Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish |


I despise sweet, jiggly, canned cranberry sauce.

I don’t care for the taste, but more importantly, it goes against everything I try to include in our diets. (Think healthy, real, sustainably grown ingredients.) It’s unhealthy, it’s made in a factory in god-knows-where, and it’s just plain strange looking!

Thankfully, when I have attended other people’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners there has been a welcome alternative: Cranberry relish.

Cranberry relish is traditionally a mix of raw, chopped cranberries mixed with other fruits. While this is MUCH more healthy and appealing than a solid block of “cranberry sauce”, it is usually very heavily sweetened with sugar, which is something I prefer to avoid.

So, this year, I began experimenting with different fruit combinations, and found a very lightly sweetened version that we loved.

THEN, to add an extra nutritional boost, I fermented it a couple of days, using my airlock system from Fermentools!

In addition to all the tasty nutritional benefits, by nature, this is a recipe that has to be made a couple days in advance. This frees up more time on the actual holiday, which is one of my key strategies to simplifying Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!

To make this Cranberry Apple relish, you will need:

  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 cups of cranberries
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of whey

Organic produce is always preferable if you can find it!

Finely chop the apples, cranberries, and celery. Mix with the remaining ingredients.(At this point, I had to restrain myself from eating half of the relish before I even put it in the jar!!)

Press firmly into a wide mouth quart mason jar, and place a glass weight on top. Fasten on the airlock lid (see more detailed instructions for using an airlock here), and store in a dark place for 2-3 days. After 2-3 days, replace the airlock with a regular lid, and transfer to the refrigerator.

If you want, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans before serving to give an extra yummy crunch to the relish!

Since it is lacto-fermented, the cranberry apple relish will keep for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator!

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish |


5.0 from 1 reviews
Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
  • 2 medium apples
  • 2 cups of cranberries
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of whey
  • *Optional walnuts or pecans
  1. Finely chop the apples, cranberries, and celery.
  2. Mix with the remaining ingredients, except for the optional nuts.
  3. Press firmly into a quart mason jar.
  4. Place a weight on top of the relish.
  5. Fasten on the airlock lid.
  6. Store in a dark cabinet, (or under a towel) for 2-3 days.
  7. Refrigerate, and serve cold. *Add the optional chopped nuts before serving
  8. Will keep 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.


Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish |


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10 responses to “Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Apple Relish”

  1. Zola says:

    This looks wonderful, where do you get the “whey”?

    • Angi says:

      Zola, whey is the byproduct of fermented dairy products. So, if you make cheese, you will have tons of whey leftover after you separate out the curds. However, since most of the population doesn’t have a home cheese making set-up, 🙂 the easiest way to get whey is to strain some plain yogurt through a tea towel. Place about 1-2 cups of plain yogurt in the towel, tie it up above a bowl, and let the whey drip down for an hour or two. I like to tie it to the handle of a wooden spoon, and lay the spoon across the top of a large bowl or pitcher. They whey is a yellowish/clear liquid. You can still use the yogurt after straining, it will just be a bit thicker.

  2. I love a little crunch, too. This looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

  3. Janet Garman says:

    Printed this out to try. First I need some more whey because I just discovered mine has some mold on top. 🙁

  4. Marla says:

    This sounds great fermented cranberries & relish. Would be perfect for the holidays. Visiting from Tuesdays with a Twist blog hop. Twitted.

  5. Ann says:

    This cranberry dish looks yummy – cannot wait to try it for Christmas! Thanks for experimenting for me! haha

  6. Carol Tuttoilmondo says:

    How can one do this if you don’t have the air lock system? Thanks in advance.

    • Angi says:

      Hi Carol! If you don’t have an airlock system, you can put a cloth towel over the top of the jar, and secure with a rubber band!

      • Carol Tuttoilmondo says:

        Thank you very much for your quick reply to my question. Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Kwanza or Holidays. Blessings.

  7. I’ve been saving this post to try. Just got a big bag of cranberries from Costco, have a bushel apples on the floor. I’m ready. Yum!

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