One of the benefits of living in Florida during the winter months – aside from 78 degree days in February – is the abundance of beautiful farmers’ market offerings of fruits and vegetables that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to if we were still in the Northeast.
And when the bounty is free, it’s all the sweeter.
Did I say free? Heck yeah.
Plenty of people around these parts have fruit trees growing on their properties and often these trees produce more than they can possibly consume. So much so that many people will attach baskets to their mailboxes and fill them with their excess fruits for anyone to take as they pass by. Now that’s a friendly neighbor!
This is sort of – but not exactly – how we ended up with a bunch of in-season and super delicious
Star fruit, if you’re unfamiliar, are the fruits of the Averrhoa carambola, a tree native to Indonesia and the Philippines.
The fruit has a sweet and slightly sour flavor and, when cut into cross sections, the slices resemble the shape of a star. So, as you can imagine, it looks really pretty when added to salads and desserts or as a topping for meat and fish.
Now, slicing and eating star fruit straight up is great and we did plenty of that. But, we had a lot of it and we wanted to experiment a little with it too.
We decided to attempt our first lacto fermented fruit using the star fruit and a few strawberries we purchased from the farmers’ market. Up until now, we’ve only fermented kimchi and krauts using fruits and vegetables in combination which lowers the sugar content of the ferment.
That’s all fine and dandy and we even used some of the star fruit in a tropical wine we’re fermenting right now, but if what you’re going for is a slightly sweet, slightly fizzy probiotic snack, you don’t want it to turn to alcohol.
This is what makes fermenting fruit a little tricky.
After researching the best way to go about it, we learned that limiting the amount of salt you add to the ferment and also inoculating with a little bit of whey, kombucha or brine from sauerkraut helps to
Taste your ferment after a day or two and, once it tastes a little tangy and effervescent, put it in the refrigerator to slow the fermentation way down and ensure that it doesn’t turn to alcohol.
It should be consumed within 1-2 weeks, after which it will get very tangy and start to taste alcoholic.
The beauty of most ferments is that you can add whatever spices you like to it (or none at all) to invoke any
With our star fruit ferment, we opted to add star anise, cinnamon stick and a few green cardamom pods for a far eastern flavor.
I’ve added the fermented star fruit and strawberries to Greek yogurt with raw honey and gluten-free granola for breakfast and plan to also use it as a topper on fresh-caught fish as soon as I get my hands on some.
By far, my favorite thing to do is eat them straight out of the jar as a pre-bedtime snack.
|Prep Time:||5 min|
2. Add fruit and aromatics to the jar
3. Add sweetener & starter liquid
4. Add enough water to cover fruit
5. Lightly shake or stir to mix liquids
6. Add a weight and airlock (if using).
7. Ferment for 2-3 days or until the desired flavor has been reached
8. Store in the fridge and consume within 1-2 weeks
* 1/3 cup liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, coconut syrup, etc.)
* 1/3 cup starter culture (sauerkraut brine, kombucha, or whey)
* Aromatics & Spices (Optional)
* Filtered water