Spring and summer is fresh fruit season. And it always arrives with abundance. Making fermented berries is my favorite way to preserve fruit for winter.
This simple recipe will work with any combination of berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries. You could even follow this recipe for peach, plum, or apricot preserves as well!
- It’s so quick, easy, and delicious.
- A zero-waste, energy-free way to preserve berries.
- It’s low-sugar and probiotic!
Berry Preserves on Everything
Sweet fermented berries
A fresh jar of fermented berries is so easy to use. It’s a probiotic and low-sugar (or sugar-free) alternative to jams and sweetened fruit sauces. It is a delicious treat served straight up in bowl with a spoon. Sweet berries are an ideal topping for pretty much everything:
Savory pickled berries
Well-fermented berries taste savory and slightly acidic. They are more like a pickle than a sweet ferment.
- They are great as a condiment served with a traditional meat and potatoes meal.
- Served in salads (with goat cheese and pecans, yum!).
- As a unique pizza or pasta topping.
Storing fermented berries
Fermented fruits will last in the fridge for 1 month without any issues. It may even last for longer… but it will continue fermenting becoming less and less sweet over time.
The best way to store fermented fruit for winter eating is by freezing it. Here are some tips and tricks:
- Use straight-sided mason jars.
- After fermenting, put on a screw cap and place the jar in the freezer.
- It will remain delicious and probiotic for up to 6 months!
- Simply defrost in the fridge and use it however you want.
Simple Fermented Berries
Fermenting berries is a great way to preserve the delicious flavors of summer. It is perfect with any combination of berries: blueberries, cherries, strawberries, or raspberries. See the section above for sweet and savory serving options.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Fermented
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 cups of fresh berries (no bruises or bad spots)
- 2 Tbsp of culture (see notes for some suggestions)
- Water, enough to cover (chlorine-free)
- 1 Tbsp raw sugar (optional, to feed the ferment)
- Wash and prepare the berries. If you are using cherries then you need to pit and slice them. Large strawberries should be sliced as well.
- Pack the berries into a glass jar for fermenting.
- Stir in the sugar and culture.
- Add enough filtered water to keep the fruit submerged, leaving at least 1-inch of headroom at the top of the jar.
- Use a weight to keep the berries below the liquid. Cap with a fermentation-friendly jar lid or a cloth held in place with a jar ring to keep out any fruit flies.
- Place the jar in a cool dark location (a cupboard is perfect) for 2-3 days to ferment.
- The berries will start “sparkling” but they should mellow out after a few days in the fridge.
- If you want a smooth sauce, without any chunks, then puree the berries after fermenting.
- The berries will be a lot less sweet than you expect. Even if you used honey as the culture, fermenting consumes most of the sugars. If you want your sauce to be a bit sweeter, stir in sugar or honey right before serving.
- Store the berries in the fridge and enjoy them within 2 weeks. See the section above for details on how to preserve fermented berries for winter eating.
- The natural sugars in the berries will ferment with any yeast-based culture. Try using water kefir, kombucha, milk kefir whey, or ginger bug. My favorite culture is raw (unpasteurized) honey which naturally ferments into a sweet and savory combination.
- I usually ferment berries in a straight-sided 500 ml mason jar which makes it easy to freeze them after fermenting. Regardless it’s important to keep the berries below the liquid because there is an added risk of mold contamination with berries.
Keywords: raspberry, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, blackberry, probiotic, keto, vegan, gluten free, paleo, sugar free, superfood, spring, summer, fall, jam