This year we expanded our garden by double. It pretty much goes from the curb in the front yard all the way down the side of the house to the back fence line. We had BIG plans for a sucessful garden. And most of them suceeded.
The 5 different varieties of peppers? Not so much.
But we did have 1 banana pepper plant survive & completely flourish. And I don’t really like raw banana peppers, so I was kind of bummed. But I still was determined to preserve them.
So I canned them like pickled pepperocini’s. That resulted in homesteading failure #479. 10 pint jars of good flavored, but mushy, grainy peppers. Disappointing to say the least.
So I started giving them away…by the gallons. And even the recipients said that we’ve got to figure out a way to pickle them without losing the “crunch” of the pepper. So I tried “hot packing” them so they wouldn’t be in the water bath canner turning to mush. That was failure #480. They had the “crunch” this time, but the flavor was awful!
So I kept giving them away. Dang peppers were makin’ me crazy!
Then I found a recipe, which I know wish I had during the peak of pepper season here in Texas, because now the production has nearly stopped all-together. It’s perfect flavor & perfect “crunch”!
The recipe I found isn’t for Banana Peppers, but pepperocini’s instead -which I’ve slightly adapted.
Here’s my rendition of:
Lacto-Fermented Banana Peppers
Enough banana peppers to fill a quart size wide-mouth mason jar, sliced if you want them sliced, whole if you want them whole- leave at least an inch of headspace
Take a skinny pint jar and place it inside the opening of the quart jar to weigh the peppers down under the salty water line. You don’t want the peppers themselves exposed to the air.
Then cover the top jar down to the opening of the bottom jar with a cheese cloth or something similar that will allow it to “breath” without letting dust or fruit flies in.
Let it sit for 1 week to a month- tasting it every week until you reach the desired salty/soured flavor & crispness. It took 2 weeks for mine to get right where I liked ’em.
Once flavor is achieved- disassemble your rig, put a lid on your pepper jar & refrigerate. If you happen to not devour them immediately, it’s okay- they will last up to 6 months (maybe longer) in the fridge.
Here’s my final product:
Oh! And the good news is these pretty little peppers are really, really good for you! Lots of probiotics are made in the process of fermentation, so you’ll be doing your gut & tastebuds a favor 🙂
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