I didn’t grow up with chutneys so this feels like an exotic food adventure. I like the idea of a spicy and savory sweet since, in our household, we are doing our best to avoid sugary foods. I also like yet another way to use pumpkin. These chutneys can be made after the harvest bustle has slowed and the weather has cooled, just in time for gift-giving.

Coconut sugar gives a deep, rich taste without the insulin hit of many other sweeteners. I used it for my Christmas chutney gifts since a few of my tribe don’t enjoy stevia. I’m not sure how long this preserve would keep without sugar, and I certainly wouldn’t try to can it for pantry storage, but I wonder if stevia could be used for small batches that will be refrigerated and used up quickly. It would be worth a try. Or maybe monkfruit?

Pumpkin Chutney


  • 1 kilogram pumpkin, raw, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon pickling salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 250 ml cider vinegar
  • 250 ml filtered water
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, or more to taste


  • In a large heavy-bottomed pan, add all of the ingredients except the sugar and simmer over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until dissolved. Simmer for a further 30 to 60 minutes, stirring often. If you want the chutney to be less chunky, mash or puree it. Ladle into sterilized jars and cool. Keep refrigerated.


I first made this with two cups of coconut sugar and found it far too sweet.
The flavour gets even better after a week or two.
This recipe will fill two 500 ml jars or four 250 ml jam jars. Translation – 16-ounce and 8-ounce. 

Spiced Pumpkin Apple Chutney

I especially enjoy the complex taste of this one. So many health-giving spices.


  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • ½ tsp dried ginger
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 kg butternut squash or pumpkin, raw, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces pieces
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 300 ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, then fry the onions with the ginger, chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, mustard seeds and cumin for five minutes until the spices are aromatic.
  • Stir in the garlic, squash and apples and cook for 10-15 minutes more. 
    Still over the heat, stir in the turmeric and sugar. Mix well.
  • Add the vinegar, water and salt, and bring the chutney back to a simmer. Cook, stirring often for 20-30 minutes more.
  • Spoon the hot chutney into sterilized jars, screw on the lids and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.