get cultured: homemade fermented salsa

i have so many thoughts in my head that i long to post on here and share, but i haven't had much time or energy lately to just sit and commit.  do you know what i mean?

so, i'm going to write about homemade salsa.

and this is not just any old salsa, friends.  this is living salsa.  it's ALIVE.  full of beneficial bacteria for your little gut with each bite.

before i go on, you may wonder why i'm making such a big deal about salsa.  and what's up with this whole beneficial bacteria thing?

well, just recently (like maybe 2-3 years now) we began on an eating journey more in line with a traditional diet.  this alone deserves a separate blog post, so i'm not going to go into much detail on how we got to where we're at today in our eating adventures, but i will say i have been learning a lot.

one thing i have been learning more about is fermented foods, and i have been fascinated with the science and research cropping up about the gut health and its relation to fermented food consumption. this post has a lot of great information and provides an excellent explanation of gut health (with links to research studies if you are a geek like me and like to read them).  and now over here, at this post,  you can read more on the history and benefits of consuming fermented foods (beyond just cultured yogurt).

and thanks to those articles, i now can skip having to explain why i'm making such a fuss over this salsa and share with you my experience.

i admit the fermented salsa has not been my first adventure in fermenting food.  the very first cultured food prodcut i ever made was homemade yogurt. that was fun, but the process is a bit more complicated than lacto-fermenting veggies.  so i branched out and tried my hand at making lacto-fermented cucumbers.  those were yummy, and the kids totally ate it up.  and then there was the lacto-fermented cabbage (a.k.a. sauerkraut).  it didn't taste like what i thought it would be...it was surprisingly good, and i'm not a cabbage fan at all.

ok, back to the salsa.  it's super easy, and a great first-timer recipe, especially if you're not quite used to eating many fermented foods.  this recipe is based on a combination of two.  the first is my husbands, and the second is one from the nourishing traditions cookbook.

adapted from the Nourishing Tradtions cookbook

4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 small onions (i used 1 medium), finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (you can use less, but we LOVE garlic)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
juice of 1 lime
4 teaspoons of coarse, unrefined sea salt
*optional spice* 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced

Mix all ingredients in a glass bowl. Spoon into a 1 quart wide-mouthed mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden meat mallet.  I don't own a wooden meat mallet so I used a wooden cocktail muddler, kind of like this one. Keep gently pressing down the veggies until the liquid covers all the veggies.  Be sure to leave 1 inch of room from the top of the jar, you don't want to fill it up to the top. Cover tightly and let the jar sit at room temperature for 2 days before moving it into the fridge.

it's delicious, and hard to believe that it's been fermented.  even my husband will eat this, and he's still quite shy about eating all of my fermented veggie experiments.


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