Friday, 7 February 2014

let's make bread & butter pickles!

hello lovelies!

If you know me at all, then you know that it's no secret I am seriously pickle obsessed. I love pickles sooo much, they are dill-icious (haha, I'm funny, right?). Crunchie, sweet, salty, dilly, garlicy, mmmm!

Now, pickles are a little bit of a guilty pleasure because they are either very salty or very sugary. I'm okay with that. One thing I'm not that down with though is your average store-bought pickles. Want to know why? I'll tell you. Tartrazine.

What's tartrazine, you say?
Well, tartrazine is a synthetic compound commonly used as food colouring. It's also known as Yellow #5. The ingestion of tartrazine has been shown to contribute to irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbances in children. Some children with behavioural disorders have seen improvements with a tartrazine-free diet. Tartrazine can also elicit an allergic reaction in many people, especially those with asthma or aspirin-intolerance. These include hives, itchiness, eczema, feelings of suffocation, and purple skin patches.

I've only recently come to know tartrazine. After having some amazing homemade bread & butter pickles at my mothers house I was on the hunt. But, I kept seeing this ingredient in all the store-bought brands. I wanted pickles so bad, but I didn't know what this "tartrazine" was lurking in my pickle jar. I got home and dug into the internet to find out a little more about it. That being said, there are many cases that tartrazine is the "devil" and also some that claim not to worry about it. I took advantage of my access to scholarly articles and found that many researchers were able to demonstrate the negative effects of this dye. Lastly, in 2008, the Food Standards agency asked for the voluntary removal of Yellow#5 (along with many other artificial flavours) from food in the UK due to being linked to hyperactivity in children. To me, that's reason enough to avoid it.

Bread & Butter Pickles
Original recipe & wonderful step-by-step pictures found here

  • 1/2 pounds sliced pickling cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (I used pink Himalayan)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground turmeric

Slice your cucumbers (not too thin so that they remain crunchy) and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and mix throughly. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove cucumbers from fridge and place in a colander. Throughly rinse all of the salt off the cucumbers with cold water and replace in bowl. Add onions. 

Next, make your pickling liquid. Add white sugar, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, celery salt & turmeric to a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring. Once boiling, pour over cucumbers and onions. Let stand for an hour. Lastly, place concoction into a jar and refrigerate. They should be perfect in about 24 hours or even less!

For a truly divine treat, try them on a piece of toast with peanut butter! Just try it, trust me.

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