Peter Piper loved picking the pickled peppers for a reason! Pickled peppers are tasty, crunchy and salty. Fermented bell peppers are wonderful. Just give them a try!
The trouble with fermenting bell peppers…
Many people say that fermenting bell peppers is tricky. Peppers are prone to molding pretty quickly and getting soft. Fermenting them right out of the garden or as soon as you bring them home from the store is ideal. Also, placing them in a 5% brine will help keep them crunchy. Don’t ferment them too long either. Three to five days is plenty of time for them to ferment. With carrots, celery, and cabbage we use a 2 ½ to 3% brine, 5% is only necessary for a vegetable that is more prone to getting mushy, and moldy. The higher salt content will help keep the peppers crunchy and free from mold. They turn out rather salty, but the wonderful taste of the bell pepper shines through.
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- A set of Fermentools or just a starter kit, depending on how much fermenting you would like to do. Or you can use a different fermentation vessel, such as a crock.
- Wooden spoon for stirring.
- Toothpicks for taste testing, you don’t want to use a fork, the metal may mess with the good bacteria we are growing.
- Mason jar/s – I like to ferment several peppers at a time and use a half gallon mason jar, but you can use a pint or a quart, if you only have or want to do a couple peppers at a time. Which is a good idea for your first time fermenting peppers.
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- Bell peppers, enough to fill the size of your vessel. Whether it is a pint size mason jar or a large crock. 2-3 bell peppers will fit nicely in a quart size mason jar.
- 5% Brine using Himalayan salt
- Filtered water
Fermented Bell Pepper Recipe:
Any bell pepper will do. Yellow, green or red. I like to do a variety, that way you get all the beautiful colors.
- Wash, and remove seeds. Chop roughly.
- Place in mason jar/ or other vessel, leave a 1-2 inch headspace. Bigger jars will need more headspace and more weights.
- Add the weights.
- Add a 5% brine, fill until just over the weights. Add more weights if needed. Give the weights a little push to make sure they are down as much as possible.
- Secure Fermentools onto the mason jar.
- Find a place away from the light and somewhere with a temperature of around 65°F to 75°F. I find that a pantry shelf is the perfect place for my ferments.
- Ferment for 3-5 days.
- Taste the peppers on day 3 and see if the taste suits your taste buds. If not stick them back in to ferment for a couple more days.
- When fermenting has completed, place in the refrigerator and enjoy the crisp, and rich tastes of your fermented peppers.
How to eat fermented bell peppers:
- They are wonderful in a salad, and add a great crunch factor.
- Gazpacho, make a fermented cold soup using mostly fermented foods. (link to gazpacho recipe)
- Add it to a cracker with some cheese and maybe some summer sausage. For this you may want to cut them a little differently.
- My favorite way is to eat them right out of the jar. They may be too salty for some people, but I find it is a wonderful treat!
- Add them as garnish to a hot soup, but add them last. If heated too much they will lose their good bacteria qualities.
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