The Wholefoodie: Susan Jane White's pickle power!
The very thought of penalising my taste buds has me balking like a duchess in a snake pit. Yet there still exists a perception that in order to look after your body, you have to deny yourself. I hope my recipes never feel like that. True nourishment can, and should, be delivered by kickass wholefoods.
Let me show you how.
With a little bit of mental parkour, you can pickle just about any boring vegetable and turn it into a winner by tea time. Home-pickled cucumber is irresistibly crunchy, sharp and juicy. It will upgrade any boring fish dish or over-familiar curry. Like flint to steel, expect sparks of electricity.
The cucumber's biggest virtue is in its hydrating powers. A whopping 92pc of this vegetable is pure water. Good news for hairy hangovers and puckered eyes. I often nurse my tired peeps with slices of cucumber to resuscitate an eye-bright glow. It certainly slays expensive eye gels.
Aside from its hydrating prowess, I dig the potassium vibes. Potassium is discreetly enamoured with sodium in our system, so that something inside us cartwheels each time we crunch into a cucumber. The potassium-sodium dance is closer to a tango, and is of particular importance to readers suffering from high blood pressure. Cucumber is your friend! Athletes also like being on top of their sodium levels for proper hydration and muscle function.
I know what you're thinking: what's with all the salt in the recipe? It's worth noting that the salt and sugar content in this recipe stays primarily in the pickle juice, which I don't recommend chugging. You can simply reuse it for your next batch of cucumber pickle (within a reasonable time-frame). Or threaten your children with it when mutiny hits.
Sweet and sour cucumber pickle
Makes 16 servings
You will need:
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 Spiralise the cucumbers into ribbons, or if you don't have a spiraliser, use a sharp knife to thinly slice the cucumbers into discs. Tumble them with the sea salt into a sieve, and leave them to drain for 10 minutes. Squeeze out any excess moisture.
2 In a clean 500ml glass jar, shake together the caster sugar, the raw apple cider vinegar and the coriander seeds. Add the prepped cucumber and shake the jar again. Leave the flavours to party for 10 minutes before tucking in. Alternatively, you can keep this cucumber pickle in the fridge to service despondent suppers.