Fermented Cranberry Topping (Recipe & Uses) - The Wild Gut (2024)

I’m a experimentalist by nature. I rarely follow a recipe to a T. I never take the time to read directions. And I will generally try anything once. And this might be why I’ve fallen in love with fermenting things. It’s pretty difficult to have something be a complete failure and it’s easy to adjust with time and temperature.

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Today, I’m sharing a recipe for a fermented cranberry topping. This is actually the first time I thought I may have had a fermentation failure on my hands. I opened and tasted it at the seven day mark and boy was it not good. Unless you’re into cranberries that taste like rubbing alcohol. I almost threw it out, but figured I had invested in the ingredients, prep, and fermentation time so far. What did I have to lose by letting it ferment longer?

Fast forward a month and SUCCESS! I have myself a jar of fermented cranberry topping. It no longer smells of or tastes like alcohol. In fact, it smells like fall and Thanksgiving to me. The addition of cloves, cinnamon, and orange juice are aromatic!

You may be thinking, that sounds good but what would I use it for?

That’s a great question. And so far, I’ve used it two different ways.

The first is on top of yogurt. The creaminess of full fat greek yogurt mellows out the tartness of the cranberries, so you can really taste the orange, cinnamon and clove flavors.

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I’ve also used it in my daily smoothies! Depending on the add-ins, sometimes I notice the cranberries and sometimes I don’t. It’s nice to know I am getting a little extra vitamin C by including them though. In my usual smoothie of spinach, water, greek yogurt, unsweetened coconut flakes, protein powder and ground flax seeds, I will get hints of cranberry and orange. If I add in blueberries, I don’t notice those flavors.

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Now, anotherway I want to try it is on top of vanilla ice cream! I think that would be amazing. Please let me know if you give it a try. 🙂 Ok, on to the recipe.

For Fermented Cranberry Topping, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick, cracked
  • 1″ hunk of ginger
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • filtered or spring water

First, add the cranberries, cinnamon stick and ginger to your food processor and pulse a few times. Just until everything is roughly chopped.

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Then transfer mixture to a glass jar.

Next, add thelemon zest, orange juice, sea salt and honey to the jar.

Be sure to use a non-iodized salt and raw unpasteurized honey. This is important in ensuring the contents of the jar will actually ferment.

Fill the rest of the space with filtered water, leaving about 1″ of head room at the top.

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Cap the jar and shake until everything is combined. Then remove the cap and add weights and an airlock device. I used the Pickle Pusher from Ultimate Pickle Jarfor this recipe. It’s an “all in one” weight and airlock device. It uses a plunger to hold everything under the brine plus a lid and airlock so you can get a true anaerobic environment for your ferment. It worked like a charm and I loved that I didn’t have to rig up any sort of weight. I will note that after posting this photo on Twitter, the maker of the Pickle Pusher reached out to me to let me know it’s generally meant to fit closer to the top of the jar. I just didn’t have quite enough “stuff” in the jar! It still did it’s job anyway.

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Let sit at room temperature for approximately 30 days, then move to the refrigerator. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

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Fermented Cranberry Topping

Prep Time 15 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Author Alana - The Wild Gut


  • 4cupscranberries
  • 1cinnamon stickedcracked
  • 1inchhunk of ginger
  • zest of one small lemonor half large lemon
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • 1tspsalt
  • 1/3cupraw honey
  • filtered water


  1. Add cranberries, cinnamon stick and ginger to food processor and pulse a few times

  2. Pack mixture into quart sized jar

  3. Zest one small lemon and add to jar

  4. Juice one large orange and add to jar

  5. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt into jar

  6. Add 1/3 cup raw honey into jar

  7. Fill with filtered water leaving about 1 inch of head room

  8. Cap jar and shake to combine ingredients

  9. Remove cap, add weights and cover with airlock or similar device

  10. Let sit at room temperature for approximately 1 month and then move to the refrigerator

Fermented Cranberry Topping (Recipe & Uses) - The Wild Gut (2024)


Fermented Cranberry Topping (Recipe & Uses) - The Wild Gut? ›

Both the honey and the berries, being fermented, will contain friendly, probiotic bacteria, good for gut and tastebuds alike.

Are fermented cranberries good for you? ›

Both the honey and the berries, being fermented, will contain friendly, probiotic bacteria, good for gut and tastebuds alike.

How long does it take for cranberry juice to ferment? ›

Fermentation will take approximately 5 days. Tip: Once or twice a day, swirl your container to make sure the yeast make surface contact with all of the juice. Wait 5 days, then taste-test.

Is fermented cranberry juice safe to drink? ›

It is most certainly safe! I've made cranberry wine 2 or 3 times, and it's a big hit at festive meals…you know, to go with the turkey, stuffing and cranberry! I make it from actual cranberries, but juice would ferment also, providing the sugar content is high enough.

What is the healthiest fermented drink? ›


Kombucha is a fermented tea that's fizzy, tart, and flavorful. It's made from either green or black tea and offers these drinks' potent health-promoting properties. Animal studies suggest that drinking kombucha may help protect the liver from damage caused by exposure to harmful chemicals ( 19 ).

What is the healthiest fermented food? ›

Fermented Foods for Gut Health
  • Kefir.
  • Plain Yogurt.
  • Dry Curd Cottage Cheese or Farmer's Cheese, or fermented cottage cheese.
  • Certain aged cheeses (check label for live and active cultures)
  • Fermented Vegetables.
  • Tempeh (choose gluten free)
  • Miso (refrigerated)
  • Pickles (in salt, not vinegar)
Jun 19, 2019

What yeast is best for Cranberry Wine? ›

Ingredients for Cranberry Wine Recipe
  • 15 lbs. of cranberries.
  • 10 1/2 lbs. of sugar.
  • 1 tbsp. Yeast Nutrient.
  • 3/4 tsp. Pectic Enzyme.
  • 1 tsp.
  • 1 Packet of Wine Yeast: Montrachet.

Can you drink slightly fermented juice? ›

if the taste doesn't make you sick it's not likely to harm you, even if sick. Yes it has started to ferment, likely has some yeast growing, likely producing a bit of alcohol, and this “extra activity” is what you're starting to taste. When it's strong and tastes like crap, don't drink it.

How much alcohol is in fermented juice? ›

Fermentation produces lots of alcohol. Fermentation will convert the sugar in grapes (or other fruits) into alcohol. You will get a little over half the volume of sugar as the final alcohol number. So if you start with about 24% sugar in the grapes, the resulting alcohol will be in the 12.5 to 13% range.

Who should not drink cranberry juice? ›

Cranberry has relatively high levels of oxalate, chemicals that may raise the risk of kidney stones in some people. If you have kidney stones, talk to your doctor before taking cranberry supplements or drinking a lot of cranberry juice. DO NOT use cranberry if you already have a UTI.

Why can't you drink cranberry juice everyday? ›

Although cranberry juice is safe to consume in moderation, drinking too much can cause side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and blood sugar spikes. In the past, it was believed that cranberry juice can slow the growth of bacteria and therefore is useful in treating urinary tract infections.

What's the difference between 100 cranberry juice and pure cranberry juice? ›

Cranberry juice is usually labeled "100% juice." Other fruits are sometimes added to balance the tart cranberry taste, but that label indicates that the product is made with 100% fruit juices. Cranberry juice co*cktail, meanwhile, has added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup for extra sweetness.

Does cranberry juice make a woman taste sweeter? ›

Some sources assert that drinking cranberry juice may improve sexual experiences by enhancing the flavor of vagin*l secretions. While one study list diets as one of several factors that influence the vagin*'s microbiome, no scientific evidence supports the claim that cranberry juice can improve vagin*l taste ( 1 ).

Can kids drink fermented soda? ›

Only pasteurized store-bought products, with their negligible levels of alcohol, are safe for kids. Read the label carefully to check for pasteurization status. Alcohol is a natural byproduct of making kombucha. As alcohol content varies, avoid giving your kids homemade or unpasteurized kombucha.

What are the benefits of eating soaked cranberries? ›

Dried Cranberries Health Benefits:
  • Boosts Immune System.
  • Maintains Heart Health.
  • Relaxes Muscle Cramps.
  • Treats Constipation.
  • Fortifies Bones.
  • Combats Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Helps Cure Anemia.
Mar 5, 2023

Are cranberries a good probiotic? ›

19 Recent research on digestive health suggests that cranberry juice can be as effective as probiotics in maintaining good digestive health. A double-blind trial at the University of Chile found a regular 6.8 oz. serving of 25% cranberry juice was as effective as a serving of probiotic in suppressing growth of H.

Do cranberries remove bacteria from your mouth? ›

Oral Bacteria: Cranberries can also combat harmful oral bacteria because they contain a nutrient called proanthocyanidins, which prevents bacteria from binding together. Not only can it reduce bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease, but it can also prevent bad breath.

Why should cranberries not be eaten raw? ›

Is it safe to eat cranberries raw? Cranberries are generally considered safe whether they are cooked or raw. However, because of their notoriously bitter, sharp taste, most people prefer not to eat them raw or unsweetened. This bitterness is due to the high tannin content of cranberries.


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