Happy Salsa. A gut-friendly fermented food

Happy Fermented Salsa

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I call this salsa “happy” because, frankly it makes me smile whenever I eat it. Salsa is such a versatile condiment enjoyed by all ages. You can alter the intensity of the “heat” by using more jalapeno peppers or by substituting a hotter pepper like serrano pepper (or combination of both) or lessen the heat using only bell peppers. This is an easy recipe to introduce a fermented food to your family. If you prefer a sweeter salsa, stir in a diced peach or mango after the fermentation process. 

MAKES: 2 liters 

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds tomatoes, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (more or less according to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Optional additional add-ins: (may use one or more of the following)

  • 3 tablespoons, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3 tomatillos (raw or roasted), husks removed and chopped (green tomato with papery husk)

Instructions:

  1. In a large glass or plastic bowl, combine tomatoes (including juice), onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt, lemon or lime juice, and any optional ingredients together.
  2. Pour salsa into 1 or 2 litre jars and cover with muslin cloth or a clean coffee filter and secure with jar lid or a rubber band or may use an airlock system/lid.
  3. Place jars on a counter out of direct sun and where the temperature is consistently 72-76°F/22-25°C for two to five days. Warmer temperatures speed fermentation process, cooler temperatures may take longer. You will notice small bubbles or hear quiet sizzling as the fermentation process grows and thrives.
  4. On day two, begin tasting the salsa and decide when it has reached the desired tanginess. When you are satisfied with the flavour, seal the jars and refrigerate to enjoy for up to six months.

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Sueson Vess is a professional chef, author/food writer and educator helping people eat healthier, especially those with food intolerances and others with chronic illnesses. She is passionate about nutrition and helping others achieve and maintain a “good for your health” lifestyle. There are always delicious, helpful and healthy solutions! Her focus is on “Foods with Benefits” – learning to increase delicious beneficial foods in your daily life. Sueson makes bone broth at Nature’s Own in North Carolina, and teaches cooking classes at FirstHeath and Duke Cancer Center. She is a regular contributing writer for Sandhills Naturally and Gluten-Free & More publications.