This photo is of my first batch of pickles, earlier in the year (I was so proud of them!). Since learning about how important gut flora health is, for everyone, and especially coeliacs (celiacs), I’ve been looking to eat more gut nourishing foods. Pickles are great because you can make them yourself cheaply, and they are a great way to preserve the goodness in vegetables. Raw cider vinegar is prebiotic, which is in many ways best, as raw prebiotic foods encourage the growth of good bacteria, and a healthy balance of such flora in our gut, which is what we all need for optimal health.
Bought pickles invariably are full of additives and preservatives and sugar, when you make your own you are making something pure and as nature intended. As a very sensitive coeliac I have to avoid foods prepared in other environments than my own kitchen as much as possible, as so often they make me ill. And I like to eat food made in a positive place, not a factory. Also I want to connect, not to disconnect, with my food.
I want to be mindful of what I am consuming and why.
I often find that I don’t use the beetroots that come with my organic box very quickly, even though I love them, they get side-lined. But look how beautiful the beetroot is. I’d never have realised but through photographing them I have realised how graceful and perfect they are.
I don’t have a juicer, I think if I did they’d be gone far quicker (note to self to start saving), and also the maximum nutrients passed from them to me. But there are many great ways to enjoy beetroot. This week I’m going to boil them up, pickle and grate, and feast on those fantastic beetroots, which are packed with so many nutrients and antioxidants. They are always uplifting foods to cook and eat, or to eat raw, the colour is so intensely beautiful (next note to self, do a beetroot painting! I will post the results when I do this). Save the water for stock, or dye, or for your garden, I’m sure other plants would appreciate its goodness too.
Making pickles is a great way of using up your veg box beetroots, carrots and cauliflower too, to name a few veggies that love to be pickled, preserving all their goodness, and enhancing the flavour by steeping them in spices, which are also good for digestion. Pickles should be apart of everyone’s diet, raw cider vinegar is a prebiotic and great for your health. This spiced pickles recipe is super quick, easy and hassle free, you don’t have to sterilise or seal, you just need to make pickles for the fridge that are there when you want them. Perfectamundo.
- 3 raw beetroots
- 1/4 small cauliflower
- 1 medium carrot
- 4 star anise
- handful of coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- enough raw cider vinegar to cover veg
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar ( or other sweetener), or to taste
- 1 tbsp black pepper (optional, if you eat chili, they'd be great in the mix)
Wash and cook the beets at a simmer for 10-15 minutes, and allow to cool.Chop veg to the sizes you want, any is okay. Add all ingredients into the jar and mix.Make sure that the liquid covers the veg, if you run out of cider vinegar top up with water - but note that this will weaken the flavour. Refrigerate.
For pickling everything needs to be really clean, wash all utensils, work surfaces, chopping boards, and the mason/ pickling jar thoroughly and keep your hands very clean.
This pickles recipe is for a small batch that you will eat relatively quickly and keep in the fridge, to keep for longer and store out of the fridge, you need to sterilise and also seal the jars with heat. But this way is easy and they keep well in the fridge for 2-3 months or so .
If you have non-raw cider vinegar, that's makes lovely pickles too, but just not as prebiotic as raw. Raw cider vinegar is milder also.
You can use whatever vegetables you want, firmer ones work best, but experiment, it's so much fun.
Try putting in some lemon slices. I'm at the beginning of my pickling journey, I can't wait to experiment! Next stop, lacto-fermented veggies, I think they are the way to go!