5-Spice Apple Chutney (Lacto-Fermented)

Lacto-fermented apple chutney has been rocking our house lately! What with the Chinese 5-spice, apples, crunchy nuts or raisins, and probiotics, I can't keep enough of it on hand for the kids!

Why lacto-fermented? Fermented foods offer increased vitamins and enzymes, not to mention beneficial organisms that keep our guts healthy and digestion optimum. Makes 1/2 gallon or 2 quarts.

Course Ferment
Author Wardee Harmon



  1. Wash, quarter, and core apples. Then coarsely chop by hand or in the food processor.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

  3. Transfer to 1 clean 1/2 gallon jar, 2 quart jars, or a crock. Pack down so all ingredients are covered in liquid, and at least 1/2" below the rim of the container. 

  4. Add more water if necessary to submerge all ingredients. Cover tightly. My crock doesn't have a lid, so I covered it with plastic wrap and secured it with a rubber band.

  5. Let sit out at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Daily, or as necessary, check for any mold growing on the surface and skim away, repacking carefully. Taste for desired texture.
  6. Enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

*To make the 5-spice blend yourself, mix together equal parts (all ground) anise, pepper, fennel, cinnamon, and cloves.


If the weather is very hot, fermentation may only take a day or so. Burp the jar if necessary (to prevent explosions). When you're happy with the taste and texture, transfer to the refrigerator in an airtight container. Will keep for a few weeks.


We love this chutney as a topping for kefir, pancakes, or waffles. Mmm... Repack the storage container carefully after each dipping.