Cultured Foods

Cultured Pineapple Salsa

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Homemade salsa is something I have always wanted to try. I honestly don’t know what took me so long, it really isn’t difficult. Part of the problem was living in South Korea where limes and cilantro were hard to come by. A few weeks ago I finally did it, I made homemade salsa. But this wasn’t ordinary salsa, it was LACTO-FERMENTED salsa. (I am a strange person, I know).

The first batch of lacto-fermented salsa I made turned out “O.K.”. I was inspired by this recipe which showed up in my facebook news feed one day. My version was “lacking” in flavor. Maybe I tinkered with the recipe too much, (I don’t think I used enough limes).

I am also not a fan of using whey as a starter. Maybe it is a result of being “dairy-free” for two years. Since the goal was spicy salsa I thought kimchi juice was a good replacement. My second attempt at cultured salsa was a success.  Instead of mangos I used pineapples, (hoping to add some sweetness to it).

There is no protective brine covering the salsa, so this is a short ferment, (only 3 days).

This recipe is another great way for mom, (or dad), to sneak in some extra probiotics into a meal. Who doesn’t like salsa? My husband won’t eat the tomatoes on a sandwich, but he will eat salsa.

I know, it’s a lot easier to take a probiotic pill, but who knows what species of beneficial bacteria you are missing? Why not do both? Variety is the spice of life, but it is also the foundation of a good gut terrain. If you know how to make your own salsa, this is just an extra step that makes it healthier. (It can also prevent the salsa from spoiling too soon. The fermentation process does not stop once it is in the fridge, it just slows it down).

Anyhow, here is how I made it ….

1 lb tomatoes
1/2 onion
1/2 cup pineapple
1 tbs sea salt
2 tbs kimchi juice
1 small jalapeno pepper
4 cloves of garlic
Juice from 2 limes

Materials Needed
Knife & cutting board
Food processor (optional)
Glass Bowl
Mason Jar
Kraut Kap Lid (Optional)

Directions –
1. Prepare your tomatoes. Apparently you can use canned tomatoes if you have a hard time finding organic tomatoes. (Fresh is always better of course). I used serrano tomatoes because they were the only organic variety at the store. To remove the skin from the tomatoes, boil some water, and place the tomatoes in the water for 20-25 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place in cool water. Once cool to the touch, peel the skin and discard.

2. Seed and dice up the jalapeno peppers. I read that you should wear gloves so I did. (I accidentally got a little but of jalapeno on the inside of my wrist and it burned. So be careful.)

3. Chop the tomatoes, onion, pineapples, and and place them into a glass bowl. (You can use a food processor but be careful, don’t overdo it. I made the mistake of putting my tomatoes in the processor for too long and my salsa ended up very “runny”. Next time I will probably skip the food processor and chop it by hand).

4. Place the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix well.

5. Place the salsa in the jar and put the fermenting lid on it. Place it in a cool place for 3 days. (Note: you can use a regular mason jar lid but then you have to “burp” it. I have never done my ferments this way because I will forget to burp it, and that could be bad. The fermentation process involves the production of gases which can build up pressure inside the glass jar). If you decide to use a regular lid, put a sock over it, just in case you do forget about it. (Then if the glass breaks it is contained). I like to fix it and forget it for a few days. The lids are a minor investment, and they will last a long time if you take care of them.

6. After three days place the salsa in the fridge. You can eat it right away but I think the taste improves even more after a few days in the fridge.

If you don’t want to make kimchi, you can use the juice from store bought kimchi, (as long as it isn’t pasteurized).

I wish I would have used some cilantro. I harvested the last of it from my aerogarden and I forgot to buy some more. 🙁 I will probably add some next time …..


That’s it, pretty easy to do. Enjoy!!

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