Pickles: The superhero of your meal
While the rest of the world has just awakened to the miraculous benefits of pickles, our ancestors had perfected this art of preservation, centuries ago
Who knew that a little bit of spice, salt and sunshine could result in one of the most delicious condiments. While the rest of the world has just awakened to the miraculous benefits of pickles; our ancestors had perfected this art of preservation, centuries ago. Though I enjoy these fermented goodies all year round, summer and winters are the two major seasons for pickling. As we are right in the midst of winter, it is time to bring out your jars, clean up your produce and read along as to why you should be pickling away.
Firm about fermentation - I am a firm believer that fermented foods need to be part of our daily diet. In our gut reside numerous microbes that feed and grow on the food we eat. A healthy population of good microbes fight off infections and gastric disturbances. Constipation, flatulence and other such issues can be attributed to poor levels of good bacteria. Fermented foods have these microorganisms in abundance and that is precisely why they are a staple on my table.
Veggie delight - Even my fussiest clients, young nieces and nephews cannot say no to pickles. Pickles are a great way to get in those vegetables that you are usually reluctant to have. Cauliflower, carrots, turnips beetroot, lemon, radish with fresh turmeric root, ginger as well as green chilli etc. can be made into delectable pickles
Gut - brain connection - Ever felt irritable when you have had an upset stomach? It is probably because the gut and the brain are connected. An imbalanced gut micro-biome can hamper your mental peace. In fact, it is one of the factors that lead to depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Wondering how to cure this? One of the cures may be your pickles add them at every meal.
Spice and herbs - Pickles are often seen as condiments that enhance flavour and rightfully so. Full of spices like turmeric, cumin, asafoetida, chilli, coriander seeds, mustard etc. these give the much needed anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory dose.
I like to accompany turmeric, ginger and chilli pickle along with my meals. These act as digestive aids. No wonder they are traditionally paired with flatulence inducing whole pulses.
Eat it right - I know you are now abreast with why pickles are wonderful but are you eating them right? I prefer the homemade variety where I can control the amount of oil. Cold pressed oils are the best carriers for all the phytochemical compounds. Pickling in lemon with sea salt is the easiest way to ferment food.
Chutneys and podis – Too give that extra anti-oxidant boost to your pickles, add on the numerous chutneys and podis that we have at our disposal. I love my haldi – amla chutney and my neem – sesame podi.
Don't think of your condiments as the sidekicks. They pretty much are the superheroes of your meals.