Fermented Jalapenos - The Most Delicious Pickled Peppers
About This Fermented Jalapenos Recipe
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked? Where indeed? In his belly no doubt!
Red or Green, these exotic fat peppers or chile gordo, have been seducing our palate for centuries. Stuffed with cheese, mixed into stews or sauces, or sprinkled over pizzas and tacos, these peppers turn ordinary dishes into a culinary fiesta. Originating in Mexico, jalapenos are now cultivated around the world from California, to Spain, to India. Nothing could be easier than fermenting jalapenos. You get to enjoy a favorite condiment/ingredient all year round. The best part, you know it’s full of healthy goodness because you made it and know exactly what went into it. Apart from saving money and eating well, fermenting your own food is satisfying. It connects us briefly to our inner hunter-gatherer and helps us appreciate getting back to the basics.
Health Benefits of Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
Besides tantalizing your tastebuds with its bold flavor, jalapenos are packed with nutritional goodness. They don’t just spice up your food, they provide your body with a host of essential health benefiting compounds. Notably wonder chemical, Capsaicin - the same active alkaloid compound that is responsible for the pepper’s heat; and, Vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against heart disease and more. But that’s not all. These little peppers provide our bodies with so much to work with.
- Helps fight against cancer. High levels of Vitamin C help prevent healthy cells into mutating in to cancerous cells.
- Helps boost the immune system.
- Capsaicin helps with weight loss and migraine relief.
- Capsaicin efficiently clears the sinuses helping with nasal congestion.
- Rich in Vitamin B-vitamin complex, such as folic acid which is helpful to pregnant women.
Gives new meaning to that age old expression, “you are what you eat” doesn’t it? Of course, the best way to take advantage of all these nutrients would be to consume this fruit either raw or in its next best form, fermented.
How to make Fermented Jalapenos
It can get slightly annoying if you’re anticipating a fiery kick as you bite into that juicy jalapeno and all you get is a mild teaser of what could have been. When choosing jalapenos (for the below recipe), how can you make out the spicy from the mellow? Rule of thumb, the younger the pepper the milder the flavor. A jalapeno’s heat factor goes up with age. The skin on an older jalapeno looks duller and less glossy, often accompanied with tiny white lines/creases. Of course, for the full blown experience go for the red variety - again, keep an eye out for duller skin marked with those tiny white lines.
What You Need
- 1 Quart sized mason jar
- 10-12 jalapeno peppers or enough to fill a quart sized jar
- 3 Tbsp. unrefined salt
- 1 Quart of fresh, unchlorinated water
- 1/2 of an onion, sliced
- 4-5 medium sized cloves of garlic, peeled
- Easy Fermenter Lids (not required)
- Fermenting Weights (not required)
- In a saucepan heat water. Add salt and stir till dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- Slice each jalapeno in half, right down the middle (wearing gloves would be advisable; if not, make sure to wash hands straight after.)
- Place garlic cloves and onion sliced in the bottom of a pre-sterilized, wide mouth mason glass jar. Next, add in the jalapenos.
- Carefully pour the cooled brine over the pepper mix until completely covered but leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace.
- It is always recommended that you keep your veggies (or technically fruit in this case) below the brine. If you are looking for tips to keep your vegetables submerged check out our guide here: Tips on keeping your vegetables submerged.
- Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter Lid and place the Fermentation Weights in the jar to ensure perfect fermentation results.
- Store in a cool, dark place (room temperature 60-70°F is preferred,) for 4-7 days. You can begin to test your ferment at the 4 day mark. If it is not ready, just reseal and test again in a day or so.
- Once jar has been opened, move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop with time.
Fermented jalapenos intensify in heat and flavor the longer they are kept to pickle. They bring a new dimension of tastiness to everyday cooking. Friends and relatives will be super impressed with this show of culinary competence.
A Visual Guide on how to can jalapeno peppers
Variations to this Fermented Jalapenos Recipe
The traditional way of preserving jalapenos (dating back to Aztec times) would be smoking. Fun fact - the popular chipotle peppers are nothing more than smoked jalapenos! The two other popular commercial methods are drying or pickling. Since, most of us don’t have a food dehydrator lying around or the time (not to mention energy costs) to hang around the oven while the long drying process takes its course, let’s stick to a more practical solution - pickling. A technique that’s Fun, Fast, Flavorsome!
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