On August 18th I was part of a small but growing group of professionals dedicated to the art of fermentation. As an annual event, I was once again joined with friends and colleagues who are making some incredibly delicious foods good for your gut.
It is a an expanding area of the culinary world. As a professional chef, I am one of a few who have delved in the holistic side of foods that heal. I was a speaker for the event and my topic was Digestion and your Health, with a Demonstration on Fermented Salsa. I had two different types of tomato salsa and tomatillo salsa on display. My talk on digestion explained the north to south approach to digestion with an emphasis on Low HCL as problem for most of our society. I talked about optimal function and dysfunction with relation to your digestive tract. With the premise that healing needs to start in the gut. The relationship between the brain and your gut is utmost importance. Healing foods such as probiotic and enzyme rich fermented foods are a part of the solution for a healthy gut.
My demo included seasonal heirloom organic varieties of local tomatoes, tomatillo’s and 10 varieties of peppers from my local CSA, In fact all of the ingredients were purchased through my local share and highlighted in this seasonal favorite,
Fermented Salsa’s. Recipe follows:
3 large tomatoes-diced
1 Anaheim or jalapeno pepper-diced
2 cloves garlic-minced
1 handful of cilantro
lemon and or lime juice to taste
One of the following: 2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt or
1-2 teaspoons sea salt and 1/4 cup water kefir or
A vegetable starter such as Caldwell’s Cultured Vegetable starter or
Body Ecology Starter Culture
Prepare your starter culture according to the package instructions.
Mix all ingredients together including salt, and your choice of starter. Place in your fermentation vessel, pressing down to release some liquid., so your vegetables are submerged. and ferment 4 to 8 hours, if it is extremely warm or in tropical climates, or normally 24-48 hours on the counter. Refrigerate or store in root cellar. This is one ferment I do eat sooner rather than later. Makes about 1 quart.
1lb Tomatilla’s drop in boiling water to blanch first cool in ice water and remove husks then proceed with salsa recipe.
red onion Diced substitute these for shallots
Same proportions just more lime Juice.
Basic Water Kefir Recipe for First Ferment Amounts only
21/2 Teaspoons Water Kefir Grains
!/4 Cup Organic sugar
1 Quart of good quality water
see blog entitled– 5 tips to keep you kids healthy for the full recipe for water kefir that is flavored