A few months ago, one of my students told me about this site, where for about 20 dollars, they send you a box of organic produce. However, you don’t pick what they put in it. The site is Misfits Market (that’s a referral link). Its awesome, they send you so much stuff! Its basically “cast offs” of fruits/veggies that aren’t good enough for the stores, but everything they have sent us so far has been good! I love it!
Anyway, I’ve been getting a lot of cucumbers lately and one of my favorite things to do is pickle them. Not your standard vinegar pickles, but lacto-fermented pickles.
- They taste better.
- They are super healthy! Fermented foods should be at the top of your list of healthy things to eat. For some people this is tricky, because these types of foods might not be everyday foods. Other fermented foods are kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt and of course, pickles!
Fermented foods are excellent at keeping your gut healthy, or rather the bacteria in your gut healthy and happy.
The gut microbiome consists of over 1000 microbial species. You literally have more live bacteria in your body than your own cells! These little guys affect your immune system, digestive system, metabolism, vitamin synthesis, allergies, and MOOD.
Keep them happy and they will literally keep you happy.
Majority of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut. Also, I would think that if your immune system, digestive system and metabolism are working good, you might tend to be happier overall as well.
These little guys are super sensitive and can be affected by eating the wrong things, stress, antibiotics, environmental toxins, and other chemicals.
One of the first things we tell clients when they are feeling “off,” or are having digestive issues, inflammation issues or just want to get healthier, is to make sure their gut is healthy first.
- To make the brine: Dissolve 2 tab sea salt in 1 liter room temperature water (filtered is preferred).
- Cut up your cucumbers (long ways like a sandwich pickle or into slices, or whatever shape you like).
- Put cut-up cucumbers into a clean jar (I just wash mine really well with soap/water).
- Add flavorings.
- Once you add everything to your jar, fill it with your brine all the way to the top. Need to make sure the cucumbers are completely submerged.
- Then lightly place the jar lid on top. Don’t screw down, because the bubbles created will create too much pressure.
- Keep jar somewhere where it won’t be disturbed (I keep mine in a cabinet in my kitchen).
Flavorings: You can get creative with this. But this is what I like: A handful of fresh dill, half garlic clove, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 dry thai chile (can omit if don’t want spicy).
Check on them in a few days and see if you like the taste of them. If they aren’t “pickled” enough for you, just let them sit longer.
Store in fridge when they are ready.
Notes: You want to see bubbles and cloudiness, that means its working. You also want to make sure the cucumbers are always submerged in the brine (you can add more water periodically, if it starts evaporating). Sometimes a little mold forms at top (usually when the water isn’t covering well), just scrape off and throw away.
Let me know if you try them! I also pickled carrots too!