Chutney (Lacto-Fermented Fruit, Veg, Nuts and Spices)

by Cat, September 2007

This post includes Tropical Fruit Chutney and Peach Chutney recipes as inspiration for creating your own fruit, veggie, nut and spice combos. See also:

Did you know that in times past, condiments such as sauerkraut, kimche, pickles, ketchup (catsup), marmalade, and chutneys were fermented with lactic acid instead of vinegar (acetic acid)?  And that this fermenting with lactic acid preserves the raw food without the heat of canning?  Sauerkraut is a well-known example of lacto-fermented food.  It’s a shame that recipes changed to using vinegar followed by the canning process, as this process kills the vital elements in the food.

Chutney is a rather like a sweet-tart and spicy jam that originated in India but was brought back to England during colonial times, and adopted as their own. It is a great way to preserve fruits. Most modern cookbooks do not ferment the chutney but rather include vinegar in the original mix, and then eat within a few days, or can for storage. But because the good bacteria in lacto-fermented foods are so good for you, and they preserve the food without the heat damage of canning. I think the old-fashioned lacto-fermented version is the way to go. After fermenting, leave the mix in their brine and store closed jars in a fridge or other cold storage (like a root cellar in the winter).

Unlike modern pickle recipes, you do not replace the brine with vinegar for canning. Leave them in their brine and store closed jars in a fridge or other cold storage (like a root cellar in the winter).

In these recipes (from Eat Fat, Lose Fat; or from Nourishing Traditions, both by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.) liquid whey is added as an inoculant of lacto-fermenting bugs and lactic acid, to jump start the fermenting process and ensure a mold-free product.  While it is an optional ingredient for fermenting veggies (cabbage, etc.), it is a must when fermenting fruits like mango, papaya, peaches, apples and even cucumbers (yes, that’s a fruit, technically).

Tropical Fruit Chutney

Mango

Mango

You can use papaya, mango, and/or pineapples in this recipe. Feel free to experiment with different fruits and colored peppers.  Makes 1 quart.

Photo of mango, right, from wikimedia commons.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 3 cups fruit, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Rapadura sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid from another lacto-fermentation product (or ½ tsp culture starter mixed with a few Tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • quart-sized, widemouth, canning jar with lid
  • large bowl
  • wooden pounder or a meat hammer

Process:

  1. Mix fruit, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, mint and cilantro.
  2. Place in jar; press down with wooden pounder or meat hammer.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients together, and pour into jar, adding more water if necessary to cover fruit.  Chutney should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
  4. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.
  5. Mark date on the jar and use within 2 months.

Peach Chutney

Peaches

Peaches

This recipe is a wonderful mix of peaches, nuts, essence of lemon, peppers and herbs. Alternately you could use nectarines, apricots, plums or a mix of these. You could even add a few Flathead Cherries to the mix (pitted, of course).

Makes 1 quart.

Photo of peaches, right, from wikimedia commons.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 3 cups chopped fresh peaches (3 – 5 peaches)
  • 1/3 cup crispy pecans (soaked and dried)
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbsp Rapadura sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid from another lacto-fermentation product (or ½ tsp culture starter mixed with a few Tbsp water)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • quart-sized, widemouth, canning jar with lid
  • large bowl
  • wooden pounder or a meat hammer

*NOTE about whey:  Do not use powdered sweet dairy whey, nor whey protein powder.  Rather, alow liquid whey to drain from cultured milk products such as yogurt or kefir (See recipe for Cream Cheese–the process separates yogurt into cream cheese and whey).

Process:

  1. In large bowl, mix water, lemon juice, lemon rind, sweetener, salt and whey.
  2. Add peaches, nuts, raisins, and spices and Mix well.
  3. Transfer to quart jar.  Press down lightly with wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the fruit. The mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
  4. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.
  5. Mark date on the jar and use within 2 months.

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Fermented, Fruit, Herbs, Spices and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply