Since I went vegan a year ago I cook a lot more. Not only because I have a lot less ready made options, but mainly because I want to discover new flavors. And I love cooking- It relaxes me. So I have decided to embrace my feminine side and share two recipes here. It will be mercilessly ridiculed by my sisters who I have a pact with that we will never become one those ladies  who only talk about babies and swap recipes. Here I am -swapping recipes. I guess never say never!

Being on a vegan diet it is especially important to me to make sure I eat a lot of healthy bacteria that keeps my gut healthy. Since yoghurt is no longer an option I went to search for other options and I came across fermenting vegetables. Than I remembered- that’s what my mum always used to do! Her fermented cucumbers were to die for! Super crunchy and fresh. So I decided to try to make them myself and it turned out to be super easy.

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Fermented cucumbers

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of organic pickling cucumbers
  • about 2 liters of filtered water
  • fresh dill
  • garlic
  • bay lives (fresh or dried is fine)
  • salt- about 2 table spoons per liter of water

My mum also used a horse radish root, but I couldn’t find it anywhere here.

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Once you have all your ingredients ready stir your salt into the water. I used a mixture of a sea salt and Himalayan salt, roughly half -half.  Next you put all the ingredients- garlic, dill, bay leaves and cucumbers- in a jar.

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You need to make sure that everything is tightly fitted,so it doesn’t float about once you pour the salty water in.

Once you pour the water make sure everything is submerged.

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Put a lid tightly on and you are done. As simple as that! Depending on the temperature cucumbers should be ready to eat in about 3 days. It is quite warm in my house so it takes 3 days on the dot.

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The jars need to be opened once a day to let the fresh air in. You can then check if they need more fermenting or if they are ready to eat. They should be tangy but crunchy- you don’t want them to get too soft. Once you decide they are done you need to move them into the fridge or a cool pantry. Low temperature stops the fermentation process. I hear you can keep them in a fridge for weeks but I wouldn’t know – mine are gone in few days!

Few days ago out of nowhere I felt this overwhelming craving for pickles. Than I remembered that my friend Beata used to make those amazing Chili Pickes.  Her recipe is slightly more complicated than the previous one but still very doable and well worth the hassle. It is a lovely and very interesting twist on your everyday pickle. So here is how it goes.

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Beata’s Chili pickles

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of organic pickling cucumbers
  • 4 table spoons of salt
  • 4 cups of vinegar (I used organic apple cider vinegar)
  • 1-2 table spoons of chili powder (depending how spicy you want your pickles to be)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 6 table spoons of olive oil (EVOO :-))

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Slice your cucumbers  into quarters. Place them in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix thoroughly. Leave for about 4 hours for cucumbers to release all the juices.

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After about 4 hours you can start making your brine. Pour your vinegar into a pot and mix in chili powder, brown sugar and oil. Bring to boil over a low heat. Make sure you don’t leave it boiling for longer that half a minute or so. It will have a very strong vinegary aroma so make sure your kitchen is well ventilated. Once the brine has boiled you can pour it over your sliced cucumbers which by now should have released all their juices.

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Make sure to mix it properly, cover and leave for few hours. Then transfer cucumbers to the jars and pour the brine in. Place the lids tightly on. And that is it. All done. They are ready to eat in about a day. There is no need to refrigerate them as long as you store the jars in a cool and dry place.

So mock me all you want for cooking and posting my recipes- sisters! I can take it. Bring it on! Everybody else-I hope you like my recipes.

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