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Mediterranean Diet Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe

Mediterranean Diet Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe By Registered Dietitian Maya Oueichek , MBA, RDN

As a registered dietitian, I'm thrilled to see evidence-based science, like gut health, trending in pop culture. We're still uncovering these incredible links between gut health and our well-being, influencing our immune system and mental health.


My personal go-to for promoting gut health is the ancient preservation practice of fermentation. Passed down by our ancestors, fermentation provides our bodies with healthful probiotics naturally—those 'good bacteria' that support digestion and nutrient absorption.


It can minimize food waste, promote local and seasonal eating, and reduce the ecological footprint of food production and preservation.


This fermented hot sauce is a delicious way to get started—perfect for repurposing surplus or less-than-fresh ingredients, like those old veggies at the bottom of your fridge or garden harvest leftovers.

Using a fermentation kit, fill a mason jar with cut-up veggies, top it with a saltwater brine, seal it, and let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least a week.

Bubbles? That's a sign of success!

Blend it all with apple cider vinegar, transfer to a vented container, and store it in the fridge.

Mediterranean Diet Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe

Besides the delicious taste, this recipe is about the interconnected benefits of promoting gut health, reducing food waste, and embracing environmental sustainability.


This recipe is a special collaboration with the Earth Alliance, aimed at inspiring you to embrace more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in your daily life.






















Mediterranean Diet Fermented Hot Sauce for Gut Health

Why you should try this Mediterranean Diet Gut Health Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe?


Promotes Gut Health:

This recipe involves fermentation, a process that naturally produces healthful probiotics, or 'good bacteria.' These probiotics support a thriving gut environment, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. By incorporating this homemade fermented hot sauce into your meals, you're promoting a healthier gut, which is linked to overall well-being.

Reduces Food Waste:

The recipe encourages repurposing surplus or less-than-fresh ingredients, such as old vegetables or garden harvest leftovers. This not only minimizes food waste but also allows you to make the most of ingredients that might otherwise be discarded. It's a sustainable approach to cooking that aligns with both health and environmental goals.

Embraces Environmental Sustainability:

Fermentation, beyond benefiting your health, contributes to environmental sustainability. By practicing fermentation, you're participating in a method that minimizes food waste, promotes local and seasonal eating, and reduces the ecological footprint of food production and preservation. Choosing sustainable cooking practices is not only good for your health but also for the planet.



Ingredients:


Mediterranean Diet Fermented Hot Sauce for Gut Health

For this recipe, I will be using two different flavor combinations to highlight the diversity of this concept.


Flavor Combo One: Inspired by Mexican Cuisine, Perfect for Your Taco Adventures

  • Green Bell Peppers

  • Yellow Caribe Peppers

  • Poblano Peppers

  • Habanero

  • Jalapeno

  • Shallots

  • Garlic

  • Carrots (essential for providing sugar for the fermentation process)




Flavor Combo Two: Inspired by Southeast Asian Cuisine, Perfect for Your Rice Bowls

  • Green Bell Peppers

  • Red Bell Peppers

  • Red Thai Chili Peppers

  • Green Thai Chili Peppers

  • Ginger

  • Shallots

  • Garlic

  • Mango (the source of sugar for the fermentation process)

Salt Water Brine:

I use a 3% Brine, which is 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt per cup of warm water until my jars are filled.

*Optional: 1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar after the fermentation is done to boost the flavor.




Directions:

Before you start, it's essential for everything to be clean and to follow food safety protocols, including washing your hands thoroughly and ensuring a sanitized cooking environment

1-Prepare Vegetables:

  • Wash and chop the peppers, shallots, garlic, and carrots according to the flavor combo you're using.

  • Create Flavor Combinations:

  • Combine the ingredients for each flavor combo in separate bowls.


2- Fill Mason Jars:

Using a fermentation kit, fill mason jars with the prepared vegetable combinations, leaving some space at the top.


3- Prepare Salt Water Brine:

In a separate container, prepare the saltwater brine by mixing 3% brine solution (1 1/4 teaspoons of salt per cup of warm water)


4- Pour Brine Over Vegetables:

Pour the saltwater brine over the vegetables in the jars, ensuring they are fully submerged. The brine acts as a preservative and creates an environment for the fermentation process to occur.

5- Seal and Ferment:

Seal the jars tightly and place them in a cool, dark place for at least a week. The sugar from the carrots in Flavor Combo One and the mango in Flavor Combo Two serve as the fuel for the fermentation process. The natural sugars will be converted into lactic acid by the beneficial bacteria, giving the hot sauce its unique flavor.

The longer you ferment, the more mellow the heat becomes, so the length of fermentation depends on your personal preference.

6- Check for Bubbles:

During fermentation, you may notice bubbles, which indicate that the fermentation is successful.


7- Blend and Store:

After a week, blend the fermented mixture until smooth. This is where you can add the vinegar if you want for a boosted flavor. Transfer the hot sauce into vented glass bottles and store in the fridge. The tight seal of a non-vented bottle can lead to gas buildup and potential explosions.


8- Enjoy:

Use your homemade fermented hot sauce on rice bowls, tacos, or any dish of your choice. Not only does it add a delicious kick, but it also brings the interconnected benefits of promoting gut health, reducing food waste, and embracing environmental sustainability to your plate. Cheers to a flavorful and sustainable creation!




Nutrition Benefits of this Fermented Hot Sauce:

Rich in Antioxidants: The variety of peppers, including bell peppers and chili peppers, contribute to the sauce's antioxidant content. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress in the body, supporting overall health.

Vitamin C Boost: Peppers, especially bell peppers, are excellent sources of vitamin C. This vitamin plays a crucial role in immune function, skin health, and collagen formation.

Digestive Health: The fermentation process naturally produces probiotics, promoting a healthy gut microbiome. A balanced gut contributes to better digestion and nutrient absorption.

Low in Added Sugar: The sugar used for fermentation comes from natural sources like carrots or mango, providing sweetness without the need for excessive added sugars. This makes the sauce a healthier option compared to many commercially available sauces.

Heart-Healthy Ingredients: Garlic and ginger, common in both flavor combinations, have been associated with heart health. They may help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.

Metabolism Boost: The spicy elements, such as habanero, jalapeno, and chili peppers, can temporarily increase metabolism, aiding in calorie burning.





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