Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Remains of the Garden: Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtiums

devon 2 Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

lacto-fermented hot sauce

Remains of the Garden: Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtiums

Devon 2 Comments

Lacto-fermented hot sauce with nasturtiums, two ways! A spicy red batch with flowers & a milder green batch with leaves results in sauces with herbal flair.

The gardening season is pretty much over now.  Sure, there will be some cabbages, beets, and Brussel sprouts to harvest in the coming weeks, but the potatoes, squash, corn, and carrots have long been absent from the garden.  My hopes of a pantry full of salsa and stewed heirloom tomatoes have been dashed by the ever persistent rains.  The few batches I did get through won’t be enough to satisfy our appetites through the winter ahead.  However, strangely unaffected by the Pacific Northwest rains, my row of hot peppers remained productive well into these colder, wetter weeks.  Without the tomatoes for more salsa, I had to find an alternative use for these precious peppers. Lest I let them rot away into the ground.  Inspired by my friends at Gather and Grow Forage Cook Ferment, I decided on an herbal-y twist to lacto-fermented hot sauce.

A simple gaze out my kitchen window gave me just the initiative to make something wonderful.  Like the peppers, the nasturtiums are still stubbornly blooming in the planter outside my studio.  If you never tasted nasturtiums before, both leaves and flowers have a peppery, piquant zing that is truly remarkable.  With enough peppers for a couple quart sized batches of lacto-fermented hot sauce, I decided on two blends.  First, a scorching hot batch of fully ripe red peppers (mostly red jalapenos, serranos, a few paprika and other assorted varieties) with the nasturtium flowers.  Then, a comparatively milder, but still intense variation of green peppers (Anaheim, mole, and green jalapeno) with the nasturtium leaves.

From an herbalist’s perspective, both hot peppers and nasturtiums are stimulating and viscerally warming, full of vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.  Flower essences made with nasturtium are said to clear and focus an overly busy mind, energize a tired brain, and arrest over thinking tendencies.  This is a hot sauce with some major therapeutic action.


Lacto-fermentation is a unique process that preserves the bounty of a season’s harvest.  It also encourages the presence of beneficial bacteria that promote proper gut health and immune system function when consumed.  Lactic acid forming bacteria, such as lactobacillus and pediococcus, are present on virtually every natural thing and will flourish in the right environment.  These lactic acid bacteria are responsible for foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and others, and serve to out-compete infectious bacteria in the gut.  And they make things taste really good.  Lacto-fermented hot sauce may be a little intense for the more sensitive types, but it carries a healthy dose of both soul warming heat and beneficial bacteria.

lacto fermented hot sauce with nasturtiums

Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce

I chopped each batch’s peppers, garlic and nasturtium in the food processor until the mixtures were fine and paste-like.  After packing into quart jars, I added sea salt, spring water, and whey from a recent yogurt batch.  The whey isn’t necessary, however the addition helps to kick-start the fermentation process).  It is best to use fermentation weights like these to keep the solids submerged (preventing the formation of mold) and air lock lids like these.  Heck, there are even entire kits devoted to lacto-fermentation like this.  I intend to let my hot sauces ferment for 2-3 weeks, until the mixture takes on a noticeably lacto-fermented flavor – somewhat vinegar-y, but fully developed and “rounded”.  After that I will bottle the lacto-fermented hot sauce up in bottles like these and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lacto-fermented hot sauce with nasturtiums is incredibly easy and a fast project to spice up a rainy, fall afternoon.  Or any afternoon, for that matter.  The only problem is that it isn’t ready immediately – my kitchen smells amazing right now, so this wait simply isn’t fair!

{I will be updating this post to include post fermentation notes on this hot sauce}.

lacto-fermented hot sauce

Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtiums Recipe

Red Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtium Flowers

Intensely hot and spicy, this lacto-fermented red hot sauce with nasturtium flowers is not for the faint of heart!


  • cups finely minced assorted red peppers (red jalapeno, serranos, etc)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • 10-12 nasturtium flowers
  • tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon whey optional
  • spring water

 lacto-fermented hot sauce

Green Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtium Leaves

Milder green option uses nasturtium leaves for an herbal-ly spin on hot sauce


  • cups finely minced assorted green peppers (Anaheim, mole, jalapeno, etc)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • 10-12 nasturtium leaves
  • tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon whey optional
  • spring wate


  • Clean and rinse peppers. Remove stems and tops from peppers. Remove seeds and membranes if you prefer a milder hot sauce, otherwise leave intact.
  • Pulverize peppers, garlic and nasturtium leaves in a food processor.
  • Pack pepper mixture into quart jar. Add sea salt and optional whey. Pour spring water into jar until the only one inch headspace remains, poking mixture with a skewer or butter knife so that no air pocket remain.
  • Place fermentation weights on mixture and an airlock lid on the quart jar. Ferment at room temperature for 2-3 weeks.
  • After fermentation, you may re-blend for a smoother consistency, adding more spring water for a saucier texture, if needed. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Lacto-Fermented Nasturtium Hot Sauce


Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

All posts


  • […] Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce With Nasturtiums – Nitty Gritty Life […]

  • […] Hot Sauce from Joybilee FarmBanana Pepper Recipe: Fermented Hot Sauce from Attainable-SustainableLacto-fermented Hot Sauce with Nasturtiums from Nitty Gritty Life The Herbal Academy has a fantastic fermentation course available. You […]

  • Leave a Reply

    About Me

    About Me

    Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

    I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



    Subscribe to our Mailing List

    Get the news right in your inbox!

    Popular Links


    • I am going to let you in on a little secret... With holiday baking ahead, I am finding myself a little, ummm, wider than I used to be.  While I am generally enjoying the benefits of low carb for the time being, I didn't want to go through the holiday forgoing dessert entirely... So I played around and came up with this rose hip and cranberry curd tart in a nutty gluten free tart shell crust! 
It can be sweetened with all-natural, organic erythritol (with none of that yucky artificial aftertaste) or with real cane sugar for naughty or nice versions!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#wildfood #wildfoodlove #cranberries #rosehips #holidaybaking #baking #homemade #cranberrycurd #sugarfree #erythritol #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes
    • This golden golden milk spiced chai is the perfect delivery system for anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. 
And it tastes DIVINE.
Folks, herbal medicine can be as easy as treating yourself to a warming chai tea latte on a chilly fall morning.  It doesn't get much more pleasant than that.
Also, din't you love it when your latte wears seasonally correct colors? 😜🤣😘
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#goldenmilk #chai #turmeric #curcuma #curcumalonga #curcumin #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #foodismedicine
    • Fire cider is the PERFECT example of the concept of food as medicine!

These EASY to find ingredients are in your kitchen (or any average grocery store) right now.  Now you can whip up this pungent, spicy health tonic easily and have this excellent home remedy on hand when the first signs of cold and flu hit!  Your stuffy nose doesn't stand a chance when you have prepared a batch of this amazing stuff!

Psst... Rumor is that it might be a delicious to a Bloody Mary too. ;) Tap link in bio for link to post and recipe.

Photo used with permission, Page Street Publishing 2019.

#firecider #herbs #herbalist #herbalism #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #homeremedy #naturalremedy #naturalliving #foodasmedicine #foodismedicine
    • For the record -- I am not a hater of pumpkin spice lovers.  REALLY.  I swear. I just don't love the too sweet variations on the theme -- in everything from lattes to candles to candy.  And the "pumpkin spice bread" in the grocery store right now?  Doesn't even taste like pumpkin...
Let's put the pumpkin and the spice back in bread -- and add a little streusel topping. ☺️
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#pumpkin #pumpkinbread #baking #bread #pumpkinspice #homestead #homesteader #homesteading
    • Ummm, is it time to start preparing holiday presents?  Are you going handmade this year?
Try this rose scented, cold processed, super fatted, luxurious soap! (Was that enough adjectives?)
Make this now at it will be prefectly cured for holiday giving and stocking stuffing.
Tap the link in bio for link to post.
#handmade #handmadesoap #homemadesoap #soap #coldprocessed #herbs #herbalist #herbalism
    • I am simply at a place and time right now where I am thinking of all matters of the heart -- and hawthorn is a cardinal herb for such matters.
This delicious herbal tea, with rose, tulsi, hawthorn, and chai spices will calm and protect your heart when the world feels like too much.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#tulsi #holybasil #rose #hawthorn #hawthornberry #hawthornberries #herbs #herbalist #herbalism #herbmedicinal #medicinalherbs
    • I made this hawthorn infused cider for the first time a couple of years ago, after the passing of a friend.  This fall, I am tending to a broken heart once again -- this time mourning the passing of my grandmother -- and the crimson berries of the hawthorn are calling to me once more.
Herbs like hawthorn are a wonderful aid during times of grief, but so is the power of friendship, family and love.
Please gather up you community and share love abundantly.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#cider #mulledcider #hawthorn #medicinalherbs #herbalist #herbs #herbalmedicine
    • 💕Still finding my footing after losing the best friend anybody could ever ask for.
My dear beloved grandmother passed from this world last Friday.  I had the great honor to be at her bedside, to feel the last hummingbird-like flutter of her pulse, to observe her final wishes as she flew from this world to the next - undoubtedly with the same compassion, dignity and boundless optimism that she blessed our world with.
This picture of hers, mine, and my youngest daughter’s hands was taken a couple weeks ago now... a treasure of time spent together before renal failure claimed her ability to speak, while she could still nibble on a cookie and enjoy her beloved black coffee.  After this picture, we entered the strange yet surprising dignified “hospice time.” For those of you who have taken part in the hospice care of a loved one - you know this indescribable separation of hospice time and “real time.” There is a fixed end point, yet nobody knows when it is - and so you live each moment, hoping that it is, in fact, not your last, while also wishing that your loved one would pass peacefully and painlessly from these earthly bounds.
I do not post this looking for an outpouring of sympathy - those that know me well know that I rather bristle at the attention.  I write this post to thank all of the dedicated hospice care workers and as a knowing hug to all those loved ones left behind who have felt the mixed emotions that this time of great grief.
Sending love out into the world tonight. 💕
#grief #hospice #hospicecare
    • During these early fall days when the first freeze is never far off, I scurry to put up the last bits of the garden. This fermented hot sauce two ways are a perfect pair of recipes for the last remaining peppers and the nasturtiums that are usually abundant at this time.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#hotsauce #peppers #nasturtiums #fermentation #lactofermentation #preservation #foodpreservation #edibleflowers

    Follow @nittygrittymama