EASY HOME-MADE PICKLES + SAUERKRAUT

 

Hello! I know... It's been forever! 

I've been absent from the blogosphere for what feels like years, no special reason or excuse here, just life and other  projects taking over. If you follow me on Instagram you will have been in the loop a little more as I've been posting regularly there. Something about the spontaneity and 'easiness' of using Instagram feels very enjoyable to me, I absolutely love using that platform as a creative outlet but also as an amazing tool to connect with like-minded people. Some things, though, are too juicy (and lengthy) to be posted there, so I am very happy to have this blog where I can share delicious recipes like these. 

In recent months I've been enjoying making home made sauerkraut which is a yummy fermented food, great for creating healthy gut flora. Last month I felt inspired to give home-made pickles a go. They also turned out absolutely delicious, which, to be honest, caught be completely by surprise because they tasted just as I hoped they would! So after being hooked to both home-made sauerkraut and pickles and eating them on (and in) everything on the table, I decided to make a big batch and give them as Christmas gifts to family and loved ones this year. 

This post includes:
1. A basic recipe which I have used to make onion, cucumber, beetroot and radish pickles. Feel free to try with turnips, carrots, green tomatoes and more!
2. A very simple and easy sauerkraut recipe (which works great with white/green cabbage or red cabbage, as you wish). 

Thank you for still being here, I mean it! And if you're new around, 'Hello!'. I'm so grateful for your time, hopefully you like the sound of this recipe and are inspired to try it out in your own kitchen! I'm sure you'll love it.  I look forward to giving this little blog of mine a little more love and attention from now on, so thank you for sticking around! 

 

EASY HOME-MADE PICKLES

|Makes 3 x 500ml mason jars|

  • 350 grams pink radishes (without the leaves)--one standard bunch
  • 200ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fine pink Himalayan salt or sea salt 
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig fennel (optional) for each mason jar

 

STEP BY STEP

  • Chop leaves off the radishes and discard. Wash the radishes to remove any dirt and pat dry. Cut them in thin round slices, or lengthways to create radish sticks.  
  • In a big bowl stir together the apple cider vinegar, salt and maple syrup for a couple of minutes until the salt has completely dissolved. 
  • Divide and place the mustard seeds, peppercorns and fresh herbs into the three piles, one in each of the sterilized mason jars. 
  • Now add the sliced radishes and finally top them up with the liquid. 
  • Seal tightly with a lid and store at room temperature. Allow the pickling process to do its job for 1 to 2 weeks (I think 3 weeks is ideal, but less is ok if you just can't wait to eat them!). Once opened, store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. 

 

TIPS:

  • Add other seeds you enjoy: coriander, cumin, etc. Also try experimenting with other fresh herbs and spices, such as thinly sliced ginger root!  
  • Sterilise the mason jar beforehand by immersing it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Take out and leave to cool. 

HOME-MADE SAUERKRAUT

|Makes approximately 1 litre mason jar|

 

  • 1 big head of red or green cabbage
  • 2 tbsp pink Himalayan or sea salt 

 

STEP BY STEP

  • Start by removing the tough outer leaves and set them aside. 
  • With a good knife or mandolin / food processor, slice the whole cabbage in very thin slices. 
  • Throw the sliced cabbage in a big mixing bowl, add the salt and proceed to massage it into the cabbage. Massage and squeeze for a few minutes until the cabbage is completely tender and has halved in volume. 
  • With your hands or a spoon, fill the mason jar with the sliced cabbage along with the liquid it has released during massage, pressing down to make sure no air bubbles are created. Cover with the tough outer cabbage leaves to protect the rest from oxidising and moulding. 
  • Cover with a lid (not sealing it too tightly) and store in a dark and dry place at room temperature for 3 weeks. 
  • Enjoy on top of soups, stews, salads, bread, etc. Once open, store in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

 

TIPS:

  • Use outer leaves to press down and cover. 
  • Do not fill up to the brim, leave some air to breathe so it doesn't expand with fermentation and leak out or (even worse) explode. 
  • Sterilise the mason jar beforehand by immersing it in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Take out and leave to cool. 
  • Eat as much as you can! I make a new batch every week so that I always have some ready to go in the fridge.