Category Archives: Spreads & Toppings

Fermented Cranberry Relish

Fermentation is the secret to this fresh sweet and sour cranberry relish. If you haven’t yet made a cultured food, let this foolproof recipe be your gateway to tangible kitchen magic. Yes, you can effortlessly transform the flavor and healthfulness of basic ingredients into a superior product. I delight in the simplicity of this recipe… Continue Reading

72 Responses to Fermented Cranberry Relish

  1. Hello Rebecca!
    We’ve gone through nearly a GALLON of the cranberry relish since November (I’ve given it as gifts to many of my holiday guests)

    Wondering if this would work equally well with Blackberries?
    Do cranberries have any inherent qualities (acid, or otherwise) that make it especially suited for fermentation? Or will any berry combination do? Thanks in advance.

    • Deb…it’s just the best, isn’t it! For those of you who haven’t tried this relish yet, it really is that tasty and a good year-round condiment. Fruit left at room temperature either ferments or rots. Fruits with a higher percentage of sugar and/or water (like blackberries) turn faster than those with less (like cranberries). So monitor your experiment by tasting it and reduce the fermentation period as necessary.

      I tried combining cranberries and blueberries and neither myself or grandkids were happy with the result. But experiment and let us know your findings.

      • Thanks for your quick reply Rebecca.
        I just started a batch of 50/50 cranberries and blackberries. I used a lemon instead of the orange to try to tone down both the liquid and the sweetness.
        I’ll post my results. Fresh out of the processor, it tastes fantastic. Finger’s crossed.

        • Well I just refrigerated this and it turned out wildly wonderful. I think my favorite batch thus far!
          10 oz cranberries
          6 oz blackberries
          1 lemon
          3/4 cup sugar.
          The only adjustment was to add the blackberries last and only pulse a couple of times so as to leave them a little bit chunky. I let this ferment about a week.
          It’s divine and a gorgeous dark purple color.

  2. I also tried this with pomegranates (frozen pomegranate seeds) and blueberries. Equally delicious, although—perhaps because they were frozen, it came out more as a drink.

  3. I had 2 cups of fermented chopped cranberries left from making cranberry vodka. Will add the sugar and oranges from your recipe to see what we get!

  4. Can the maple syrup / sugar / sweetener be omitted? Will the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit be enough to sustain the fermentation?

  5. I don’t have access to cranberries, only dried ones.

    Will this recipe work with different fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries and so on?

  6. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I am wondering if I could use frozen cranberries, as I already have some in my freezer (I would thaw them first, of course).

  7. I am in LOVE with this relish. Used your basic recipe, added crushed cardamom seed from about 4 pods, couple handfuls of chopped pecans and chopped celery. Just scrumptious . Thank you.

  8. I read instructions for my water kefir that fermenting with honey isn’t good because of it’s antibacterial properties which slows the fermentation. Also for low carb diets or diabetics, this needs to ferment longer to reduce the grams of carbohydrates from that much sugar.

  9. This is the first time I’ve used my Vitamix for something other than a smoothie. The chopping worked beautifully and the relish looks and smells amazing! I’m so excited to see how it ferments overnight, and share it with my family tomorrow for Thanksgiving! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  10. You don’t specify raw honey, but I’d assume it should be? I’ve got some local but not raw which we were given and I’d like to use up, so it would be nice if it didn’t! 😉

  11. Thanks for the recipe. I only received 2 cups of organic cranberries from my CSA, so I cut the recipe in half. With the smaller volume, it only fills the jar 3/4 of the way full. Do I need to put it into something else / pack it down in some way for it to ferment properly? How does the air exposure change the process? Thanks!

  12. Hi, I’m getting ready to try your recipe but noticed a typo- you call for “16 oz (4 cups)” of cranberries, but 16 oz is really just 2 cups, so my question is should I use 16oz/2 cups or 4 cups of berries?

  13. I made my batch just tonight. Organic cranberries, fresh tangerines from a friend’s tree & local tupelo honey. Perfect timing as Thanksgiving is just next week. Thanks!

  14. I’m allergic to citrus. Can I skip the Orange? Sounds great otherwise. My daughter keeps wanting to get some fresh cranberries from the store.

  15. I think I’ll make this, but it’s going to have to be with conventional cranberries. Organic ones are just outrageously expensive. I do buy organic produce when I can. Should I do the vinegar soak on my cranberries (since they’re conventional) prior to getting this ferment going? Are the nuts added during the ferment or just prior to eating?

    • As possible, favor organic. For non organic, consider the H2O2 bath as per the directions in my book, Bugs Eating You. Add nuts with other ingredients.

  16. This looks great! Going to try it for thanksgiving this year. I am curious, do you know why some fermented cranberry sauces require whey or kombucha and some don’t? I was wondering if you need to introduce a culture?

  17. Love this recipe. Great way to eat cranberries. Do you have a recipe for fermented pomegranate seeds? Thank you and happy new year!!

    • I was so happy to find fresh cranberries last week and so just made another batch myself! What will we do when cranberries are out of season? And perhaps you have the answer–pomegranate relish. It should work just fine. Let us know.

  18. I have a cranberry relish that was in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks, and I saw it had a greyish mold like stuff on top when I took it out this evening. Is it bad? It does taste good!

    • Trust your taste! Yes, it’s still good. Surface growth is common and not cause for alarm; simply remove and discard this so-called kham yeast. Next time be sure to scrape down the interior sides of the jar well to reduce oxygen exposure. Also if you’re going to keep it beyond several weeks, occasionally use up the top layer.

  19. I made this on Saturday, and kept it out on the shelf above the stove for 3 days. I put it in the fridge last night. It’s very very delicious! I didn’t read the comments, so didn’t see your comment about what kind of cover to use, so I used cloth for the first day and then the regular mason jar lid for the last two days. This was my first success at fermentation! Thank you for the recipe and inspiration!

  20. Hi, I just made your recipe with organic cranberries and oranges and it already tastes yummy. Do we have to add more sweetener to keep the ferment going longer? If someone wants nuts in there, would I add them before fermenting or when serving? Thanks!

    • Isn’t it just great! Once fermented to your liking, it will keep refrigerated for weeks (with or without extra sweetener). I ferment it with the nuts.

  21. This recipe sounds Fab! Whenever I reference New Whole Foods Encyclopedia or read your blog I feel better. “Well nourished.” Giving Thanks for Rebecca Wood’ s steady wisdom, bounty of knowledge, and genereous spirit.

  22. Do you know if maple syrup could be substituted for the honey? I’d expect it could, with a related change in the flavor profile, but thought I’d ask . . . 🙂


    • Sure, you could substitute a grapefruit instead of an orange. You could also use (organic) orange peel for the flavor. Basically you’re fermenting cranberries with sugar and adding flavoring ingredients to taste.

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Homemade Ghee Recipe

It is critical to use unsalted butter to make ghee; and for the most flavorful result, use cultured butter. Organic Valley and some—but not all—European-Style butters are both cultured and unsalted. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled but requires increased cooking time. Makes about 2 cups 1 pound cultured, unsalted organic butter Place the… Continue Reading

One Response to Homemade Ghee Recipe

  1. I’m so sorry to contradict but 15-30 minutes is not sufficient to remove all milk solids!! Only because I’m passionate I’d like to suggest you try my suggestions from your main “ghee” page (I have posted a long comment there)
    In contrast to your recipe, if you remove the scum (which is the whey protein that surfaces on the top) and stir further, you will have more of the whey protein come up to the surface (while casein protein settles).. if the scum or whitish film is not removed, it then settles to the bottom and browns faster!! You see the significance of the continuous removed of the scum to achieve a totally clarified product! For some reason the casein at the bottom takes longer to brown and that is why you could have a golden yellow, and not brown, liquid gold of ghee at the end of a long ghee-making process! Cheers!

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Yogurt Garlic Dip

This easy dip is tasty with kebobs, vegetable sticks and chips or as a topping for grain dishes or potatoes. 1 small or 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt 1 clover garlic, minced 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons chopped parsley Place cucumber in… Continue Reading

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Homemade Almond Butter

Accompanying article: Peanuts Makes about ¾ cup. While almond butter can be made from raw nuts, roasting the nuts just prior to making the butter considerably enhances both flavor and aroma. To roast the almonds, spread them in a thin layer on a baking sheet at 300°F for about 20 minutes. Stir a couple of… Continue Reading

4 Responses to Homemade Almond Butter

  1. So making almond butter from soaked nuts gives a different result than non-soaked nuts. Have you tried this or do you have thoughts?

    • I’ve not tried it and wouldn’t go thru the bother. As nut butters are so dense and sticky they’re more challenging to the digestion than are nuts which more easily mix with your saliva and gastric juices. I favor nuts.

  2. Hi Rebecca, Dear researcher, writer, woman I most love to reference. I have a question about almond butter… or nuts in general. What are your thoughts about soaking nuts before eating or making into butter. Thanks for your wise insights.

    • Thanks 🙂
      Yes soaking nuts does eliminate some of their hard-to-digest properties and kicks up their flavor. Ideally nuts are enjoyed as an occasional condiment rather than as a daily staple. I mention this because too many of my clients frequently snack on nuts due to the lack of protein and/or good fats in their diet.

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Cilantro Pesto

Two foods that antidote mercury stored in our tissues are seaweed and cilantro. They both chelate mercury and safely discharge it from the body. I recommend their frequent use. On my weekly market trip, I always pick up a bunch or two of cilantro and generously strew it as a garnish or turn it into… Continue Reading

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Emadatse Chile Recipe

The national dish of Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan nation, is possibly the most memorable condiment. You don’t have to be Bhutanese to enjoy their spicy but creamy emadatse (em’a dat’se). Yes, 12 serranos are a lot of chile! But the cheese, butter and cooking help moderate their heat and deepen their flavor. If you like… Continue Reading

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Garlicky Tahini Dip

Here’s a Lebanese tahini sauce that is a great vegetable dip. You’ll value its flavor and versatility. Thin it and drizzle over steamed broccoli spears or add some chopped herbs and it becomes a dairy-free salad dressing. Tahini is a creamy smooth paste ground from hulled sesame seeds. This high-protein spread is a defining ingredient… Continue Reading

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Honey-Preserved Blossom Spread

Honey is a preservative and can be flavored with any organic, edible blossom. The blossom imbues the honey with its flavor essence and essential oils. Just as blossoms delight our eye and spirit, eating a blossom concentrate imparts a sense of well-being and uplifted energy. For flavor and aroma, strawberry blossom spread is my favorite.… Continue Reading

3 Responses to Honey-Preserved Blossom Spread

  1. I need to know if it is possible to buy dandelion blossoms or what is the best way to get blossoms. Thanks!

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White Bean and Herb Dip

Accompanying article: Healthy Cookware Fresh herbs and creamy-white beans make a highly flavored dip. Serve with a selection of raw or lightly steamed vegetables, over pasta or as a dip for crackers or chips. To make a tasty thick sandwich spread, omit the oil. 1 cup cooked cannelloni or navy beans, drained 2 cups fresh… Continue Reading

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