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Lacto-Fermented Rhubarb Chutney

It has been really fun to follow along with Erin’s look at Nourishing Traditions. I read that book almost five years ago now and it really changed the way I look at food, nourishment, and health.

Since then I have become a bit of a fermented food nut. We’ve dabbled in homemade yogurt, kefir, kombucha, water kefir, fermented vegetables, grains, and now I’ve jumped into the world of fruit. Well, technically rhubarb is a vegetable, but the raisins included are fruit.

The problem I have with rhubarb is not the vegetable itself but the gobs of sugar used in making it taste like something it isn’t – a super sweet fruit. Rhubarb has such a lovely sourness to it that just a bit of sweetening can really highlight the natural flavors instead of covering them up.

And in my quest to feed my family fermented foods every day I was hoping for something to add to breakfast. We like this in yogurt but I am thinking it would make a delicious topping to grain-free pancakes.

The one challenge with fruits is that their sugar can make them, well, a bit boozy after a while. So eat this stuff up within a week or two after fermenting before your raisins make wine :).

Lacto-Fermented Rhubarb Chutney


  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (about 3 medium stalks)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or other chopped nut
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup whey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Place diced rhubarb in a quart jar. Run your knife through the raisins to break them up a bit and then add them to the quart jar along with the pistachios, sea salt, whey, cinnamon, and water.
  2. Mix very well with a spoon and then use the spoon (or your hand) to push the rhubarb mixture below the liquid level.
  3. Cover with the jar lid tightly and leave in a warm place for 2-5 days. Fermentation is an art more than a science, so check this every day to see if it has started to bubble and to be sure the liquid level is still covering the rhubarb.
  4. Once it is bubbly and tastes slightly fermented store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Use in yogurt, on top of pancakes, or on top of protein or vegetables.

  Leave a Reply

  • Bumper crop of rhubarb this year so time to ferment some as well. I’ll be using about 1 kg (2L) diced rhubarb, which I will lightly salt as I chop it (like other veg ferments) and I will use a veg starter culture (I use Caldwell out of Quebec) to get the bacteria going faster to push towards lactic fermentation and away from alcohol fermentation. This looks like a really tasty recipe. I am anticipating it will be repeated.

    Paulette Gougeon June 13, 2018 AT 10:36 am
  • Is salt, or the recommended amount of salt, necessary? I’m on a salt restricted / no salt diet.

    Lee May 3, 2015 AT 11:25 am
  • And I would make sure it is filtered water as chlorine can prevent fermentation.

    Beth June 25, 2013 AT 6:54 am
  • I would keep the lid off, push the ferment below the liquid 2-3 times a day.

    Beth June 25, 2013 AT 6:53 am


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