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Melissa’s Easy Fermented Salsa

From our Friend, Melissa Humphries, The Primitive Diva.

You will need the following ingredients:

6-8 Fresh tomatoes
2- 3 green onions, chopped
1 large size chopped jalapeno(seeded)
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or pressed
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1-2 limes
2 T. sea salt
1/4 c. filtered water with tsp of salt (This is the brine)

Pulse in food processor until it reaches a consistency that you enjoy. Some prefer a chunkier salsa. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Press down lightly until the juices rise up; if there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add a little brine water. The top of the vegetables/liquid should be about an inch below the top of the jar. Cover with a loose jar lid OR a towel, place jar in a bowl to catch any expansion overflow and keep at room temperature in a dark and undisturbed area for about 5 days before sealing and transferring to the fridge.

A note about timing: that “5 days” is a very subjective figure. It depends on a number of factors. The temperature of your kitchen is also a factor. I like the flavor that develops at 5 days; however, you may let it ferment for up to several weeks.

How do you know when it’s done? Taste it every single day. Open it up, press the vegetables down, and give them a taste. When it tastes really good (slightly effervescent), it’s done. You’ll know it’s done when it starts to taste less salty.

I don’t know that I’d let this one go TOO long… probably better slightly fermented than sauerkraut-level fermented.

There are MANY variations with salsa, so you can experiment with a few of your favorites. Add a variety of fresh peppers, fruits, carrots, etc… You could, for example, make a Salsa Verde with substituting the tomatoes with tomatillos and addition of cucumber.

By |2014-02-14T11:53:44-06:00February 14th, 2014|General|

Immune Boosting Foods To Keep You Well

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Supplementation is often a necessary step to ensuring our body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients necessary for optimal healthy living.  Many of our food sources are contaminated, and we don’t always choose the right variety and quality of food necessary to stay well.  But that does not mean we should not make every effort to eat well and make wise food choices.  We know that Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Probioticsare all critical players in the ability of the immune system to fend off disease and germs.  To help you make wise food choices that will arm your immune system with all the right weaponry, we have provided a list of the best food sources for each of these key immune boosting foods.

Zinc is found in highest levels in oysters, though they can also be ocean polluted with chemicals and metals so are not recommended as a daily food choice.  Better daily sources include grass fed beef, lamb, pork, liver, herring, egg yolks, pecans, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, mustard, chili powder, and black pepper.

Vitamin D is difficult to obtain from food and the body’s ideal source is to manufacture it from cholesterol in our skin from the ultra violet rays of the sun. With busy indoor lives, northern climates, cholesterol-lowering medications, clothes covering our skin and concerns about skin cancer, we are getting less sunshine, so Vitamin D deficiency is very common. We recommend supplementation of Vitamin D with regular monitoring for optimal levels by your healthcare professional.  However, modest amounts of naturally occurring vitamin D are provided in egg yolks, butter, liver, mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, mushrooms and dark leafy greens.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that our bodies cannot manufacture and is only available in plant foods.  It is also not very stable, so is most potent and available in very fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Fresh vegetable juicing and eating fresh, whole fruits are two very effective ways to get Vitamin C.  All fruits and vegetables are very good sources but the very highest levels are found in the citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, parsley, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.

Probiotics are the amazing bacteria that form the military force that protects your body from invasions of every kind.  Also called favorable or “friendly” bacteria, they serve to help in the production of some B vitamins and vitamin K, breakdown our food, and inhibiting the growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  This is especially true of invading germs that arrive in, and on, our food. While we recommend probiotic supplementation, fermented and cultured foods are the ideal choice due to the very high population or concentration of living friendly bacteria. Unfortunately, food processing has killed the living aspects of most of our foods so few foods exist today in typical grocery stores that are truly living and full of favorable live bacteria. Whole Foods stores carry several brands of fermented sauerkraut and a high quality organic, living yogurt.  (Most live cultures in typical store bought yogurts are inconsequential in number, damaged by pasteurization and combined with a great deal of sugar.) Additionally, fermented vegetables can also be purchased online at Immunitrition.com. Additional resources to learn more about fermenting foods can be found on the Internet at many websites, one such example is www.culturesforhealth.com.

Eat Well, Stay Well!

By |2014-03-03T11:01:43-06:00February 14th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|