Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bring on the cranberries !

I was shuffling food in my freezer the other day , and I discovered  that I have an unnatural amount of cranberries in my freezer . They were very inexpensive this fall, we enjoy cranberry relish, but I believe 12 bags of these little beauties is just too much !. Happily I stumbled upon an recipe for a fermented cranberry relish while blog reading, and I decided to give it a whirl for myself. Should make a nice side relish for various poultry and pork dishes .

Fermented Cranberry Relish

  3c.  raw cranberries( from the freezer)
  2 Blood Oranges chopped into large sections
  1/2c.  sliced almonds soaked for 24 hrs in water and apple cider vinegar to remove phytic acid
 1/2c.  sugar( I use Splenda)
 1/2 c. orange juice
  1 t.  cinnamon
  2t.  lemon juice
  2 t.  sea salt

Process the cranberries, nuts, and orange sections in the food processor until they’re processed to a medium consistency (not large chunks, not liquified – somewhere in the middle).  Stir in the sugar,  juice, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  If it looks like it needs some more liquid, add another 1/4 c. of juice.
Once everything is mixed well, put into a glass quart sized jar.  Press down so that the liquid rises up to the top, then add 2 t. salt to the top.   Cover and let sit on the counter at room temperature for two days to ferment.  Put it in the fridge after 2 days

I am still waiting to test the saurkraut taste wise. I moved it to the refrigerator the other day after it had been singing and bubbling on the counter. I released the gas a few times to prevent it from exploding, and what I smelled  seemed perfectly saurkraut-ish . Plans are to use some this week in a corned beef salad and as a side for one of the planned dinners. Meanwhile we sampled the apple beet relish  with lunch, after giving it a few more days to settle and chill

Lovely tasting stuff, this is ! As it sets the flavors mingle to create something similar to a sweet, horseradish sort of relish without the strong horseradish bite. We wound up eating it as a side for a couple of meals, and I now have a second batch brewing on the counter


      Apple & Beetroot Relish

  3    large  apples (about 1 ½ pounds) -- cored but not peeled
  3  large  beets (about 1 ½ pounds) -- peeled
  2    star anise pods
  1   tablespoon  whole cloves
  1  tablespoon  unrefined sea salt

Shred apples and beets by hand, or in a food processor.
Toss the shredded apples and beets together until well-combined and mixed together.
Add the star anise and whole cloves to the apples and beetroot, and continue to toss until the spices are evenly distributed among the shredded fruit and vegetables.
In a mason jar  layer the apple and beetroot.
Periodically sprinkle unrefined sea salt over the layers of apple and beetroot and mash with a wooden spoon or mallet to encourage the fruit and vegetables to release their juices, creating a luscious brine to encourage the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.
Ferment in a mason jar  for a minimum of three to four days, or longer, depending on the level of warmth in your kitchen.After your apple and beetroot relish has sufficiently cultured, remove the star anise pods and whole cloves. Place the apple and beetroot relish into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
YIELD: Approximately, 24 2-ounce portions.


Shabby Chic Mom- Susie said...

Hi Di!
can you tell me what is the benefit of eating fermented foods? Enjoy your cranberries!

Di said...

Fermented foods are probiotics and prebiotics- they help to maintain the right balance of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. When this is in balance, the body is able to digest foods more efficiently and allows all of the nutrients to enter into the bloodstream. 70 percent of the human immune system is contained in the intestinal tract, so if this is in balance your body is more able to fend off colds, viruses and more. Some believe that having an optimal bacterial balance in the intestinal tract will help to ward off more serious diseases like cancer as well. It's worth including these in our diets for these reasons I belive.

spunkysuzi said...

Now these sound interesting :)
After they've fermented and your keeping them in the fridge how long will they last??

Di said...

According to what I am reading , these will last for about 3 months. As is the case with all things, I think I would try one to see how soon any signs of spoilage appeared, and then pitch them. If it smells bad, looks off or develops mold, toss it.Supposedly fermented foods preserved in salt were kept in cold storage for up to a year in days gone by.