By Guestblogger Carlota Ribeiro Sanches,
Graduate of the Pure Cook’s Training 2014

Seasons not only have a great impact on soil and crops but they also have a profound impact in our minds and bodies.

Chinese ancient trweb picklesaditions say that we are greatly influenced by the changes in climate and therefore should respect and live according to them.

We adapt naturally to each season but preparing for these changes can make these transitions more balanced and harmonious.  Choosing and cooking your food according to the seasons can be a  great way to take on this process.

Now is the time to store fuel, food to get all the energy to embrace the long and cold winter.

Pickling is a very easy and accessible way to store food during the Winter.  You don’t need many ingredients and it won’t take much of your time.  This year I have made pickles for the first time using cucumbers grown in our now stripped and empty polytunnels, some of our own shallots and some purple carrots that I had got in my own vegbox.  This made all the content in my jars look bright pink in just two days of fermentation.

I used a very simple recipe that I received while attending the Pure Cook’s Training at Whole Food Harmony. Basically you just need to boil one liter of water with two tablespoons of salt.

While the water comes to a boil cut all the vegetables and place them in jars.  Season your future pickles with herbs such as thyme or rosemary, you can use vinegar, lemon, garlic as well, or even cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Take the water of the heat and let it cool down to a lukewarm temperature before pouring it into the jars. After pouring the water close the jars as tight as possible and leave them to ferment for at least one week.

The list of the benefits of fermented foods it’s a long one  – they can be a great contributor to a healthy digestive system helping the formation of healthy bacteria, like for example Lactobacillus acidophilus, into the intestines, they also help the absorption of nutrients into the blood and regulate the levels of acidity in the stomach and intestines. Also, pickles can contribute to breaking down fat after heavy meals.

I wanted to make my pickles pungent and sour so I added garlic, ginger, rosemary and vinegar to the vegetables.  The sour flavour in foods will help in digestion to improve the dissolution of minerals, it can also serve as a solvent to break down protein and fat. As for the pungent aromatic flavour, this can be used to stimulate blood circulation and as a protection for the common colds so closely related to the season.