Fermented Jalapeños are a hot and spicy way to add kick to any meal with the added benefit of probiotic goodness to boost your microbiome.
A Tablespoon a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
I don’t actually know if that is true, but hey, I am a big fan of any way you can get healthy gut bacteria into your microbiome. In our house, we call these the “good guys” and my 6-year-old can tell you all about them. Check out this little book by Lindsey Garvin called The Army Inside You: A Children’s Guide to the Microbiome if you are interested in teaching your littles about the impact of their food choices. Brilliantly done!
I remember hearing once that the first thing you feed your body in the morning sets the stage for how your body will function throughout the day. Fermenting foods multiplies their nutrient content and helps the digestion process. Your gut is the center of your immune system, so the healthier your gut, the healthier your body. We must work with our body to give it what it needs to heal, repair, strengthen, and thrive. If you give your body foods loaded with probiotics and prebiotics (high-fiber foods that the healthy gut bacteria, the “good guys,” feed on) then they will multiply and take over your microbiome which will leave less room for the “bad guys.”
In simplified terms, if you were going to surround a city with police officers sent in to protect an area, it is less likely going to be invaded by the “bad guys” because they are surrounded. Shout out to our Police Force for all the amazing work they do and the sacrifices they make for our continuous safety!!! How did we get off on that topic? Back to the recipe…
Fermented Food Sources
I like to try and serve a Tablespoon of fermented foods along with every meal to aid in digestion and give our bodies living food. Foods like fermented applesauce, sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, sourdough bread, fermented salsa, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, shrubs, fermented ginger carrots, even condiments like fermented ketchup or mayonnaise, preserved lemon, and of course these fermented jalapeños, are all amazing ways to keep your microbiome happy.
Usually, I make three quarts of these at a time because I have a large family. I order about four pounds of jalapeños and fresh garlic from my local favorite farm, Read Thread Farm, and spend about 30 minutes preparing three jars. All you need to do is clean and sterilize a few quart-size ball jars, slice your peppers, smash your garlic, and add salt and water. Bada Bing Bada Boom…and you are done!
Just a hint, if you are sensitive to heat, I would recommend wearing gloves when chopping peppers. Even if you clean your hands really well, the oils stick to your skin. Without thinking you may accidentally rub areas not intended for jalapeños, like your eyes, and your children…(use your imagination). Not fun. Kind of reminds me of the time I ignorantly touched a cactus and then without thinking proceeded to try and remove the prickly spines from my fingers with my teeth and tongue !@#% Don’t do that…ever. How did we get on that topic?
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
This really is a simple recipe. Technically, the only thing in this recipe necessary to measure is the salt per pint. You slice the jalapeños, place a smashed garlic clove into the bottom of the jar, fill the jar with the sliced jalapeños and then sprinkle the salt over top. Top with a clean Wide-Mouth Glass Weight to hold the jalapeños under the brine so they don’t mold or spoil. Finally, fill the jar with filtered water, allowing a 1 inch space at the top. Seal with a Fermenting Lid and rock back and forth to allow the salt to disperse.
- 1 3/4 cups sliced jalapeños (about 8-10 depending on size)
- 1-2 smashed (not chopped) garlic cloves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt such as Celtic Sea Salt
- Filtered water
- Place garlic at the bottom of a clean pint ball jar and add your sliced jalepenos.
- Measure out the salt and sprinkle over jalepenos.
- Place glass weight on top and press down, allowing 1 " space at top of jar.
- Fill jar with filtered water, allowing 1" space at top of jar.
- Seal with fermenting lid and rock back and forth to allow salt to disperse throughout jar.
- Wipe down jar.
- Place in a a cabinet or on the counter covered with a towel for 5-7 days, depending on the temperature of your house. Transfer to refrigerator and store for up to 2 months. I personally have never made it past a few weeks. We eat them on everything.
Wear gloves while chopping jalepenos if you are sensitive to pepper heat
Time After Time
Wipe down the jars and place in a cabinet or cover with a towel and place on the counter for 5-7 days (depending on the temperature of your home). Transfer jar to the refrigerator and consume within 2 months. These are so yummy on anything from sandwiches to soup, so I can’t see them staying in your refrigerator for longer than a few weeks.
Don’t forget to mark on the calendar when your peppers will be done. As much as you might think your mind is so amazing and can remember every detail from yesterday, trust me in 2 days you will forget what the white looking sheet on your counter is and how long it has been there. Yes, you know what I am saying. I know you have things in your freezer that are not labeled because you were so sure that you couldn’t possibly forget what was in that quart sized container that looks like everything else in the freezer. Trust me. Just count out 5-7 days and then your peppers will be perfect.
Feeling Hot Hot Hot
Serve these hot babies on everything from sandwiches, soups, garnished on chicken curry, tacos, veggie stew, scrambled eggs… maybe even ice cream. Hey, they make garlic ice cream at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. Why not jalapeños? How did we get on that topic?
Wide Mouth Ball Jars (the best price I found on these was at Walmart)
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In everything you do -eat, play, and, love- may it always be Seasoned with Joy!