For many people I know including myself at times “maintaining health” is one of the most overlooked aspects in everyday life. We live in a fast paced world, the demands are many and the distractions are endless. We are simply too busy that good health is habitually taken for granted and undervalued. It is only when under painful or extreme adversity caused by terrible illness that the true value of good health emerges. It is during those dark days that all the wealth in the world will appear insignificant by comparison to simply alleviating relief and regaining the freedom of our physical and mental normalcy. Good health allows us to better appreciate all the things around us including the tea we drink. Good health provides us with the capacity to live a fuller life adding color and joy to our journey through life. With more research pointing to the importance of maintaining a healthy gut flora (Ref 80% of our immune system is in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract), this is where I will begin with the humble pickled cucumber.
Natural fermentation enriches food with live lactobacilli and beneficial microbes, creating an environment rich in enzymes. The natural bacteria helps transform fermented food to a predigested state that is more bioavailable to the human body. The integration of living foods by regularly consuming naturally fermented foods can improve digestion, aid detoxification, maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, strengthen the body’s immune system and offer a great boost to our overall health.
The process of fermentation can be observed by the bubbles being formed, causing gas to be released.
I took photos of this batch of homemade pickled cucumbers at 3 different time intervals when the thought of writing this blog entry entered my mind. i) Day 1: freshly prepared cucumbers ii) Day 3: fermentation in progress, the solution starts turning cloudy from lactic acid bacteria iii) Week 2: almost all the cucumbers have been eaten and I have added a handful of garlic cloves to make use of the wonderful tart briny solution. - Note: I should mention that I started eating the cucumbers on Day 4. I also refrigerated the cucumbers on that day to maintain their crunchiness. Keep in mind that different climate conditions, temperature variations, pickling recipe can all cause variations in the fermentation process. To find out how my fermentation is coming along I will simply eat it.
In recent years there has been a revival of naturally fermented foods not just for the health aspect but for the sheer gastronomical delight that such foods offer in their richness and complexity of taste and flavors. With people like Sandor Katz (a leading revivalist) amongst many others there is a wealth of information available on the internet that provides DIY fermentation projects on a wide range of naturally fermented food such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir, kombucha as well as various pickled vegetables and many more. The information is available at your fingertips.
I share with you 2 videos (below) on - How To ... - naturally ferment the humble cucumber. The pickled cucumber is one of the easiest vegetable to ferment and appeals to arguably the biggest audience. I encourage you to start fermenting and eating your own pickled vegetables and to reap the benefits. >>>> A healthier body contributes to making our 5 basic senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste) all the more sensitive and powerful and to better attune our connection with our physical body. It could change your tea experience!
Make your own kosher dill pickles!
Fermenting Pickles - Back to the Homestead