When fall comes, I start to think about how I can preserve the amazing produce from the summer so I can enjoy it through the winter. Lacto-fermentation is much easier than it sounds. All you need is salt, water, hot peppers and 5-7 days!
Lacto-fermentation is a simple process that requires nothing more than salt, vegetables, and water. The lacto-fermentation process works because of the fact that bacteria that could be harmful to us can’t tolerate salt, while healthy bacteria can. The benefits of eating food with live Lactobacillus bacteria include a healthier digestive system and they are also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful in preventing certain kinds of cancer.
• 2 cups filtered water, lukewarm
• 2 ½ tsp sea salt – use 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, per 1 cup of water.
• 1 pint chili peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
• 2 garlic cloves, cut in quarters
• ½ an onion, sliced
1. Heat the water and stir the sea salt into the warm water until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Wearing gloves, slice the chili peppers in half, and remove stems. You can remove the seeds if you don’t want too much heat. Cut the garlic and onion.
3. Layer all ingredients into a mason jar. Pour the salt-waterbrine into the jar over the chilies, pressing them down under the liquid.
4. Weigh the chilies down with canning weights (or use a smaller container filled with water.) You want the veggies completely submerged under the brine. Cover lightly with a lid and place the jar in a bowl to collect any liquid that may spill over.
5. Place in a cool dark place for 5-7 days or until brine appears slightly cloudy. Tap the container and see if there is any activity, or bubbles.
6. You will know it is fermenting by the cloudy brine, bubbling and activity. You can always ferment longer for even more flavor! The longer the ferment, typically the tangier this will become.
7. After 5-7 days, strain the brine, saving it. Place the fermented peppers, onions and garlic into a blender. Add a little of the brine at a time and blend until smooth.
8. Place in a sealed glass bottle and store in the fridge.
**Do not leave it in a sealed bottle unrefrigerated. It will explode!