Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) November 21, 2013
Homemade Pickles can replace gold as a gift using a clever DIY kit to make merry this holiday season.
Prepare cultured vegetables as a new tradition to share with family, as dinner warming gifts, or even as a pickle party.
It’s become craft worthy due to the emergence of a fermenting kit that makes small batch pickles in just a few days. These kits, known as jar top fermentors, fit directly onto canning jars to make a variety of small batch pickles. You can watch them ferment due to the use of glass jars as part of the DIY kit. After fermenting is complete, seal them with metal canning lids and refrigerate. That’s it. There is no cooking or boiling, no added culture starters required; just salt, water, and a recipe or two. You are going to love the following two holiday beauties.
This style of pickling uses a timeless method known as brine or lacto-fermentation. Traditional dill pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi—to name a few—began as brine fermented recipes. Now you can bring them fresh and homemade.
Here’s how: the recipe ingredients are placed in a light brine solution in a widemouth canning jar. The kit quickly seals the jar, but allows gases to escape during a fermentation, lasting just a few days. The kits are relatively new to the canning and preserving worlds. They make quick work for small batches. Featured is the Perfect Pickler, which is now available online.
Set the filled and sealed kit on the counter and watch the bubbles begin as vegetables transform into finished pickles. These kits replace the traditional ceramic crocks, so the craft world emerges as you dress the jars up with herbs, colored veggies, and cutout shapes placed as window dressing. Take a bay leaf or a sprig of thyme and slide it down inside the jar as window dressing. Cut out shapes with carrots and other colored veggies use them to excite your diners. The options are endless. Use bright colored veggies, like the carrot and beet recipes that follow and see how striking your gifting can become.
An added bonus is the health benefits found in cultured vegetables. This type of preserving transforms them into a more digestible, probiotic rich food source. Fermenting creates digestive enzymes and a mineral and vitamin rich food for the cost of a few simple veggies. So you make a gift that keeps on feeding.
Here are some colorful, catchy recipes that will excite the eye and the palate during any festive season.
For a holiday pickle we want electric color, sour, sweet, salty, with shapes to create a conversation at the table. Recipes by Bill Hettig, master brine pickler.
Golden Carrots with Orange & Cinnamon - 1 Qt.
The sun still shines with these bright pickles—romanced with oranges and cinnamon. Traditionally you find this pickle glowing among bountiful dishes at Moroccan banquets. Make it light up your holiday.
carrots 2 LB.scrubbed, peeling optional, medium grate
cinnamon 1-1/2 tsp.
orange 1-2 Tbsp. minced zest, juice reserved
water 2 cups filtered water
sea salt 1 Tbsp. coarse or 2-1/2 tsp. fine salt
1 Prepare the carrots and add to a large mixing bowl. Add in the cinnamon.
2 Carefully remove the zest from an orange to yield two full Tbsp. Avoid white, bitter pith. Mince finely and toss with carrots.
3 Pack mixture into a clean, 1 quart widemouth canning jar, tamping as you go until about 2 inches from jar lip.
4 Combine salt and water, stir to dissolve. Add to jar until about a 1/2-inch from jar lip.
5 Use directions from jar top fermentor or go to PerfectPickler.com to view video.
6 After four day fermentation remove the kit and add the reserved orange juice and 1 Tbsp. honey.
7 Seal the jar with two-piece canning lid and refrigerate.
8 Cut out wrapping paper into circles large enough to fit under the metal canning band as a way to gift wrap your pickle present.
Pickled Beets & Cabbage (Borscht) - 1 Qt.
This is an all-time favorite. The beet-cabbage flavor is sublime. This version uses canned beets and boxed vegetable stock for quick fixing. This traditional dish from Eastern Europe produces a brilliant fuchsia color. Serve cold or hot with a dollop of sour cream and dill or chives.
“It’s a soup, it’s a pickle, it’s sour, it’s sweet-sour—it’s a pickler’s best friend.” - Bill Hettig
cabbage 1 cup coarsely chopped
beets, canned 215 oz. cans, unsweetened, no spices, rinsed
onion 1/2 cup sliced, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
garlic 2 tsp. 2 medium, chopped
vegetable stock 2 cups boxed, low sodium, organic is a good choice
sea salt 3/4 Tbsp. coarse, or 2 tsp. fine sea salt
peppercorns 1/2 tsp. lightly cracked or coarsely ground
1 Use a food processor fitted with a medium grating disc and process the cabbage, beets, onions, and garlic.
2 Make up the brine by combining the stock and salt.
3 Add cracked pepper to a one quart, clean, widemouth canning jar, then add vegetables, tamping lightly, until about 2 inches from the lip.
4 Add the brine until about a half-inch from the lip.
5 Seal according jar top fermentor instructions or view website video at PerfectPickler.com.
6 After four days fermentation remove the kit and seal with two-piece canning lid and refrigerate.
7 Cut out wrapping paper into circles large enough to fit under the metal canning band as a way to gift wrap your pickle present.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill or parsley.
Bill Hettig has been lacto-fermenting vegetables since 1991 while preparing a class on ferments for his natural foods cooking school. He developed the Perfect Pickler then and has been developing recipes for over twenty years.