Fermented fruits are a traditional and medicinal food. A power-packed source of probiotics, these cultured apples have a pleasantly sweet and slightly tangy flavor.INGREDIENTS
- 4 cups of apples, chopped | please make sure that it’s organic according to the Dirty Dozen list
- 1 teaspoon celtic salt or unrefined salt, see note below
- ½ teaspoon starter culture — Body Ecology, Caldwell’s, or fresh whey if tolerated
- Optional herbs or scraps | half an orange peel, half a lemon peel, one cinnamon stick, a teaspoon of cloves, a few leaves of fresh mint, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, vanilla beans if tolerated
- Optional nuts, seeds, and dried fruit | sprouted almonds, sprouted walnuts, medjool dates, raisins
- Fermentation vessel, such Weck jars
- Cut up your apples and mix in the salt, starter culture, and any optional ingredients you’d like to include. I usually opt out of the nuts and dried fruit and often make it with berries, but I chose apples for its seasonal flavours. If you do choose to use nuts or dried fruit, subtract that amount from the amount of apples you use.
- Place the ingredients into your fermentation vessel and pack it all in, making sure to reduce any air bubbles. I try not to mush the pieces since I like to keep the integrity of the apples, but pack it however you'd like it in terms of texture. I love Ohio Stoneware crocks, but they tend to run too large for a small helping of fermented fruits—I often use a bigger crock for sauerkraut. Any fermentation vessel must be stoneware or glass, without any BPA lining or treated with phthalate. So, I depend on Weck jars, which seal out air completely and are safe to use.
- Once you have your vessel with your preferred ingredients, fill the jar with pure water, leaving about an inch of space for expansion. Put the lid on the vessel and leave it away from direct sunlight for 24-48 hours. The timing is dependent on the temperature of your house—it will take a shorter amount of time for fermentation to take place if the surroundings are above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't open the jar as it's fermenting since air and sunlight will get in the way of the fermentation process.
- It's ready to eat when it smells and tastes slightly tangy but not sour, pungent, or "off." Let your nose guide you—if it smells so strong that a whiff is enough, you probably don't want to eat it. Just compost it and start a new batch, aiming to check it earlier. Once your creation is ready to your taste, refrigerate it to slow down fermentation and consume within two months.
NOTES: Make sure that the salt you use is high quality if not celtic salt—Himalayan pink salt is another great option—but do not use table salt. Not only should you avoid using it for daily consumption, table salt does not lead to fermentation.