then, everyday complete a “shake it up baby” by turning the jar back and forth 3-4 times for 6 days.
When is it ready?
Here’s what to look for. After a couple of days, you’ll start to see bubbles of various sizes and shapes. Within 24-48 hours you’ll start to notice bubbling, your first clue that fermentation has started. You’ll also start to see bubbles of various sizes and shapes, but the key state of fermentation will continue over the next three to four weeks, or until the bubbly yeast action subsides.
The golden amber of your honey will yield to the red hues from the cranberries and thin out a bit. This is another sign that things are on track and getting close! But, just like wisdom, this recipe gets better with age! When you start to see those ‘wisdom wrinkles’ on the cranberries it’s a sign the tartiness has considerably subsided so watch (and taste) throughout this period from about 10 days onwards to know what flavor profile your tastebuds prefer.
How do I store this?
It’s fine to store this honey ferment at room temperature on your counter if you intend to use it up within 2 months. After that, pop it in the fridge.
When will this expire?
Kind of a silly question because they won’t last more than a few weeks, but easily for 2 months or more. If you’re worried about spoilage just use a pH strip to confirm a pH under 4.6. Why? Botulism can’t make spores under that acidity, so you’re safe!
Have you tried honey fermented cranberries? If so, what spice combinations do you prefer? I’d love to know, comment below!