Happy Lacto Crans-giving!

What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce, right? We all know where to find it in the grocery store, and a well-aged can of it is probably in our cupboard somewhere. But could I change your mind about cranberry sauce if I told you that you can make a fermented version that is healthy, has probiotic benefits, and will be ready to serve by Thanksgiving?

Before we get into Live Cultures Fermented Foods’ fermented twist on this seasonal staple, let’s share some fun facts on that luscious log of cranberry jam! SNL

Fact Alert:


Americans consume over 5 million gallons of cranberry sauce every year. We can thank the late great lawyer and cranberry farmer Marcus L. Urann for making that number so easy to obtain. In 1912, Marcus set up a kitchen facility in a packaging house in South Hanson, Massachusetts and started canning cranberry sauce so people could enjoy it year round.

 That’s right, he is the guy behind that canned cranberry doorstop that’s just waiting to be sliced and plated on your Thanksgiving table!

Ocean Spray Brand Cranberry Sauce Can–Love it or hate it, this uniquely traditional can of ruby red cranberry log is here to stay as a part of our holiday-cooking cuisine.

That being the said, we can still offer an alternative for those of us willing to test our taste buds and who love a healthy dose of fermented flavor with our meals!

Lacto-Fermented Cranberry Sauce!!!

So buckle up, grab some fresh cranberries, and throw on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, because we are going to make the perfect probiotic crans-giving treat!

What you will need:

  • food processor
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • peeler/ or zester
  • mason jar/lid and airlock top if you have one (otherwise just burp the lid of your mason jar every day)


  • 16 oz of fresh cranberries
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1 navel orange zest
  • 1 cup of fruit juice-sweetened cranberries
  • 1 tbsp of chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of unrefined sea salt


Lets rinse all of the fresh cranberries and oranges before we get going. After rinsing, pull out that food processor, and coarsely chop them cranberries.

Cranberry’s a bouncin’

I like to use the pulse button to fine-tune to a coarseness of my liking, then I add in 1 cup of dried cranberries.

Add 1 tbsp of sea salt and mix cranberries with a spatula. Let the mix stand for 5-10 minutes. This rest will allow some of the juices to be pulled out by the sea salt.

Adding 1 tbsp of sea salt


Now let’s zest things up a bit by adding the zest of one Navel orange.

Zesting the night away!

Hand chop the candied ginger and the zest of one Navel orange. I like it pretty fine.  Then mix them into the cranberries.  Adding these two ingredients gives a nice surprise to the tasted buds!  Makes me feel alive!

Mixing the zest in!

Now lets peel and section the oranges. Make sure to remove the membranes of the Oranges–they can add a negative bitter flavor to your cranberry sauce.IMG_0106

Mix in the oranges and pack your new crans-giving mix into a wide-mouth mason jar. It is good practice to press the mix down so that it sits under the juice of the cranberries, so give it a good squish  with a wooden spoon every few days to keep it below sea level. Set in a cool, dark place on a pan for 5-7 days.

Cranberry Sauce with airlock
Cranberry Sauce with airlock

I like to start checking the ferment on day five.  If you like the way it tastes and the tartness fits in your flavor wheelhouse, move it into the refrigerator. I like mine to go for 6-7 days.


Recipe: Crans-giving Cookies and Cream

In a recent collaboration with Brü Handbuilt Ales, we paired our lacto-fermented cranberry sauce with their Meyer lemon ice cream, and topped it off with a frozen candied mint. Crans-giving cookies and cream may just be your new favorite Thanksgiving sweet confection!


cranberry sauce icecream
Lemon Meyer ice cream topped with lacto-fermented cranberry sauce




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