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Pickles Made Easy and Naturally for Good Health
For the past two weeks we have discussed dairy. First the modern processes that renders it dead food, then the life-giving value of cultured dairy. Now, as the final element, we use that whey to make something you’ve all enjoyed many times before. Pickles!
Cucumbers, beets, onions, olives and sauerkraut to name a few, are common pickles. These are not modern inventions though they are made with modern methods that use vinegar and other unnatural processes such as pasteurization that result in lifeless products that may taste good but offer little if any nutritional benefit.
As we’ve discussed, culturing of dairy is a timeless tradition of preservation that adds incredible nutritional value to the foods being preserved. There is yet another means of fermentation using an element of dairy: the whey. Whey, the clear liquid that separates naturally from milk and that ingredient I told you to reserve in last weeks article is indispensable for making fermented vegetables, fruit chutneys, healing beverages and even grains dishes.
As a reminder, whey can be made easily from yogurt, buttermilk or whole milk by simply following this recipe:
2 quarts whole milk buttermilk or plain yogurt.
Line a strainer bowl with a clean dish towel and set over a large bowl. Pour in the yogurt, or buttermilk and let stand at room temperature for several hours. The whey will run into the bowl while the solids will remain. After 24 hours, cinch the cloth snugly around the solids and tie with a string. Do not squeeze. Allow to continue separating for another 12-24 hours. The remaining solids are now cream cheese and the liquid can be used for countless wonderful recipes.
But first, let’s visit the concept and process of fermentation quickly.
Before freezers and mass production canning processes, fruits and vegetables were preserved through a process known as lacto-fermentation. This is a process that converts the sugars and starches in fruits and vegetables into lactic acid by way of naturally occurring lactobacilli: lactic acid producing bacteria.This type of fermentation offers tremendous nutritional benefit; balanced acidity levels, increased digestibility and vitamin levels. Additionally, enzymes, antibiotic and anticarcinogenic elements are produced in abundance which promotes healthy flora in the intestines and that in turn means healthy digestion which leads to a healthier you..
Sound complicated? Actually, lacto-fermenting is easy. Sea salt is used to limit the bacteria that results in putrification while the lactic acid levels increase and effectively preserve the food. Raw whey, recipe above, is also used to reduce the time needed for the lactic acid build up and ensure preservation. And mineral rich water and high quality, organic foods help ensure plenty of nutrients for the lactobacilli to do its job. All ingredients are combined, placed in glass jars, sealed tightly and left at room temperature for two days when they are ready to be consumed.
The simple truth is that lacto fermented products or better known today as pickles, are a powerful element of your nutritional wellness. They should be taken daily in fact.
Now armed with a basic knowledge of fermentation and its health benefits, here is one of many recipes to try and enjoy!!
- 1 small pineapple, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup raw whey
- 1/2 mineral water
Mix pineapple, cilantro and ginger and place in a quart sized jar. press down lightly. Mix lime juice, sea salt, raw whey and mineral water and pour over the pineapple mixture. Add more mineral water if necessary to cover the pineapple. Leave at least one inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 2 days before consuming. Transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy for up to two months.
(For more recipes and detailed information, see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.)
Remember, the true “heart” of your health is found in the digestive system/intestinal tract. Take good care of it and you will enjoy abundant physical wellness!! Add lacto-fermented to your nutritional plan today!!
Do you like pickles? Are you ready to make them the old fashioned way? I’d love your thoughts in the comments below!
Carl Mason-Liebenberg is a Wellness and Weight Loss Specialist, Author, Fitness Coach, and a Leader in Creating a Lifestyle of Wellness.
His passion is for those who suffer from poor nutrition, related illnesses, addictions and overweight conditions; with a specific focus on women. Carl unveils the power of nutrition and fitness to bring recovery, healing, restoration and strength.
Carl has personally experienced what he teaches and continues to study and learn to improve his ability to teach you a Lifestyle of Wellness.
He has recently launched a series of e-products and services called Simply Good that you’ll want to be sure to obtain in your journey to authentic wellness. For more information and opportunities please join him at his site: http://www.el3mentsofwellness.com.