Oh.my.word! You are going to LOVE this recipe for Orange Spiced Fermented Blueberries. Smash them up into a jam, and spread on raisin toast for breakfast or afternoon tea. It will put a smile on your face!
Sweet and flavorful lacto-fermented blueberries are a great way to get picky eaters to enjoy their ferments. With just a hint of tang, these berries are an extremely versatile probiotic powerhouse. Try them in smoothies, over yogurt, ice cream or pancakes, home made popsicles, on toast as a jam spread or even drained to just solids and made into fancy baked goods like fermented blueberry danish. Since they’re a naturally fermented food, they’re best used raw, to retain their probiotic character, but even if they’re used cooked in baked goods, the fermentation process renders their nutrients more bioavailable and increases their digestibility, so a win nutritionally either raw or cooked.
The recipe is very simple, just berries, a bit of water, a little sweetener and a starter culture. Since berries have a high sugar content, you’ll want to keep the fermentation time to a minimum, only one or two days. Beyond that, alcohol producing yeast begins to take over the lacto-bacteria and you’ll have yourself chunky style wine instead of a lacto-ferment.
Feel free to modify this recipe to include just about any seasoning or flavor combination that strikes your fancy, along with the blueberries. While I’m a particular fan of citrus and blueberry as a combination, the sky is the limit and your ferment is only limited by your flavor imagination. Try cinnamon and nutmeg to bring out the blueberry flavor. Or maybe blueberry basil.
How to Make Fermented Blueberries
Orange Spice Fermented Blueberries
Yield: 1 pint
Fermentation Time: 1-2 days
- 2 Cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs whey
- Zest of one orange
- Pinch of salt
- Though hopefully you’re starting with organic berries, it’s always a good idea to wash the berries before beginning. Pick them over for any spoiled berries, stems or leaves.
- Pack the berries into a wide-mouth pint jar, mashing them down slightly to bruise them. This will help release a bit of juice and allow the culture easier access to the sugars inside the skin.
- Mix the whey, honey and pinch of salt together, and pour over the blueberries in your jar. Fill the jar with water, leaving at least one inch of head space.
- Place your glass Fermentools fermentation weight on top of the blueberries. In this particular recipe, it’s important to use a fermentation weight to prevent the very perishable blueberries from molding if they’re not fully submerged.
- Attach your Fermentools lid and water lock.
- Ferment at room temperature for one to two days, testing periodically for doneness. You’ll know they’re done when they’re bubbly and effervescent, still retaining their sweetness, but with just a hint of tart fermented character.
- Cover with a standard mason jar lid and store in the fridge. Your ferment should keep for at least three to four weeks.
How to Use Fermented Blueberries
Your fermented berries can be used whole, draining off the liquid or pureed with the liquid into a flavorful sauce for just about anything you’d eat with jam or syrup. Try using them creatively, by topping a meat dish such as pork tenderloin, and see how the fermentation process in the blueberries really brings out the flavor of the meat.
Fermenting fruit can be tricky business. Take a look at this post for some tips to get you off on the right track.
Ashley is an off grid homesteader in central Vermont. She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie and foraging. Read more about her adventures at VermontMangoPlantation.com.