If you’re looking for an easy, healthy way to perk up your dishes for very little money lacto-fermentation is a great way to do it! It’s been used for centuries to enhance flavor, helps boost our body health, preserve food for leaner months and it still plays a very important part of our lives the world over. In fact, studies on the benefits of fermentation have shown that the consumption of fermented foods is associated with reduced risks of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease, along with improved weight management.
The basics of lacto-fermentation is lactobacillus, or good bacteria, is a salt resistant bacteria that converts the sugars in food(s) into lactic acid. Lactobacillus is a natural preservative that helps prevent bad bacteria growth, increases flavor and nutrients.
To get started with lacto-fermentation you really only need a few things and they’re all things that most of us already have in our pantry. Salt, vegetables, water, some sort of food safe container to contain everything and time. You can also ferment pretty much any vegetables, and meat, you desire. So the sky really is the limit!
In this recipe I’m going to show you a easy recipe that I use multiple times per week that works as an ingredient in almost any dish or a condiment for burgers, wings, dogs, etc.
3-4 Medium/Large Jalapenos (Whole or halved) 10 oz Whole Garlic Cloves (Halved is fine too) Enough Water To Cover 3 % Salt By Weight A container large enough to contain your vegetables and water
- In a large bowl add all ingredients, minus the salt and water, and mix completely.
- Place your empty Mason jar, or container, on a kitchen scale and tare it.
- Pour the chilies and garlic into your empty container.
- Pour in enough water to fully cover your chilies and garlic. You do not need to fill the container completely.
- Check the weight of your filled container and write it down.
- Using the weight of your filled container, multiply the weight by .03 to get the total weight of salt needed.
- With a clean kitchen cloth, or paper towel, clean the threads of your container.
- Attach your air lock to your fermentation lid and then attach the lid to your filled container.
- Sit your container in an out of the way location in your kitchen and allow to ferment for 7-14 days.
- Once your pickle reaches the desired level of fermentation replace the fermentation lid with a water tight lid and store in the fridge.
When you're ready to use your fermented chilies/garlic simply remove the desired amount and chop as needed. You can also use the brine in any number of ways like sauces, marinades and even deserts in some cases.
Keeping your fermented pickle in the fridge will slow down the fermentation, but it will not fully stop it. If you wish to fully stop the fermentation process place your sealed container in a pot of boiling water and allow to bail for 10 minutes. This should be enough to kill any live fermentation bacteria, but it will reduce the freshness of your pickle a bit.