Say what? Yes, that was my first thought when I read about Lacto-Fermented Salsa. It was linked to a post about the health benefits of cultured foods like yogurt, sourdough, and sauerkraut, among other things.
But I was up for trying the salsa because (1) we eat a lot of salsa in our house, (2) I could make it much cheaper than store-bought, and (3) it would be good for us!
It was worth a try, right?
I got the recipe here, and I was surprised how easy it was. In a nutshell, I took roma tomates, green peppers, garlic, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and sea salt, and mixed them together. Then I added whey (in my case I took my homemade yogurt and strained it with a cheesecloth; the liquid was whey).
My only surprise was the color. The whey I used was a little creamier than it should have been. (The whey is usually clear but for some reason it was more white this time than usual.)
Then I sealed it in jars and let it sit on the counter for 3 days.
( Confession: I hid it in the pantry before Matt got home because I knew if he saw it “fermenting” he would never taste it!)
The big test was after 3 days and I tried it. It was really good! It was a little different but it definitely did not taste anything like yogurt. I was a little nervous that I might get poisoned because of how careful you have to be with canning salsa, but I’m fine. The next day Matt wanted salsa for his breakfast burrito so I had him try it. I refused to tell him what was in it at first. He said he liked it so that’s all that matters now, right? 🙂
And I feel great about our family eating it! Here’s a quote from Sally Fallon from Nourishing Traditions on the benefits of fermenting vegetables:
“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”
Plus, the entire recipe probably only cost me about $5.00, if that much, and I got 2.5 quarts!
We’ll eat it a few more times and see if it ends up being a keeper, but for now, I’m happy. I tried my first major project and it wasn’t a total bust. 🙂