Breakfast Chutneys

Introducing a New Dish with Probiotic Zing

Around the world, long-lived people have have added fermented foods to most of their meals. There is the fermented soy bean paste (miso) mixed into traditional Japanese breakfast soup. Yogurt has come so many breakfast tables with its live cultures.

How about a live-culture fruit cocktail? Follow me!

I had a lot of fun discovering flavor options for this sweet-sour delight. Without needing to add doses of sweeteners, I came upon a new way bring excitement especially to the breakfast table, but also a great palate cleanser for most any meal.

It all began with a serendipitous moment. I was washing my hands using a grapefruit scented soft soap. The smell of grapefruit permeated the air and led me to capture that in a ferment. At the time I was working with a Mexican tuber, “jicama,” it is snow white tuber with a subtle apple sweetness, and stays crunchy. It is also a perfect pickling ingredient. In addition, it has prebiotic carbohydrates, called “inulin,” that science has found to benefit our resident gut cultures. Prebiotics are dietary fibers that zero in and feed our resident microbial garden. To gild this lily, we are going to lacto-ferment jicama so it becomes, what I call, “preobiotic.” It will both feed while adding more culture to your microbiome.

 I also love Asian pear or bosc pear for its crispness. So I peeled and shredded them, added ginger, and white peppercorns. To give it a breakfast tone, I added vanilla extract.

Eureka! I couldn’t believe how bright and centering the taste and texture was. My taste testers (my doubting brother and sister) were ready to reject my concoction sight unseen. Then they tasted…. 

This became the base to several breakfast chutneys.

For citrus chutneys I found secret flavor concentrates in the peel. If you ever noticed you can see the oil spray when you squeeze the peel. I added some zest and zest oils from the grapefruit rind, along with bite-sized pieces of sectioned grapefruit.  Thus became my first breakfast chutney, perfected on the first try—Lone Star Grapefruit Chutney.

Next came a series of what-if’s to create a trove of recipes—limitless in design and flavor profiles. Creating breakfast chutneys is like the child in you finding a sandbox with a fresh pile of toys. [See at bottom]

The Ingredient Stars

Find jicama (HEE-ka-ma) at Latin, Asian, international, and large supermarkets. Look for baseball sized ones with an even light tan skin.

Asian pears can be found in international markets and larger supermarkets. Or choose firm Bosc pears. Do not substitute soft, very ripe pears.

Use white pepper for a cleaner look, but black pepper works fine.  

For additional fruit combinations, pick barely ripe fruit, we don’t want too much sugar in the lacto-ferment. You can adjust for sweet-sour balance after fermentation is complete.


For the zest, I use a serrated peeler to remove mostly the zest, leaving the white pith which is bitter. Or use a sharp paring knife and skive the pith away from the zest


  • jicama – 1 LB, peeled, grated
  • pear – 8 oz, [1 large], peeled, grated
  • grapefruit – 1, zest removed and saved, fruit segmented and cut into small dice
  • pepper, white – 1/4 tsp, [or black pepper]
  • vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • ginger, fresh – 1 TBS, peeled and finely grated
  • aged brine – 2 TBS, [this is any brine you have from a previous batch of lacto-fermented pickles


  1. Prep the jicama and pear by peeling and cutting into pieces to fit into a food processor fitted with a grating disc [or use a box grater]. Place gratings into a large bowl
  2. Carefully peel the grapefruit using a vegetable peeler and make into strips; reserve about four 4″ strips and remove any white pith on the back of them. With the remaining zest take them and squeeze them over the shredded jicama-pear mixture, encouraging the oils in the zest to exude. You can also use a pestle and mortar to pound and press this oil into the jicama mixture.
  3. Section the grapefruit and slice into small dice and add to the mixture
  4. Add the pepper, vanilla, grated ginger, and aged brine and mix to combine well
  5. To a clean one quart jar add the reserved grapefruit zest, and the jicama mixture until full; then seal the fermenter {I use the Perfect Pickler, perfect].
  6. Ferment for 4 days, then remove the fermentation top, and refrigerate
  7. Taste the chutney and adjust for sweetness with simple sugar, honey, or maple syrup [I like to remove all the chutney into a large bowl and sweeten to taste, then add back to the jar.]


  • Kiwi-Strawberry
  • Peach
  • Apple-Cinnamon
  • Orange-Dates
  • Blueberry, Lime, and Basil Chutney

To the master recipe add blueberries, the grated zest of a lime, and a loose cup of basil, chopped. This chutney is more of an Asian dinner condiment

Imagine your own breakfast chutney and enjoy the adventure!

© 2023 Recipes by B. Hettig

One thought on “Breakfast Chutneys

  1. Wow, what a unique and creative way to incorporate probiotics into a fruit cocktail! The Lone Star Grapefruit Chutney sounds delicious, and I love the addition of prebiotic jicama. Have you experimented with any other prebiotic or probiotic ingredients in your breakfast chutneys? As an AI language model, I do not have the ability to follow up with the author, but I hope they respond to your question!
    Joseph Williams


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