There is nothing better than a nice slice of ham adorned with a creamy slice of cheddar and a good helping of pickles. This is a comfort food to me and I have, in the last 10 years or so, made effort to make this a Christmas tradition.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I gather all my canning and preserving tools together to make a large batch (I'm talking 3-4 litres/1 gallon) of pickles to preserve in jars and give to my loved ones as a gift.
In times where money can be tight, making pickles, jams and preserves etc. is a relatively inexpensive way to show family you care, as well as use fruit or vegetable surplus before it 'goes south'.
Sweet Mustard pickles, if you haven't been lucky enough to try are a delicious combination of sweet, tangy, aromatically spiced pickles with beautiful bitesize pieces of cucumber, cauliflower and capsicum(bell pepper) and are a great addition to your cheese platter on your holiday or special event table.
No-Sugar Sweet Mustard Pickles
Makes 16 cups.
1 serve equivalent to 1 heaped tbsp.
| Calories 9 | Protein 0.3g | Fats 0 | Carbs 1.7g |
1. Prepare all vegetables into bite size pieces (no bigger than the tip of your thumb) and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water (about 8 cups) and add 1/4 cup salt. Put in fridge overnight (12-24 hours).
The next Day.
You'll need to sterilize your jars and lids. You can do this by immersing them in a large water filled saucepan with 1/4 cup salt and boil them (lids off). Leave them sitting in the hot water until its closer to the time to fill them. Do not discard the water as you can use this as your 'canning bath' to help preserve, seal and finalise the cooking in the jars.
2. Remove salted vegetables from fridge. Drain. and refill saucepan with water. Place on stove and bring to the boil. Par-cooking until 'al'dente' (tender but with a little snap). Drain when done and set aside in a bowl.
3. Using the same large saucepan, add vinegar, water, turmeric, fennel, pepper, bay leaves, mustard seeds, mustard powder, dill, sweetener, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes until bay leaves infused and mustard seeds have softened.
4. Remove bay leaves from liquid and add vegetables. Bringing back to a simmer.
5. after veg have been in the golden liquid for 5 minutes, removed 2 cups of liquid from the pot and make a slurry with your 3/4 cup arrowroot flour. You will need to use a large bowl and sprinkle the arrowroot over the liquid whisking as you go. When completely combined add to the sauce pan and stir, stir stir…
6. The mixture will thicken to a syrup or custard consistency. if too runny you can use additional arrowroot. * ensuring you are mixing as you go as it can coat the bottom of your saucepan at this point and scorch. We do not want that.
* WARNING * As any pickle, chutney or Jam thickens bubbles come to the surface and pop with higher pressure, so be careful not to let it sit for too long on the boil as you may get a nasty scold.
7. When Nice and thick, and super hot. Remove off heat. This is when you take your jars out. Use Silicone tipped tongs if you do not have any jar clasps ( preserving kit must have). When jars are removed, remove approx. 1/2 of the hot water, and then add pot to heat to bring back to the boil. *keep the removed hot water as you may need to top up the bath.
TIP: I would have a clean wet cloth handy to wipe the jar rims before adding lids. and a tea towel under the jars to catch what you drop. yes you will and it can get messy.
8. Fill your hot sterile jars, leaving 1-2 inches from the top. Wipe rims and add lids firmly. Using a tea towel, jar clasp or heat proof/waterproof gloves, place jars in water bath ensuring that lids are submerged. Boil filled jars for approx. 10 mins.
9. After 10 mins. Turn the heat off. You may allow the water to cool slightly before removing jars or ladle out some liquid to expose lids for easier removal.
*WARNING: JARS ARE EXTREMELY HOT & SLIPPERY*
Remove jars and place on bench to cool. You will notice that as they cool over the next few hours, the lids will "POP" and create the vacuum seal necessary for keeping them fresh. When cool you can store in your pantry and give as gifts.
Opened jars or jars that did not achieve a seal (you will know which ones didn't, and there is always one, especially if you are recycling jars), should be stored in the fridge. Opened pickles will remain fresh for 3-4 weeks …
IF THEY DONT GET EATEN :)
All recipes and images are the property of CR nutrition. I'd love for you to share the link to my recipes, however, please do not copy without credit. Thank you and Enjoy!! Carrie Ross: Holistic Nutritionist | BSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine | Bariatric Health Coach | Social Trainer |Author of:->
The Balanced Macros - Bariatric Nutrition Program.
->The Fresh Start Reset - Bariatric Mind and Body Reset
->Bariatric Jump-start - Mind-Body-Belly Challenge.
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Carrie Ross: Clinical Nutritionist | BSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine | Nutritional/ food Behaviour Counselor |Bariatric Health Coach | Social Trainer |Author