I found myself taking the winter off. That is from making any sort of easy probiotic salsa (aka lacto-fermented) veggies. But now that the weather is finally warming up and we have our seedlings all ready to plant in the garden this week, my mind drifted back to thoughts of delicious, uber-healthy probiotic pickled veggies. I’ve made tons of other ferments, but this is admittedly my first crack at making salsa…and definitely won’t be my last!!
This salsa is hands down my new favourite salsa, probiotic or not. The flavours are incredible and the fact that it’s loaded with healthy, healing, probiotics is just the icing on the cake. The best news is that it is soooo easy! Chop, mix, add your ingredients to a mason jar (or crock would work too) and let those lactobacilli do their magic for a couple days…and VOILA! The tastiest, healthiest, and easy probiotic salsa around.
WHY TO GO WITH EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA?
Foods are given a wonderfully tangy taste by fermentation. All of it is due to the natural yeasts and bacteria at work. In the case of sauerkraut, fermentation transforms cabbage into a somewhat sweet and sour dish.
In the case of kombucha, tea and sugar are combined to create a frothy, somewhat sour (in the nicest way) drink. Also, in the case of salsa, fermentation imparts an unmistakably sour taste.
Foods have been fermented by humans for thousands of years. Before the invention of refrigeration, fermentation was crucial for keeping a plentiful harvest (from the garden) or a lot of milk (which would be turned into cheese).
In order to prevent the formation of harmful bacteria, fermentation promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria (causing food to spoil and rot). Regular salsa will probably spoil within a few days if you prepare it. Easy probiotic salsa’s shelf life can be increased by fermenting it for a few months.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHILE GO WITH EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA?
Simply chop and mix your ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes to let the salt really draw the liquid out of the tomatoes. Then pour into a 1 L mason jar (or other fermentation vessel), and using some kind of a tamper (I used the tamper from my vitamix.
But something like the bottom of a hairspray bottle would work well too), really push down all the vegetables so they become submerged under the brine.
Tighten the lid on, and then slightly loosen it so that the gasses can escape. If your veggies do not stay under the brine, then every day tamp them down again. You can add a tiny bit of water and an extra pinch of salt if there isn’t quite enough liquid.
If you have a sauerkraut weight you can use that to keep things submerged, but since this is a really short ferment, just tamping them down every day will be ok. Let sit on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight for 2-5 days. If your house is warmer than about 22 degrees C, check it for taste on day 2. Or if your house is cooler then start checking on day 3.
If for some reason you notice a little bit of mold forming on the top of the veggies (only happens if veggies aren’t submerged), don’t panic! Simply scoop out and discard the layer of vegetables on the top, the rest of your easy probiotic salsa will be fine.
HOW TO MAKE EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA?
PREP TIME FOR EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA
TOTAL TIME FOR EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA
Say goodbye to store bought salsa with this amazing probiotic salsa!
Recipe type: condiment
Serves: 1 L
INGREDIENTS FOR EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA
(It is strongly recommended to use organic herbs and produce as conventional produce can be sprayed with chemicals that can inhibit the growth of lactobacillus)
- ¼ of a medium red onion, diced
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- optional 1-2 jalapeños, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 2 limes
- juice of ½ large lemon
- large handful cilantro, chopped (you can add in with your ferment or if you like a brighter green color and stronger flavour you can add just before serving)
- approx 2-3 tsp salt (be sure to use a natural, non-iodized salt like himalayan or sea salt)
- OR if you need to limit your salt intake you can instead use 1 tsp salt + ¼ c organic whey (the liquid that separates out from plain yogurt)
- or ¼ unflavoured finished water kefir
- 1 L mason jar with lid
INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW FOR EASY PROBIOTIC SALSA
Add onion, tomatoes, pepper, jalapeno, garlic, lemon and lime juice to a large bowl. If you are adding the cilantro at the beginning, add that as well. Slowly add up to 3 tsp of salt to the mixture until it tastes as salty as potato chips (should be between 2-3 tsp).
Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the salt draw out some of the liquid from the tomatoes.
Pour mixture into mason jar, including all the juices. Tamp the vegetables down firmly (I used the tamper from my vitamix, but the bottom of a hairspray bottle would work) to try to get them under the surface of the brine.
If there is not enough brine add a tiny bit of water (ideally filtered) and a pinch more salt. Scrape down any particles stuck to the side of the jar. Anything exposed to air can potentially get moldy so either have it under the brine or remove it.
Tighten the lid and then loosen it slightly. We don’t want air getting in but there will be some gasses that need to escape. Let sit 2-5 days at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. If you notice the veggies coming to the top of the brine, just tamp them down again once per day.
Start tasting on day 2 if your house is warm (over 22 degrees C), and on day 3 if your house is cooler.
If you notice that there is a little mold on the top, that is ok – just scoop out and discard the top layer, the rest will be fine.
Now you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 (not more than this) weeks.
This is how you can make easy probiotic salsa and enjoy it with a company of good friends and family group(s).