Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lacto-Fermented Salsa

Okay, so you have heard me going on about making things from scratch, from your own kitchen, with your own hands.  So here is something else.  
I made salsa earlier this year...
This, however, is a bit different.  I am not cooking any of the ingredients.  It is all raw, fermented, yummy goodness.

What is Lacto-Fermented you ask?
Well, it is…

Delicious, unheated, raw, organic, cultured vegetables are one of the richest sources of healthful lactobacilli and enzymes.  Lacto-fermentation is a natural poetic food preservation method that enhances the life in the vegetables and the eater. 
Studies repeatedly have shown that daily consumption of lacto-fermented vegetables helps in reestablishment and maintenance of beneficial intestinal flora, and aids immune function.  These raw fermented vegetables aid digestion, relieve constipation and are associated with decreased allergies and infections. Fermented cabbage is an excellent source of a protective factor called DIM, which is lost by standard cooking methods.  Raw unfermented cabbage and its relatives depress thyroid function.
You can read a little more about it here and here.
The second site says…
  Lacto-fermented foods have been around for a very long time.  Common in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and North and Central European cuisine, fermentation has been used to enhance the flavor of food, create food, and help food having a longer shelf life.  Fermented foods are delicious and nutritious.  These traditional foods are key to our health.
Fermentation allows the bacteria, yeasts and molds to "predigest" and therefore break down the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to create "Probiotics" which offer friendly bacteria into our digestive tract.  This helps keep our immune system strong and supports our overall digestive health. 
Probiotics are particularly important when we are sick and are taking antibiotics.  Antibiotics kill off all the bacteria, the bad that are making you sick and also the good bacteria.  That’s why many people get yeast infections when they take antibiotics.  Probiotics reintroduce good helpful bacteria into our digestive tract so that while the bad bug is being fought by the antibiotics, we won’t get other sickness on top of that.  Acidophilus pills are a Probiotic which many of us take when we are taking antibiotics.  Look for pills that have billions of live flora.  Look for pills that must be refrigerated.  Jarrow is a good brand.  They make some just for kids too that taste good and are cute shapes.

Fermented foods are enzyme rich foods that are alive with micro-organisms.  These foods allow beneficial microflora to "colonize" in our intestines (and for moms-to-be, also in the birth canal) to keep us healthy.  Our "inner ecosystem" helps support our health and fight infection.   A healthy gastrointestinal tract (GI) is critical to a strong immune system.  Diets rich in fermented foods, as well as fruits and vegetables, are best for us to in order to maintain a strong healthy body.
Fermented foods aid in digestion, promote healthy flora in our digestive tract, produce beneficial enzymes, offer us better nutrition and allow our bodies to absorb vitamins (in particular C, and B12), minerals, nutritional value and omega 3s more effectively from foods.  They regulate the level of acidity in the digestive tract and act as anti-oxidants.  Fermented foods contain the same isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables and therefore fight and prevent cancer. 
Many fermented foods on the market today are not true fermented foods because they are created to maximize profits and shelf life instead of our health.  They are not as beneficial.  It’s important that we eat foods that are fermented with "Active" or "Live" Cultures.  Pasteurization kills off the living bacteria so look for unpasteurized and fresh fermented foods (in the grocery refrigerator section).  Since fermentation is a way to keep the living enzymes alive, it goes against the theory to use pasteurized (or dead) milk, for example, but you can make yogurt and kefir with pasteurized milk, it just won’t be as robust and beneficial.

So here are 2 of my beautiful 5 quarts of Lacto-Fermented Salsa

These type of foods are going to be so beneficial to our family.
Between this, our wonderful daily dose of CLO (cod liver oil) and ACV (Organic Apple Cider Vinegar) and our weekly trip to our favorite Chiropractor,  we should be fit as fiddles. 

There are times when convenience is so alluring, times when you are just too tired to do things right, some times when you don’t plan like you (I) should.  When money is tight and you forgo the things that are the most beneficial for you.  And then you get sick and realize what you have done.  I am resolved, to not let our family go under-nourished again.  My family has never went underfed, but we have been under-nourished and it is time this Moma steps up to the plate and changes that. 
Let’s not be slaves to this overpriced and unhealthy food that is out there tempting you with time saving convenience… What good is time saving when we are doing nothing but damaging our families… Let’s take control of our lives and start really feeding our families body and soul.

So, if you don’t have the copy of NT… really it is an EXCELLENT purchase!! You can check here to buy your own copy.

Here is the recipe
Salsa the Nourishing Traditions Way
Makes 1 quart
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped chile pepper, hot or mild
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional… but not really)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of whey (if not available use and additional 1 tablespoon 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 veggies.  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 before transferring to cold storage.
That’s it… easy peasy.

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