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Lacto-fermented Pineapple Papaya Chutney – a delicious digestive aid

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Adding fermented foods to your diet has many health benefits, including making food more digestible, increasing vitamin and enzyme content of the food and increasing good bacteria in your digestive tract.  They are very easy to prepare at home.  An easy and delicious way to get fermented foods is by making this pineapple chutney recipe, which is an adaptation of recipes in Nourishing Traditions.

Pineapple and papaya are delicious tropical fruits.  Pineapple is rich in manganese, fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins.  Papaya is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus.  Both fruits contain powerful digestive enzymes.  Bromelain (in pineapple) and papain (in papaya) are very helpful in breaking down protein.  Many people know that you should not put pineapple in gelatin molds.  Ever wonder why?  Pineapple actually breaks down the gelatin protein which causes the gel effect to fail.  Papain is often used commercially as a meat tenderizer.  Both fruits are terrific accompaniments to any protein to help with digestion.

These enzymes make this dish a wonderful condiment to pair with any meat dish.  It also makes a wonderful salsa with chips or a Mexican meal.  We paired it with chicken tacos the other night and it was a hit with the whole family!  I also think it would be delicious with a grilled fish.

One concern with papayas, however, is that many Hawaiian papayas are genetically modified.  Currently, papayas from Mexico are not gmo.  I do not eat papaya very often and I try to avoid gmo products as much as possible, but I do sometimes us Hawaiian papaya for this recipe.

For this recipe you need approximately 3 cups of fruit, papaya and pineapple.  I find it most cost effective to buy whole pineapples and cut them at home.  I found this handy dandy tool called a pineapple corer/slicer that makes this job a breeze!

Once you have chopped the pineapple, add it to the chopped papaya.  I found that 1 small papaya and 1 small pineapple equalled approximately 3 cups.

Add in 1 small , chopped red bell pepper and 1 chopped small red onion.

Add 1/4-1 whole chopped, seeded jalapeño, depending how spicy you like it.  I like this dish spicy but for my family (who do not like spicy foods) I added about 1/4 of a jalapeno.

 Add about 1 tbsp grated ginger.

Add 1 bunch of chopped cilantro and up to 1/2 cup chopped mint.  I find the mint to be optional.  If you have it growing in your yard, use it!  If you have to go buy a small pack of mint for $5, forget about it.

Mix all your ingredients in a bowl.  It should look like a beautiful fruit salsa.

Now you need to mix your liquids and fermentation starter.  I added 1/2 teaspoon Culture Starter, 2 tablespoons of rapadura (or other good sugar) to 1/2 cup lime juice.  You could also use 1/4 cup whey.  Stir to combine. Add the liquid to your fruit salsa mixture.

Stir the fruit well to mix in the liquid.  Then, using a funnel, pour pineapple mixture into a clean one quart mason jar.

Mush down with your fist or a wooden spoon, and continue to add pineapple mixture until you have the jar almost full and the pineapple is covered in liquid.  If you need, you can add a little filtered water to ensure the mixture is covered.  If you have leftover chutney, simply put the remaining in a smaller jar and fill with filtered water.  Cap tightly.

Screw on lid tightly and leave at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to the refrigerator.  Use chutney within 2 months.  Enjoy!

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Does the topic of fermenting baffle you?  We created a Fermenting eCourse just for you and when you sign up, we will send you a Quick Start Guide!  Grab the eCourse and the guide here!

Not wanting to make your own fermented foods at home?  You can order fermented foods from our favorite vendors in our marketplace!

I did promise a video when I began this series on gut bacteria and fermented foods.  Here you go!



Check out the other posts in my series on Gut Bacteria and Fermented Foods:

The Bugs in Your Belly

The Science and History of Culturing Foods

What You Need to Culture Fruits and Vegetables at Home

Lacto-fermented Berries 

10 Uses for Fermented Foods (and an easy recipe)


  1. Love the video, especially the taste tester! Need to order a food funnel and pineapple corer too. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    1. 😉 I am not super into gadgets for the kitchen, but the pineapple corer has been great! It is usually so much cheaper to buy the whole pineapple, but cutting them is a pain! Let me know how you like the recipe!

  2. I love the thought of tasting the real recipe. But…no papaya out this way and it is a few weeks before I make the city stores that may carry it. However, I had a lot more apples left in the cellar than I expected I would from winter storage and substituted them instead. No they are not even close to papaya but they mad a very nice chutney indeed, I am wondering if I can use rejuvelac as a starter for the culture since it is in its self already fermented? Though I used whey strained from yogurt, this time, I can not use it all the time and should not have now but your recipe begged me to try it out! LOL For cultured cabbage I just use straight salt but I didn’t want this chutney to be over powered in salt. So what say you and if so, what amount of rejuvelac would one use? Thanks for a great recipe that I just had to share on my own face book page. I wll absolutely eat this chutney on a daily (multi-daily 🙂 ) basis.

    1. That sounds like an interesting twist! Yes, you can use any fermented liquid (liquid from sauerkraut, kombucha, rejuvelac) as a starter. The only issue would be if the fermented liquid has a particular taste, you are introducing that flavor the the chutney! Good luck! Would love to hear how it turns out!

      1. Thanks for such a speedy reply. Would I just use the same amount of rejuvelac as say…they whey or as the whole amount of the liquid? Would the whole amount of the liquid be to much starter? Is there such a thing as too much starter?
        Thanks again for your valuable time.

        1. I’d add the same amount as the whey. There probably is not a thing as ‘too much starter’. I have found with fermenting that it is more of a creative art instead of a rigid science. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

          1. Very much appreciated. You are a speedy replyer! I shall give it a whirl then. Thanks you so very much! have a great day!

    1. Thanks! The recipe is delicious! I have read up on that buzz but I still ferment in mason jars. I have taken numerous classes on fermenting and all have said mason jars were okay. But, that being said, there are many different vessels in which to ferment. People are always free to choose the method they like best. That is the beauty of fermenting…while it is a bit of a science, it is also an art and flexibility within the craft is a good thing!

    2. I also never burp my mason jars, ever, and never have a problem with exploding jars. I took a class via Immunitrition and Caroline Barringer (the owner/instructor) makes cultured vegetables to sell and she kept saying how rare (and extremely difficult) it is for a mason jar to explode due to built up gases. Plus, as long as the food is kept below the brine (water/salt/celery juice…whatever you are using) the vegetables (or fruit) do remain anaerobic.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I make Kefir Milk and now Cream Cheese from the Kefir Milk by pouring Kefir Milk into my coffee maker with 2 filters in it. The whey drips into the glass container at the bottom and I just continue making cream cheese. Needed to know how to use the Whey. Thank you.
    Frances from South Africa

  4. every time i ferment some veg or fruit , like this one above , after two/three days there’s the white mold dots. its beginning to take away the exitement for new recepies.
    with cabbage i use one or two big leaves, and that suffices for a while, but eventually a white film will come. with the recepy above i used the allready fermented pineapple (from which i had to take the mold off ) . i had to , because i wouldnt throw away two whole pineapples because of the inevitable white dots on top … but it remains a struggle between two bad choices .
    and yes, the glasses were closed and yes they were sterilized.
    do you have a tip what to adapt/change , before i quit all together

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