Quick Pickled Cucumbers

"Ancient Foods for the Modern Gut" - Sharon Flynn 

I love this statement from Sharon, as I think it is oh so relevant and spot on. We have gone so far one way with all of the processed food, stressful and sedentary lifestyles we need to bring it back to basics. If you have been following me for a while you will know I am an avid fermenter some may even say a freak fermenter and I appreciate the benefits of which these Ancient foods positively impact our health and wellbeing.

The Art of Fermentation... 

Now there is a trick to fermentation and that is understanding sterilisation, the basics of creating a brine and determining the fermentation time frame. Because for a lot of you this will be your first time, I think we keep it simple and not get all of the contamination, nitty gritty acidity levels involved. Don't worry just because it is simple doesn't mean it won't taste great. I will do a more detailed and traditional pickled cucumber recipe in the weeks to come where you can leave these on the shelf to ferment for 6 to 12 months and gift them to everyone next Christmas. Because not only are you seriously prepared and organised but you believe homemade gifts much more enjoyed than materialistic crap... because well who doesn't love food.

Through the way this 'quick' pickle recipe is created it is not a shelf stable preserve nor your most 'traditional' and is required to be kept in the fridge. It was one of those I was making Indonesian Beef for dinner and wanted pickled cucumbers for a side and grabbed some from the garden, through a healthier recipe together and wallah. 

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Now the key to a good pickling:

  • Small cucumbers are ideal for pickling, due to having less water content
  • Tang is key, you want the cucumbers to actually taste pickled
  • Never add to much sweetness or you will spoil your pickles
  • Herbs & spices are essential to becoming a pickling expert
  • You still want a crunchy pickle you don't want your cucumbers to lose their pizazz
  • Use the whole vegetable (stem, skin etc) - always aim for organic!
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serving: 1 x 1L jar of cucumber pickles // prep time: approx 12.5 minutes


Ingredients

  • 5 sliced small to medium cucumbers (enough to fill your jar)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar*
  • 1 tbsp honey*
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 clove garlic (cut in half, unpeeled)
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10 fresh dill sprigs or flowers

Method

  1. Fill a glass jar tightly with sliced cucumbers, garlic, seeds, peppercorns, dill
  2. Make a brine with your salt, vinegar, honey and water either in a jar and shake until dissolved or just add some boiling water to the bowl where you have added your honey, vinegar and salt so the honey and salt dissolve.
  3. Pour the brine over the cucumbers; gently tap the jars on the counter to remove air bubbles.  
  4. If you don't have enough liquid just add a little more water it always varies depending on what weight and size of cucumbers added.
  5. Seal up the jar with an air tight lid, refrigerate for 24 hours and they are ready to serve.
  6. These will keep in the fridge for up to 4-6 weeks if they last that long.

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Note: *Traditionally pickles are created using white vinegar and double the amount I have suggested of the apple cider vinegar as it has such a tang to it! If you are using white vinegar use approx ration 1:1 with water for your pickling. Also instead of honey* you could use coconut or rapadura sugar or maple syrup, you can get away with using honey in this preserving recipe due to it being kept in the fridge.

The garlic may turn blue or green in the jar. Don't be alarmed it is only the effect of the acid on the natural pigments in the garlic.

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