It’s finally fresh fruit season! And once again it come with abundance. We pick blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and plums. We order crates of peaches and cherries. And my kitchen is a hive of activity as we try to preserve all of this fruit for winter eating. Fermented berry sauce is my favourite way to preserve berries. It’s so quick an easy, that it pretty much makes itself!
Berry Sauce on Everything
A jar of berry sauce is so easy to use. It’s a healthy, probiotic, sugar-free alternative to jams and sweetened sauces. This fruit sauce is delicious on its own, but you can also use it as a topping for pretty much everything:
- 2 cups of berries (washed, pitted and sliced).
- 1 tbsp of culture (see notes for some suggestions)
- Water to cover (chlorine free)
- 1 tbsp honey or sugar (optional
- 2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
- Mash up the berries.
- Stir in the culture.
- Pack the mashed berries into a glass jar, then add enough filtered water to keep the fruit submerged. Leaving at least 1" of head room at the top of the jar. (You may not need to use any water for juicy fruit.)
- Allow it to sit in a cool location for 2-3 days.
- If you want a thicker sauce stir in chia seeds at the end of the ferment. If you need the sauce to be a little bit sweeter stir in some sugar or honey.
- Move it to the refrigerator and store for up to 2 months, or freeze it in a straight-sided mason jar for winter eating.
- It may start out "sparkling" but should mellow out after a few days.
-The trick to not making an alcoholic berry sauce is to use a bacteria based starter and only ferment for a few days. Yogurt whey or a purchased starter will both work great. If you don’t mind alcohol levels of about 1%, then you can ferment with water kefir, kombucha or milk kefir whey.
-Though I usually do all my fermenting in fidos, I actually use a straight-sided 500 ml mason jar with an airlock for berries, because it’s the right amount of fruit sauce for me, and I can freeze the jars once I’ve finished fermenting. You could go low tech, and use a mason jar with a weight to keep the fruit below the brine. See fermentation basics for more info.