I recently discovered the super powers of fermenting! I've caught the fermenting bug (no pun intended!)!
What started with sauerkraut has quickly grown to other foods like sourdough, fermented vegetables and more! The flavour is amazing and the health benefits of fermented foods is an added bonus.
Ready to learn more about fermenting and to make your own salsa? Keep reading!
What is fermented salsa?
Fermented salsa is fresh salsa that has been left to ferment at room temperature. The "fermenting" process preserves the salsa and allow it to keep for a longer period of time.
What is fermenting?
Fermenting is a process by which natural bacteria and yeast found in the foods will begin to breakdown some of the carbohydrates (sugars & starches) into other products (gases, acids, alcohol, etc.). The environment that is created is great for the "good" bacteria and harmful to the "bad" bacteria. This allow the food to be preserved for long periods of time without spoiling.
The fermenting process is an "anaerobic" activity. This means that it happens "without oxygen". This is important to remember when fermenting - it is important to keep the veggies below the top of the liquid so that they are not exposed to the air (and subsequent oxygen).
Fermenting was used commonly is yesteryear before fridges & freezers were available. Fermenting was used to keep vegetables longer in cold storage areas and root cellars.
When we moved to our farm five years ago, we discovered a large mound in the yard was actually a root cellar built into the ground!
Why is fermented salsa so great?
Fermented salsa not only tastes delicious but is also retains more of the nutritional value of the ingredients compared to salsa made from heat canning. Heat used in the canning process causes the veggies to lose some of their nutrients in the process. Fermenting doesn't require heat or freezing and more of the nutrients are maintained.
What are the health benefits of fermented foods?
Fermented foods end up with "good" bacteria in them which are good for our bodies when we consume them. These good bacteria are called probiotics. You will have heard lots about probiotics in yogurts and other foods. A lot of times these probiotics are added to the final product.
Probiotics can play a part in maintaining the health of our gut. Our gut health is super important as it plays a role in a number of inflammatory processes and diseases.
A good starting point for reading more about the potential health benefits of fermented foods, check out this article written by Harvard Health.
Fermented Salsa Recipe
- 5 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 to 1 red or white onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tbsp fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin, optional
Chop all vegetables and add to a large bowl. Try to get all the juice from the tomatoes into the bowl. Don't worry about discarding the seeds. Roma tomatoes are the best for salsa, but almost any tomato will work.
Add lime juice, salt, and cumin. Mix well.
Transfer salsa to a large glass mason jar (the 1 litre/1 quart size works well for this recipe, I prefer the wide mouth so I make less of a mess!). Leave about 1 to 1.5 inches of space at the top. Press the salsa down to ensure that the vegetables are covered by the liquid. Place a fermenting weight or a piece of cabbage or bell pepper on the top to hold the salsa under the liquid. Cover with a fermenting lid (or if using a solid lid, make sure to "burp" the jar every 24 hours to release the air/gases that are formed from fermenting so that the jar doesn't explode).
Leave jars at room temperature for 2 to 3 days and then taste the salsa. Move the salsa to the fridge where it will keep for 2 to 3 months. But don't worry, it will taste so good it won't last that long!
Find the video of making fermented salsa over on the Lazuli Farms YouTube channel here!
Where do I find fermenting supplies?
You can find fermenting weights, fermenting lids, and mason jars on Amazon.
If you're looking for fermenting supplies, here are some of the ones we recommend (Amazon.ca affiliate links).
Glass fermenting weights:
Wide mouth mason fermenting weights - https://amzn.to/3ilACUz
regular mouth mason fermenting weights - https://amzn.to/3zXZkjB
Silicone fermenting lids:
wide mouth mason silicone lids - https://amzn.to/3up7hNK
regular mouth mason silicone lids - https://amzn.to/39Vou7S
Fermenting lid with spring: Ball fermenting lid with spring (2 pack) - https://amzn.to/2WqIFaG
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