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Recipe: End Of Summer Lacto-Fermented Garden Salsa

At the end of summer the nights get cooler, the hot days seem fleeting, and the garden is at its peak. It would be a crime not to pick those plump tomatoes and sweet peppers and preserve them into a salsa that will keep for months naturally through fermentation. This recipe does just that. You can use a food processor to make this a saucier salsa or chop everything by hand for a fresh, chunky salsa. You may savor these slow-food moments come winter.


  • 1 large onion or a large bunch of green onions, diced
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves (chopped fine)
  • 2-1/2 Lbs. Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. coarse Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/2 cup whey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water


  1. Combine onion, bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro in food processor. Pulse 3 to 5 times until coarsely chopped. Add 1/3 of the tomatoes and pulse 2 to 3 times until room is made for additional tomatoes. Repeat with another 1/3 of tomatoes. Finally, add the last of the tomatoes and pulse an additional 3 to 5 times.
  2. Pour contents of food processor into large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sea salt, cayenne powder, and whey. Stir well and allow to sit a few minutes while you prep your containers.
  3. Wash 2 quart jars or 1/2 gallon jar well with soap and hot water. Do the same for a food funnel and jar lids. Make sure you rinse everything well. Ladle the salsa into jars, leaving 2 to 3 inches of head space. Add water to submerge the salsa.
  4. Close lid tightly and leave at room temperature for a few days, until bubbly and fermented. During this process the solid vegetables may separate from the liquid. Simply stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until redistributed and submerged under the liquid.
  5. Transfer to cold storage.