Jul 5, 2013

Roasted Red Peppers {Preserved by Lacto-Fermenting}

Last fall my friend Brandy made and gave me lacto-fermented roasted red peppers. They might be my all time favorite fermented food.  She used the recipe straight from Nourishing Traditions.  If you've tried to like sauerkraut but just don't - well, let me encourage you to try these.  They're not too far from "normal."  If your family freaks out about the word "ferment" then just call it "pickled."

{Currently I'm not in my home kitchen so I had to make due with a few substitutions - like a pickle jar instead of a mason jar and aluminum pie pans instead of glass roasters.  It's all good.}

Onward and upward.

First preheat the oven to 450*.  Cut peppers in large-ish chunks and lay them skin side up in an oiled dish.  I used coconut oil and aluminum pan.  Three abnormally large red peppers and two pie pans were harmed in this demonstration.
Roast for 10 minutes or longer until you see blisters forming.  The blisters are important for removing the skin later.  Once you have decent blisters, flip them over and roast the other side for 10 more minutes.  Blistering could also be achieved over a flame (think grill or campfire).
When sufficiently roasted, sweat the skins in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes.
Now peel the skin off your feet peppers.  It's an easy task if they blistered properly.  A few of mine didn't blister completely and I couldn't get the skin off.  So I just left it on.  For the most part the skin came off easily.  Next time I make these, I will really burn these babies.

Now you have roasted red peppers.  Of course you can stop at this point or you can keep going and ferment them to increase their vitamin C as well as enzymes and probiotic power.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.”

  --Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, pg 89

To get a strain of lactobacilli, you can use the liquid that puddles in your yogurt container (or strain the yogurt to get this whey).  I have also used starter liquid from other ferments like sauerkraut. 

In a clean glass jar, dissolve 1 tablespoon of sea salt into 1.5 cups of warm, de-chlorinated water.  Next add 4 tablespoons of whey.  Drop your pieces of roasted red pepper in the jar then screw on the lid.  Be sure to leave some head room at the top of the jar.
Twelve hours later I had to relieve the pressure from the jar.  When you see bubbles forming on the sides or near the bottom (like above my thumb nail in below picture) that's when you know magic is happening.  Eventually I left the lid un-screwed (is that a word?).  The pressure kept building and I had other things to do than stand around and relieve pickled pepper pressure.  Say that 3 times fast.
Let it ferment or pickle on your counter for 3 days then refrigerate.
Mexican Potato Salad

How to use this delicious goodness:
- in hummus
- on a green salad
- give color to potato salad
- pasta salad
- sky's the limit!

Be sure that when you add a ferment to food that the food is cooled enough so as not to kill the beneficial bacteria.  Just don't add it to a casserole and bake it.

Other fermented pickled peppers:
banana peppers
jalapeno peppers

EDIT: Cultures for Health says that whey or a starter is not need for peppers.  If I have extra whey, or starter from a previous ferment, I like to use a little to ensure that "the good guys win."

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1 comment:

  1. We have the exact same stove.
    That is all.
    Except, wait, no it's not! THESE ARE AMAZING AND DELICIOUS.



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