Ok, I’ll be honest.
I never give pickles much thought. Sure I appreciate the random pickle spear that arrives among the garnish of my plate when I go out to eat, but generally the rest of my thinking time is pickle free.
I like pickles well enough, and things like sauerkraut, so don’t think my lack of pickle musing reflects some deep loathing of this ancient practice. Perhaps like many of us I don’t think about what it actually takes to bring certain foods to our plates each day. I certainly do that and I try to remind myself that cucumbers don’t just magically transform themselves into the tasty pickle spear lounging on my plate. There is work involved and a process refined by our ancestors.
Now Dr. Miller, on the other hand, is a pickling enthusiast. I’ve tasted a few of his pickling adventures and he knows his stuff. Pickling can be a great way to preserve food, but also a very good way to get supportive bacteria into your gut, help digestion and boost immunity. Fermentation is the key here and the potential options for foods you can use seem endless. You can pickle beets, peppers, cabbage, carrots and of course cucumbers. Pickling recipes abound, only limited by your imagination.
I’d stay away from pickling cheesecake however.
For the fermentation, and the foods being fermented, to be truly beneficial they should be traditionally lacto-fermented. Pickling salt, or brine, is often a key ingredient and it is effective at killing off bad bacteria and leaving good bacteria. The process however takes attention to make sure the fermenting stays under control. The time taken is worth it given the excellent healthy results that come from it.
Being aware of commercially processed pickled foods helps. Your store bought pickle was fermented, but it was likely pasteurized as well. This helps the jar stay on a shelf for a long time and not explode as the pickles continue to ferment. Other processing is done as well, but ultimately this means the health benefits would be less than more perishable versions or doing it yourself.
To prove this point we have a rather in depth presentation from a Master of the Pickling Art – Karla Delong of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply.
(To visit them go to www.mountainfeed.com)
I mean a Master. Dr. Miller knows his stuff for sure, but Karla seems to dedicate serious daily focus on how to be a Pickling Ninja. Although impossible to confirm, I felt sure she ran a high tech pickling lab somewhere in the California hills where she perfects the practice of taking vegetables and turning them into delicious pickled superfoods.
I have a lively imagination.
Check out the video and marvel at her expertise. We kept in the Q&A from the audience since she gives helpful insight into how to approach this time honored practice. We hope you enjoy.
Alright. Time to wrangle those fresh brussels sprouts I just bought into a jar and ferment the daylights out of them. Pickle Ninja beware!
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To Your Health.
(Awesome Ninja Pickle image by nachotoonz.)