Produce from everyone's garden should be at its peak about now. Here's a picture of some from my garden. Taking organic produce, I turned it into a delicious tasting salsa with increased vitamin levels and helpful enzymes, no heat required!
Even if you don't have a garden, you can find fresh produce from the many farmer's markets and specialty shops selling good ole local veggies and fruits. Much of our produce in the U.S. makes a 1500 mile trip from the field to our table so buying local insures a fresher product and when you know your farmer then you can find out if the produce was grown without pesticides, a plus and a must for lacto-fermentation.
Here's my recipe for lacto-fermented salsa: Ingredients need to be organic so that any pesticide will not interfere with the fermenting process. There are really no set amounts of any of the ingredients. You can just use whatever amounts you prefer but the ingredients listed are for making a quart. I made way more than a quart as you can see in the picture below.
4 Tomatoes, peeled (to make peeling easier drop a few tomatoes at a time into a pot of boiling water and remove with slotted spoon after about 15 seconds into a bowl of ice water. The skin slips right off.
1 Pepper (can use any kind you desire from mild to hot. I planted a mild jalapeno pepper and I really like them (see picture below). They are not too hot nor too mild. You can see the peppers in the picture that I used. Slice them lengthwise and discard all seed and any white remaining membrane since these parts are really hot tasting and be careful to wash your hands in soap and do not put your hands near your face as it can burn.
1 Garlic clove
Cilantro (this is really a matter of taste. Most like it but some do not. I only used about 1/4 cup or less.
Oregano (1 tsp. dried)
Parsley (1 tsp. dried)
Lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
Sea Salt (grayish in color-do not use table salt) 1/2 Tablespoon
Whey 1/4 cup (See below for how to obtain whey. If you do not have whey then you can just use an extra Tablespoon of Sea Salt and omit the whey.
Process all in a food processor using your pulse button so that you don't chop it all too finely. See the picture of my food processor to the right of this post. I just love it! It's not too big nor too small. Fill jars leaving one inch of space and place lid on tight and leave at room temperature for about 2 days, burping the jar every now and then before placing in the refrigerator. If you prefer you can obtain airlock lids so that you don't have to burp the jars. I use them if I'm not home to burp the jars. The salsa should keep for 6 months to one year. I had some just the other day that was made last year and it was still good.
Here's the finished product. I had 1 quart and 8 pints! I hope you will give it a try too. It helps to peel and prepare everything ready for the processor in advance.
Here is a picture of one of my mild jalapeno pepper plants in my garden. When you buy the plants it will actually say mild jalapeno on the plant name. This came from Bonnie Plant Farm near where I live but Bonnie Plants are marketed across the country.
Here is how you obtain whey for your salsa: You will want to have already done this step or at least be in the process. In this step you will need some very good quality yogurt, buttermilk, or milk kefir. What you are after actually is the whey from these products. I make my own kefir using unpasteurized milk and this is what I use but you can make your kefir, yogurt or buttermilk using a good quality pasteurized milk if you prefer. Just be careful that the milk is not heated after the culturing process. If you do not make your own then you can buy some yogurt in the health food stores. A great brand available in my location is Erivan Yogurt. Whatever yogurt you buy needs to claim on the container that it contains live or viable cultures otherwise this process will not work. If you want to skip this step then maybe you have a farmer who sells the whey and you won't have to separate it yourself from the milk. Just be sure that the whey you use has not been heated. Whey from cheesemaking will not work as it may have been heated. Neither will powdered whey work.
In the picture you see that I have a bag called a yogurt cheese bag that has a drawstring and I have it clothespinned to the handle on my cabinet. You can use fine weave cheesecloth instead of the bag if you prefer. In the bag I have placed my milk kefir (yogurt or buttermilk) and you can see that I have actually captured a drip at the bottom of the bag going into the bucket (no metal bucket -use glass or safe plastic). This drip is whey that is separating out from the milk solids. You can let it drip for a short time for a little thicker kefir or you can let it drip overnight when all the whey will be removed and you will have a kefir that is the consistency of cream cheese. However it doesn't take long at all to get enough whey for your salsa and you can just scoop some out when you are ready to use it in the process. By the way the squash and pepper have nothing to do with this. I just placed them for eye appeal and had just gathered them from the garden. See other ways to extract whey.
Nourishing Traditions page 91: "Scientists and doctors today are mystified by the proliferation of new viruses--not only the deadly AIDS virus but the whole gamut of human viruses that seem to be associated with everything from chronic fatigue to cancer and arthritis. They are equally mystified by recent increases in the incidence of intestinal parasites and pathogenic yeasts, even among those whose sanitary practices are faultless. Could it be that in abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation and in our insistance on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisms? If so, the cure for these diseases will be found not in vaccinations, drugs or antibiotics but in a restored partnership with the many varieties of lactobacilli, our symbionts of the microscopic world."
Debbie Vail, NC
Greetings from east central Alabama and welcome to my site. I am a graduate of Hawthorn University, a leader in holistic education.
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