Everyone loves pickles, me included! I will never forget when my Girl Scout troop visited a pickle factory and on my way home I proceeded to drink the juice from the whole jar of pickles…YIKES!
In a nutshell, the idea of pickling is to create an environment that is inhospitable to the microbes and enzymes that would normally cause food to decay—as well to prevent the growth of micro-organisms that could make you sick. This is usually done using a combination of salt, acid, and/or fermentation with friendly lactobacillus bacteria. Spices, oil, or sugar can also be added to enhance the flavor.
The amount of fiber in pickled vegetables is usually about the same as cooked vegetables. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K, are retained during pickling, just as they are when cooked. The Science of Cooking website notes that fat-soluble vitamins could become even more concentrated during the pickling process. Korean researchers have found that kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage, might have up to twice as much of certain B vitamins as fresh cabbage does.
Makes 1 – 32 ounce jar
1 mason jar
2 ½ cups filtered water
1 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
2 T. course sea salt
1 T. black or multi-colored peppercorns
1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 tsp. mustard or fennel seed
1 star anise (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. organic honey
pinch red chili flakes (optional)
Use variety of carrots (peeled), whole green beans, watermelon radish (cut in halves), tomatoes (whole), asparagus, cauliflower, cucumber, celery or spicy peppers.
Clean and sanitize your jars with hot water. Fill each jar up with desired raw vegetables. Place a bay leaf in the jar.
Add the pickling ingredients (everything but the vegetables, bay leaf, and honey) into a small pot. Warm on low heat, adding the honey as the final component. Stir until mixed, keeping heat at a minimum (you only want to slightly warm for 2 minutes). Ladle this mixture into the mason jar, making sure liquid covers each vegetable. Screw on lid and store in cool, dark environment for 4-5 days.
Taste vegetables on day 4, if pickled to your taste, refrigerate. Enjoy alone or served with salad or as a starter.