The GAPS Diet requires me to eat some fermented food with every single meal. Fermented foods supply tons and tons of good, probiotic bacteria and they act as a digestive aid. Fermentation is a process by which the fruits and vegetables are preserved, and many of the vitamins and nutrients become more bio-available and easier to digest. When you are dealing with a compromised digestive system, these are all very good things. It’s easy to see why I’m supposed to be eating something fermented with every meal.
The whey, which is already brimming with probiotic bacteria, will give your ferments a jump-start and the process will not take quite as long. It will also give you a more consistent outcome and increase your chances of successful fermentation.
If you have a dairy intolerance, or if you don’t keep a huge jar of whey handy in the fridge (I know I didn’t before I started GAPS!) you can make the recipe using an extra tablespoon of salt. If you omit the whey, you will likely need to leave your salsa at room temperature for a day or two longer, before transferring it to cold storage. The extra salt will inhibit bacterial growth until enough lactic acid has been produced to preserve the veggies. Once you’ve put it in cold storage, the flavor will continue to develop over time. I like a “young” salsa, but the “mature” salsa is just fabulous.
This salsa has quickly become my favorite ferment. It’s delicious served with eggs, or mixed with avocado and stirred into (not-too-hot) soup. I’ve gone through an entire jar in less than two weeks, and am impatiently watching the tomatoes in the garden. I have plans to make a generous batch so that I can keep enjoying it through the winter.
Increase the chile pepper if you like your salsa spicy.
Makes 1 quart
Source: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Course: Fermented and Cultured Food
- 4 medium tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 small onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped chile pepper
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh oregano chopped
- 2 lemons juiced
- 1 Tbs additive-free sea salt
- 4 Tbs whey (or additional 1 Tbs salt)
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days (longer, if not using the whey) before transferring to cold storage.