Guest post by Sarica Cernohous
Freshly made salsa is so delightful–it is a perfect compliment to eggs, meats, beans, you name it. And it is one of those condiments that makes nearly everyone happy, whether they’re following Paleo Diet principles, GAPS dietary prescriptions or raw food ideals. Or, maybe someone just doesn’t bother too much with concern for their nutrition…fresh salsa works for this group, too (and it is a great way to get some fantastic nutrition into them, with a smile on their face!)
I love preparing and enjoying food in its proper season…and since we live in the desert southwest of the U.S., all of these ingredients are here, even in winter. This is fantastic, as this recipe is a great source of naturally-occurring Vitamin C and gut-boosting beneficial bacteria, thanks to the water kefir and mild fermentation. Both of these qualities are real boosts when it’s cold and flu season (and this salsa tastes great!)
This is a blended salsa–in this instance, I’ve used our food processor. However, if you only have a blender, feel free to use it. Either kitchen tool works fine.
This recipe can be enjoyed without the inclusion of the water kefir and the 24 hour room-temperature fermentation cycle, and it will be incredibly delicious if you choose to prepare it this way. But, if you do choose to follow the recipe as delivered in its entirety, you’ll not only have the boost to the beneficial bacterial profile, but the salsa will last much longer (remember, fermentation is an ancient food preservation technique–and when combined with the modern-day convenience of refrigeration, the combination can lend itself to an extended shelf life.) However, this benefit of the salsa storing longer in the refrigerator if mildly fermented is really a moot point–it is so tasty, it won’t last long in any case!
Mildly Fermented Fresh Tomato and Cilantro Salsa
Makes approximately 2 quarts salsa
- Approximately 4 cups organic Cherry or Plum Tomatoes
- 2 organic Bell Peppers, preferably red, yellow or orange, coarsely chopped
- Approximately 1 cup loosely packed organic Cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 3-4 organic Green Onions (Scallions), rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen organic Pineapple and/or Mango
- 4-5 cloves organic Garlic
- 1 organic Jalapeño Pepper, seeds removed if you don’t want it too hot
- 3 teaspoons Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
- 1/4 cup Water Kefir (Kombucha or fresh Whey would work as well)
Place tomatoes in the carafe of the food processor or blender and coarsely chop, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend/chop well until incorporated and uniform. Spoon into 2 glass quart-sized jars, cap with lids, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours (do this final step if you’ve added some kind of culture for fermentation–such as water kefir. Otherwise, you can simply store the salsa in the refrigerator immediately.) If mildly fermented before refrigeration, you can expect the salsa to last at least a week in the refrigerator. If no fermentation has occurred, then plan to enjoy the salsa within four days.