Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lacto-fermented salsa

Before I post my recipe, I'm sure you're probably wondering what lacto-fermentation is.

To quote Nourishing Traditions,

“Lacto-fermentation is a process whereby special bacteria transform sugars and starches into beneficial acids. These … are valued for medicinal qualities including the ability to relieve intestinal problems and constipation. The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms product numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid… promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

So to simplify it, lacto-fermentation produces probiotics from vegetables, which makes the nutrients in the vegetables easier to digest and more beneficial to your body.

I first came across lacto-fermented salsa in the blog Under 1000 Per Month. I made the salsa and it was really good, but too oniony for me. For some reason, after my miscarriage in January, I can't handle raw onions the way I used to. So I'm going to half the amount of onions in this recipe and see if I like the salsa better with less onions.

I was trying to find the recipe again to recreate the salsa (with less onions), but it seems the Under 1000 Per Month blog is no longer in existance, which is sad because I really liked that blog. It had a bunch of thrifty and healthy tips. Plus I hadn't read the whole blog. I was going to read it "later" and "later" just hadn't come yet. One more lesson in not leaving things for later if you really want to do it. After all, none of us are guaranteed "later."

Since I couldn't find the recipe I used last time, I searched the internet and found a couple of other recipes. This time, I'm going to post the recipe I used to my blog so I can't lose it again.

2.5 lbs tomatoes (10 on the vine tomatoes) which is 2 lbs after they are peeled
1 small onion
4 chopped jalapenos
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 tsp dried oregano
2 lemons squeezed (this produces about 1/4 cup of lemon juice)
2 tbsp sea salt
8 tbsp whey (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup filtered water

1. Chop tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro. I used the Black and Decker chopper I bought for $10 at Walmart. I had to chop these in several steps as they couldn't all fit in the chopper at once. So I chopped one bunch and poured it into the 2 quart glass jar I use to store the salsa, then chopped the next bunch and on and on until it was all chopped.
2. Add dried oregano, salt, whey, water and lemon juice.
3. Shake well to mix all ingredients well.
4. Leave in kitchen (or warmest room in the house) on the counter for 48 hours, then move to the fridge.

It takes me a while to make it, as I peel my tomatoes and I don't like the stems on the cilantro, but its worth it. I can't wait to try this batch!!!!

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