Fermented jalapenos

Fermented jalapenos are my husband’s favorite. They taste just like what you typically find in the jar on the grocery store shelves, but are made without using distilled vinegar and have no preservatives.

These are easy to make. If you have never tried to ferment any food. This recipe would be a great place to begin, providing you like jalapenos. Just slice, add to a jar with salt water brine and leave on counter top for a couple of days.

Left (Ready to eat.) / Right (First day prep and using an airlock system.)

Ingredients: (This recipe will make a 16 ounce jar. The recipe can be doubled or increased as you wish. )

  • 4-6 large jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • sea salt water brine (2 TBS sea salt/32 ounces of filtered water)

Directions:

  1. Add sliced jalapeno peppers to a clean jar. (A Mason type jar with a plastic lid is recommended.)
  2. Fill jar with the sea salt water brine up to at minimum 1 inch from the top of the jar.
  3. Add cap and leave on counter top or place in a cabinet, out of direct sunlight, for at least two days. You may want to sit the jar inside of a bowl to catch any juices that may escape.

Notes:

  • Jalapeno peppers are ready when the color seems to have faded from deep green to a lighter shade
  • Leave (or take away) membranes and seeds to adjust the HOT level
  • Use a wide-mouth jar and glass weight to guarantee that peppers stay submerged underneath the salt water brine. Or, simply open the jar on day two/three and press jalapenos under the salt water brine.
  • Use an air-lock system to prevent air-bubbles (created during fermentation process) from pushing the juices out of the jar.

Purchase a Fermentation Kit to make fermenting easy!

Lactofermented Cucumbers

(Just one more fermented recipe to add this week.  Hopefully this will give you a variety of fermented foods to try while you are seeking healing.  I originally began writing this article a few months ago. So, now the pickles are gone and I need to make more.  Everyone in my family who likes pickles liked these. Remember, these pickles are good for you.  These pickles lack the yellow #5 and preservatives that are found in store-bought commercial pickles.)

After 3 weeks of waiting, I finally got to try my lactofermented cucumbers (vinegar-free pickles).  I’m not even a pickle eater, but I will eat these because they are a healthy snack due to the Lactobacilli (live bacteria) benefits they provide.  This food will help heal my digestive system.

The recipe is from the Internal Bliss Cookbook designed for those following the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet.  All recipes are grain-free, refined-sugar-free, and lactose-free.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers, unwaxed (necessary)
1 medium onion*
sea salt
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
dill blossoms to taste

optional: 2-3 cloves garlic*, peeled; 1 tsp coriander seeds; 3 bay leaves, raspberry, currant or grape leaves; 1-2 small hot red peppers (dried is fine); 1 Anaheim or sweet green pepper*, seeded and sliced.

*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut the onion in quarters.  If you are using small whole cucumbers, poke a couple of holes in each one with a sharp knife.  Cucumbers should be a consistent size. 
  2. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar with your choice of seasonings.
  3. Make a brine of 2TBS sea salt per quart of filtered water. Pour over vegetables.  Make more if necessary to fully cover the cucumbers.
  4. Put the lid on, but not tight.  Put the jar onto a plate or something to catch any liquid that might bubble over.  Put into a dark cabinet for one week.
  5. After the week of fermentation, remove leaves, cap jar and place into the refrigerator for two weeks to mellow.
Note:  Just like the book warned that there might be a layer of white yeast (kahm yeast)  which shows up – my pickles did have this yeast.  But it was nothing to worry about and it did not affect the pickles in any way.
They were really good on my “bun-less” grass-fed burger with homemade ketchup.
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Sauerkraut

Just yesterday I posted an article about how to make homemade yogurt using a homemade yogurt maker. So today I would like to talk about another fermented food that I eat often – sauerkraut.

I had never eaten (or even tasted) sauerkraut until I started the GAPS Diet.  I’d heard a bit about sauerkraut in my adult life, but not much other than it’s something some people put onto a hot dog. Mostly I’d only seen it in the movies or references to hot dogs in New York.  Well, I’m from the South and the only thing I’d ever put on my hot dog was chili, cheese, onions and mustard.  OK…back to the purpose.

Sauerkraut made at home, just like a good homemade yogurt, is full of good bacteria (probiotics) to help heal the digestive system. Up to this point, I’ve only made two batches. My first batch included green cabbage, carrots, onions and garlic.  When it was completed…the smell was, well, overwhelming to my senses and everyone else in the house.  Yet, I still ate it because I needed it.  But, for my second batch I decided to keep it simpler and only used red cabbage.  The red cabbage sauerkraut was milder and less “smelly” and very good, might I add.  My husband allows me to put in on his sandwiches. Therefore, this is my desired recipe for a simple sauerkraut.
Ingredients:  

1 medium size red cabbage

1 – 2 TBS of sea salt

Tools:

1 quart or 1/2 gallon size mason jar

A strong set of “clean” hands

Directions:  
  1. Thinly slice the cabbage with a knife or use the slicing disc of a food processor.  You might want to keep 1 large leaf for step 5.
  2. Put the cabbage into a big bowl that is large enough so that the cabbage doesn’t fill it to the rim.
  3. Add 1 – 2 TBS of sea salt and start kneading with clean hands.
  4. Continue kneading until you produce enough liquid so that when you pack into the jar, you will be able to push the cabbage beneath the liquid.
  5. Pack the mixture into the jar leaving only liquid on top and some space between the liquid and the top of the jar.  If you reserved a leaf, you can place the leaf on top to keep the shredded cabbage from floating to the top.  Hint:  In my last batch I put in a smaller “baby food” jar on top to hold down the cabbage.
  6. Put the top onto the Mason jar, but not tightly.  Just enough so that it will not fall off.  You can then cover with a towel or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band to be sure that gnats or
    smaller bugs do not try to get to it.  Be sure that your sauerkraut can breathe and expand as needed. Although I didn’t have a problem with any bugs trying to get into sauerkraut.
  7. Place inside of a dark cabinet on top of a bowl or plate that can collect any liquid which might escape during the fermentation process.
  8. Ferment for 3 – 7 days.  (I’ve not taken note of this yet, but many say it will stop bubbling when fermentation has completed.)
  9. Place into refrigerator. You can eat immediately. Many agree it tastes best when given a week or two to mellow out before eating, but it can continue to “mellow” even while you are enjoying it. (Just remember to ALWAYS use a clean spoon when serving the sauerkraut.)
Sauerkraut will last for months as long as it’s refrigerated.  I have usually remove what I will use for the week and put that amount into a smaller jar in order to preserve my larger batch.

Recipe for a sweeter sauerkraut:

1 head of purple cabbage

1 fresh whole pineapple, cored

1/3 to 1 cup of cilantro

2 – 3 green onion stalks OR 1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion

juice of 1 lime

1 TBS Sea Salt

Follow same directions as above. You can add the onion, lime juice and cilantro just before packing into jar.

“Sauerkraut…is commonly consumed in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe. It is a wonderful healing remedy for the digestive tract full of digestive enzymes, probiotic bacteria, vitamins and minerals.  Eating it with meats will improve digestion as it has a strong ability to stimulate stomach acid production.”  (Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, p 196, United Kingdom: Medinform Publishing, 2011.)

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