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In a pickle…

November 7, 2012


Homemade Pickled Cauliflower

I love pickles. Especially homemade ones. Especially with cheese….or pate….. But I rarely make them, I don’t know why as they are so easy to do. A recent inspection of the list of ingredients on a jar lurking at the back of my fridge revealed:

Gherkins, water, salt, E260, E509, E955, E102, E133. Urghh, why did I look? So what does this mean? Lets have a look:

E260 = acetic acid = vinegar = OK

E509 = calcium chloride = natural salt = OK

E955 = sucralose = artificial sweetener = lots of issues = NOT OK

E102 = synthetic azo dye = yellow food colour = linked to asthma, allergy & hyperactivity = NOT OK

E133 = synthetic blue colour = linked to asthma = NOT OK

So why am I not making more pickles???

Vinegar (acetic acid) is actually really good for you (unless you have a gastrointestinal issue). It has been proven to reduce serum cholesterol values & blood pressure. It has also been known to reduce the glycemic index of carbohydrates when consumed together and can help control satiety levels.

This recipe for cauliflower pickles is soooo easy and can be used for any vegetable worth pickling. The spice mix is entirely up to you, play around with whatever herbs you have on hand. The most important thing is that your jars are clean & sterilised. You can sterilise them in your Varoma by placing clean jars on their side and steaming them for 20 minutes. Put the lids in the steamer basket below and do them at the same time. Alternatively, wash your jars & lids and put them in a moderate oven for 15 minutes – that will do the job too!

500g vinegar – preferably apple cider vinegar – less processed than white
170g water
70g rapadura sugar
1 teas Himalayan salt
1 teas black peppercorns
6 bay leaves
sprig of dill & tarragon
1 teas mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic
400g cauliflower flowerets or chopped vegetables of choice
1 dried chilli & 1 slice of onion  for each jar you have
Place the pickling ingredients in the TM and bring to the boil on VAROMA temp, SP 1, 8 minutes, REVERSE.
When it comes to temperature, add the vegetables and set to boil on 100°C for 3 – 4 minutes, SP SLOW, REVERSE.
Put the dried chilli  & onion slice in the bottom of each jar and top up with the pickles. Fill the jars to the brim with the cooking liquor, making sure that you distribute the herbs and spices, equally. Seal and let sit for a minimum of 3 days – this takes the edge of the vinegar and lets the flavours meld. The pickles will keep for up to 3 months. If you want them to last longer, double the salt.
Now I need to make some pate to go with my pickles!!
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