Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Picky about Pickles

My husband works nights so often times when I get home from school I am starving and need something fast and easy. At least one night a week I reach in the freezer for a veggie burger for dinner (post on veggie burgers coming soon…). The one thing that I absolutely must have on that burger without a doubt are pickles. The salty, tangy, crunch is so satisfying and scrumptious I can’t bare to eat my burger without it.

Most people don’t know it but there are a few different kinds of pickles out there. Some are pickled using vinegar, which is delicious, however I am looking for a little more out of my pickle. For me, the preferential pickle is one that is fermented. Fermented pickles contain only water from a high quality source, salt, and spices…oh and cucumbers of course! These delicious dills are cured for several weeks, allowing time for beneficial bacteria to produce acid, which preserves them. (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ1091.html) The other tremendously cool thing is that this bacteria has another job to do, not only in the pickle jar, but in your tummy! I am talking probiotics people! Wait, you say, I thought those were in yogurt. Yes, you would be right, but they are also found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and of course pickles! These are all excellent sources of probiotics for people who cannot consume dairy. To design a rounded, well-balanced meal, you should consider adding a digestive aid to your menu. This can be something that is fermented, cultured, pickled, or raw. (Feeding the Whole Family, Cynthia Lair) Incorporating something like this into all your meals is easy and can help if you struggle with indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. Try it; your tummy will thank me!

My all time favorite brand of pickles is Bubbies. They are deliciously crisp, add the perfect zing to your sandwich, and stomp out that salt craving with one low calorie bite! If you can’t find Bubbies, look for other brands of fermented pickles in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

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