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Making Pickles

Do you want to set your home grown produce throughout the year?

Why not try pickling or preserving them?

Not all fermented foods are pickled and not all pickles are fermented foods! Pickled foods have been preserved in an acidic medium such as vinegar. This process is revered to as 'quick pickling'. These foods do not offer the probiotic benefits and enzymes that naturally fermented foods supply. Some mass produced commercial variations of ferments foods are manufactured with high heat and under pressure. These commercial procedures are designed to sterilise vegetables and ruin their bacteria instead of cultivating them. In fermented no vinegar is included. The fruit or vegetable is cured in salt-and-water brine and natural bacteria which are already present in the food. Once starting the process, the bacteria present produce lactic acid which maintains the foods and includes natural probiotics which help in food digestion and assistance basic health.

As described above, pickles generally describe veggies in vinegar however the best method of making them is to use salt water!

You need to make it quite salty for the veggies to develop that unique clarity and you will be connected! Once you have let it sit for a few weeks, test the little cucumbers initially as the big ones might take a little bit longer to ferment (as much as 4 weeks).

You can attempt olives, mushrooms and even citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. For flavouring add dill, peppercorns and garlic. For extra crunch add a handful of fresh grape, cherry, oak and or horseradish leaves.

American terms:
If you follow a recipe that describes half-sours then they are talking about 3.5% salt water, which approximately equates to 2 tablespoons worth of salt in 4 cups of water. For sour salty pickles, then include 4 tablespoons of salt in 4 cups of water.

Olives need someplace in between 5-10% to cure correctly and eliminate the sap-like taste. This can take up to 6 months and changing the water monthly will shorten the process.

Quick Pickled Mushrooms in oil recipe Try simmering 2 cups of mushrooms in 200g sugar, 220ml of soy sauce and 200ml sherry vinegar for half an hour then bottle.

Try to try out different strengths and see what you choose.

In winter season you need to use less salt to permit the microbial development, than you perform in summer.

Selected cucumbers recipe.

Referrals: Steps: Sandor Katz' book, 'Wild Fermentation' explains how to make it and there are some excellent sources online.

The most famous example of picked veggies is spiced kimchi from Korea!

Making Your Own Vinegar:
Are you taking a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar a day for your health.

If it is hard to swallow you ought to attempt making your own!

Utensils: You don't require expensive devices to get started. Many things will remain in your cooking area. You will require a 1L large necked container, wooden or plastic spoon, plastic or stainless-steel strainer, glass determining container and fabric squares for covering jars with elastic bands. Maintaining jars work well as you can get the 'mother' out quickly at the end.

Culture: Acetobacter

Period: 8-10 weeks.

Extra information: The perfect recipe is to include your Acetobacter mom with 1/3 cider vinegar from the old batch, to 1/3 new 5-6% alcohol (wine or cider and so on) plus 1/3 unchlorinated water.

Do you have red wine that is not to your taste? Do not throw it out, make your own vinegar rather! The very best the wine you use, the better the vinegar. So you can keep left over cider or use white or red wine that has actually oxidised to produce something to bottle and hand out to friends. This is one product that will keep for a long time and the flavour will develop with age and soften. You need to have an acid level of a minimum of 2% for the Acetobacter mom to transform the alcohol to acetic acid.

The mother appears like a cellulose/ jelly and sits on the top of the liquid and requires oxygen in a warm dark place to work. The mother can sink gradually if it splits or if you move the bottle around too much. (Don't fret about this as a brand-new one will form and keep transforming the alcohol for you.) It is a good idea to keep it in a big glass or ceramic vessel (like Kombucha) with a cover with holes in it for oxygen to get through. Don't use iron, aluminium or copper vessels only glass or ceramics will do. You don't want any other chain reactions going on in your brew and you don't wish to toxin anybody either!

Recommendations/ Steps: Sandor Katz' book, 'Wild Fermentation' describes how to alter types of pickles and there are some exceptional sources online.

Whey can be added to veggies in a crock or protecting containers to improve their flavour and produce your own sauerkraut. The bacteria included are usually Streptococcus thermophilus and thermophilic lactobacilli (Lactobacillus helveticus, Lact. delbrueckii subsp. lactis/bulgaricus and Lact. fermentum). Fermented veggies have exceptional health benefits for digestion and immune boosting functions which has been reported by the clinical neighborhood. The best veggies to use are cabbage, brussels sprouts and root veggies like carrots and ginger and even sweet potato.

Happy pickling!