Thursday, September 24, 2015

Two Pints of Pickles!

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Pickles!  

Well-made pickles... are a beautiful thing.  They are predigested by "friendly" bacteria, which also fortify the health of your digestive tract and immune system when you consume them!  Even a few tablespoons of lacto-fermented foods, such as the mighty pickle, can get your digestion on-line and assist in weight loss.  Did I mention that real, raw, lacto-fermented pickles  (i.e. the ORIGINAL pickles) also taste amazingly wonderful and delicious? 

I've been finding a lot of fresh, beautiful little pickling cucumbers at the farmer's market lately and converting them into pickles via the following, simple method:  

Ingredients:

Cucumbers, sliced any which way you like
Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, in the amount of about 1/2 T. per pint of "pickle brew"
Raw Garlic slices, to taste (I used about 3 cloves per pint)
Fresh or dried dill, to taste  (I used about 1 tsp. dried dill)
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar


Instructions:
  1. Prepare salt brine by combining the filtered water and salt, and let the brine sit until salt dissolves.
  2. Wash cucumbers in filtered water. Using a knife, cut the tips off of the ends of each cucumber. You may leave the cucumbers whole or cut them in half lengthwise.
  3. Place 4 sprigs of the dill, along with all garlic cloves in the jar, and then tightly pack the cucumbers in the jar, lengthwise, reserving one cucumber for the top. Add the remaining dill to the jar.
  4. Cut one cucumber in half and set it horizontally on top of the other cucumbers to act as a weight, keeping the cucumbers from floating above the water during the fermenting process.
  5. Pour the salt brine into the jar. It should completely cover the cucumbers.
  6. Set the lid loosely on top of the jar; don’t seal it. Cover with the clean dish towel and put the jar in the pantry or in the cupboard, or in a warm (65°F to 75°F), dark place where it won’t be disturbed.
  7. After about 2 days, start to visually inspect the water in the jar to see if it has bubbles rising to the top. The water will become cloudy and there may be a scum forming on the top of the water. This is normal and not a problem; simply scoop away some of the scum with a clean spoon that has been rinsed with filtered (non-chlorinated) water. The pickles may begin to smell a little sour, which is fine, but if the smell is rotten, something might have gone awry and it may need to be thrown out.
  8. It will take about 3-10 days before the pickles are ready, depending on the temperature and how sour you like your pickles. Taste them from time to time to see if the taste and texture are to your liking. When they taste good to you, they are done.
Tips:  Don’t use bruised or damaged cucumbers. Always use the freshest, organic, unwaxed cucumbers, since the wax stops the pickling brine from penetrating. For best results, use pickling cucumbers rather than regular salad cucumbers.


Pickling instructions referenced from Cherie Soria at the Living Light Culinary Institute.


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