Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Make Lacto Fermented Salsa - Cheap, Easy Recipe

Last week I posted my taco seasoning recipe, so now for salsa. It's funny, when I bought a jar of salsa, it didn't fit into my $1 per pound produce rule, as I got 24 ounces for $1.98, GV brand. Now I make 32 ounces for $1.97.

I was using the lacto-fermented recipe from Nourishing Traditions, but when I posted my taco seasoning recipe, a reader posted a good recipe that I adapted in my last batch to be lacto-fermented. By lacto-fermenting condiments they will last longer, although that is not a problem with us and salsa. A batch of salsa doesn't last us two weeks here because it is so good. Lacto-fermenting also adds nutrition for no extra cost.

Salsa has proven to be a better solution to getting some lacto-fermented veggies into my husband than pickles. Although he likes the pickles, unless I put them on his plate, he doesn't think to eat them. Since I'm obsessed with salsa, I just put it on his food when I put it on my food.

To keep the lacto-fermented benefits, I add it to the food when it's on the plate ready to be served, not when it's cooking on the stove. I add it to eggs, tacos, quesadillas and taco mac. By adding it to our eggs in the morning we are getting a lacto-fermented condiment every day, which I am thrilled about.

1 lb tomatoes - $1.19
2 small onions - $0.13
2 jalapeno peppers* - $0.25
3 cloves garlic* - $0.20
1/2 tablespoon cilantro* - $0.06
1 teaspoon oregano - $0.04
2 tablespoons lemon juice - $0.06
1 tablespoon sea salt - $0.02
4 tablespoons whey (or additional tablespoon of salt) - $0.02
1/4 cup water - $0

I don't bother peeling or deseeding my tomatoes, but you can.

Chop the veggies, then put all ingredients into the blender, a few at a time if necessary. Put in jars, covered and let sit at room temperature for two days. I had divide mine into two jars, since I was using old salsa jars. Then move it to the refrigerator.

*The garlic and cilantro are optional. I put in half the amount most recipes call for because I like the flavor of both, but I don't want them to be overpowering. You can add more jalapenos, but I add less because the hotter it is, the less I use. By keeping it mild, I can pour it on my food.

If you don't want it lacto-fermented, reduce the salt to a teaspoon, add more water, and refrigerate immediately.

Two Cent Apples

I'm not sure if this is regional, but my Walmart has apples on sale for $0.06 per pound. It was not an error. I checked with the produce guy. We bought over 21 pounds for $1.30. My husband put a limit on how many we should get, but I thought this was an amazing deal. I'm processing them into applesauce so I can freeze it. I'm going to have a busy crock pot!


Leah said...

Must be regional. I was at our local Wal-Mart last night (down here in Tennessee) and varieties were hovering around 1.30 (some more, some a little less). Good for you, though!

Caitlin said...

If you wrap your apples individually in old newspaper and store them in a dark, dry cabinet, they will hold for weeks. Just make sure they don't have any bruises first!

Megan said...

Wal-mart apples are no where near that price here, as of Sunday, anyways.

Also, I want to agree with Caitlin. I never knew that apples could be kept for months, but DH's family is from the deep south and his granny gave me a whole tutorial on it. They take the ones that aren't bruised and in good shape, wrap them in newspaper, and put them in their dark and dry cellar. I haven't got to try it myself, but apparently they keep just as well as potatoes do (although potatoes don't have to be wrapped in newspaper.)

Amanda said...

Hi. Can you explain how you freeze applesauce? I would love to try this. . .

PS. I love you blog. I look forward to it everyday. I live on more than you do, but take something away from this blog each day. Just because I have more resources does not mean God wants me to waste.


Emily said...

Amanda, it pretty simple, just put it in a tupperware or bag with some room for expansion. It's yummy semi-frozen, too, like ice cream.

Elizabeth said...

Nope, not at our Walmart either. But Target last week had 3 lb. bags of apples for 99cents, which is an awesome deal so I bought several. They also had 10 lbs. of potatoes for $1.99...wish I had bought more than one bag!

Anonymous said...

Ask a local orchard owner if you can pick up drops for free after the season is over. It's free and it's fun for the whole family :-) My mom used to glean blueberries and strawberries from a neighbor and we had tons of frozen fruit during the winter.

Roxanna said...

I am going to have to check our Walmart but I don't think they will have this deal. I don't think I have ever seen apples this cheap what type of apples were they?

Roxanna said...

Emily I was wondering if you knew there was a link for 'egg donation' on the bottom of your page?

SoMo said...

To prevent potatoes from sprouting put an apple in with them. This may not be a problem for non-humid areas, but works great down here.

I agree the apple price must be regional, because I am paying (New Orleans, LA) almost $2 a pound.

If you want an easier way to freeze applesauce or any other puree, use ice cube trays. I did this when making baby food. If you are trying to sneak veggies in by pureeing them, then this is perfect, too. Once they are frozen pop them out of the ice cube trays and put into a ziploc bag.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily
I enjoy your blog and I applaude your wise choices in regard to your resources. We live in Washington state and i never have to buy apples at the store.. theres always someone with an overloaded apple tree that love to give away the extra produce. But I choose to can applesauce in canning jars as well as lots of other produce. I usually take several days in august to can a years supply of all the produce we can get. Again thanks for all the great info.

Emily said...

They are McIntosh apples, from a farm an hour and a half away from us, I just noticed, so probably a regional deal.

Roxanna, it was a backlink, someone who linked to this page, but it was a little odd, just floating there, having nothing to do with my post, so I hid it.

Roxanna said...

I just noticed it so I thought I would say something :)

Clisby said...

Since you like Mexican food, you should make some huevos rancheros with the eggs poached in salsa, and served with tortillas and beans.

Rachel said...

I would pass out if I saw apples for .06 per lb.! that is an awesome deal. Then I would be making applesauce too. My mom said that my great grandmother used to make Lane cakes for Christmas. This is a traditional southern cake. She would make the cake weeks ahead of time, then put the cake in a cardboard box, surround with apples and put the lid on the box. She then put the box in her bedroom till Christmas. I remember eating this cake, always fresh and yummy.

Emily, I saw a report on the news the other night saying that it is estimated that Americans throw away about 40% of the edible food we have. I thought that is an incredible number. I have been trying to make sure we eat everything up. I do not want to contribute to this. Thought you might want to write about this. I'd really like to know if your readers are doing their best to not throw out food.

Anonymous said...

Wow! $0.06/lb for McIntosh apples! Great deal.

I love making applesauce, but that's a lot of applesauce. My mom used to freeze sliced apples just as easily. She probably put a bit of lemon juice on them before freezing. Then they are ready to pull out of the freezer for apple pie or apple crisp or whatever other wonderful apple dishes you can come up with! :)

Jena Webber said...

You found a great deal on those apples, girl! That's what I was going to say about your last applesauce post: you only need to make applesauce when you get a great deal on them--like you did! I have canned applesauce with success. I can't remember if you are into canning.

I have just started experimenting with whey! It's fun. I haven't tried the fermented veggies yet--thinking about making kimchee--just looked good from the recipe.

I made a "ton" of salsa and had several quart jars put up, and it's all gone already! I think I made 10-12 quart jars. We just eat too much around here--too fast. The good news is that my kids really liked it, since they don't always love it. Thanks for being such a regular on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Perfect I'm wanting to incorporate homemade lacto-ferments in these next two months as my probiotics run out. You make kitchen things look so easy!

I started up my first batch of homemade applesauce today. I'm not in a position to store up on sale items this year, but you gotta start somewhere. -Cris

Anonymous said...

Applesauce is delicious mixed into muffin batter or hot oatmeal, as well as over ice cream. In addition to just plain on its own, of course.

Anonymous said...

A couple of points.

1. Room-temperature fermentation is extremely dangerous if you haven't the ability to actually check the PH of the liquids or the salinity. Improper PH and salinity may allow a potentially harmful or deadly bacteria to grow. I find this to be an unacceptable risk. Cold fermentation (similiar to the Lagering of beer) takes a little longer, but is untilmately much more safe.

2. On the topic of using 'half-eaten' apples that your kids don't finish for applesauce (as you said "found around the house").. well, I find that to be extremely unsanitary and bordering on foolishness. Cooking may kill the bacteria and virus', but what about other foreign matter? Dirt, hair, animal scat...

I'd no sooner eat that applesauce than I would pick food off of someone's leftover tray at the McDonalds.

3. On the topic of Lacto-Fermentation, there is no scientific accepted proof that lacto fermentation has any benefit to the body; on the contrary, they are one of the number one vectors, worldwide, for food-bourne illnesses; as the very vast majority of people haven't the ability or knowledge to test for safety.

Also, fermentation destroys a number of chemical bonds that keep a number of proteins from becoming free radicals that ultimately are very destructive to the body and immune system.

Emily said...

Anon, thanks for sharing your opinion. If you have sources for ANY of your claims, those would be useful. Also, if you are going to quote me, please don't quote something I didn't actually say.

Angel said...

First I am so happy that your son is doing so much better!!
I am a new reader to several frugal type blogs, I get lost in the links sometimes and find myself reading and learning for hours at night! I love entertainment that is educational!
Finally to the point of my comment...Lacto fermenting.... Does it change the flavor or texture of the salsa? Did I read right that you can just use extra salt? If so what is the difference between the salt and the whey?

Emily said...

Angel, both promote the growth of the lactobacilli, a (good) bacteria that lives on plants. It is the lactobacilli that keeps out the putrifying bacteria. The salsa then becomes a probiotic, as this is a bacteria that is wonderful for our digestive system.

As far as taste, omitting the whey for salt makes the salsa a little thicker, but also slighty saltier, not much though. Whey tastes bitter, but that bitterness does not come through in the final product. I've done it both ways and enjoy both.

Angel said...

The pro biotic aspect of it is why I was wondering. I've been eating the way to expensive brand of yogurt for those benefits. I will definitely give this a try! So simple an addition to the salsa I already make nearly weekly. Thanks Emily.

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