It's that time of the year, when our mothers and grandmothers are getting ready to prepare our favourite pickles from raw mangoes. Kairi ka achaar is one of the best ways of preserving the season's best fruit- mangoes. Fresh raw mangoes pickled during summer are full of seasonal goodness that can be savoured throughout the year, all thanks to the age-old method that involves dunking it in oils and masalas. Traditional Indian pickles contain, apart from the fruit and preservative oil, a host of spices including chilli powder, salt, cumin powder, dhania (coriander) powder etc. Although Indian spices are known for their healing benefits, consumption of too much salt and oil-rich pickle during summers may not be a very good idea.
Pickling of fruits and vegetables is a process of extending their life spans, by making them undergo anaerobic fermentation in brine (salt water) or vinegar. The process is popular all over the world and people pickle almost all fresh produce that is in season, so that they can enjoy the benefits of the foods beyond the season. During summers, a number of fresh fruits and vegetables can be pickled. We all love the raw mango pickle that reminds us of our grandma's house. But have you ever tasted a strawberry pickle?
Pickled Strawberries: They May Have An Advantage Over Fresh Strawberries
Fermented foods have a number of health benefits that we are all aware of. Fermentation of foods adds healthy bacteria to dishes, which is why pickling of fruits and vegetables makes them probiotic. The process also affects the food's taste, texture and flavour, making fermented foods interesting additions to your dishes. Macrobiotic nutritionist and health practitioner Shilpa Arora says that fermented foods are healing for the gut and for the smooth functioning of the body. "Fermented foods are exceptionally good for the summer because you are more prone to attacks from bacteria during this season. Fermented foods are cooling foods and rich in good bacteria. Pickles if they are spicy, then they will irritate your stomach so pickling of fruits and vegetables is a good idea", she adds.
Why You Should Pickle Strawberries And How To Do It
Strawberries are one of the most delicious and flavoursome berries available during summer. They are rich in antioxidants and low in calories. They are also known to aide digestion and boost skin health. Pickled berries like blueberries and strawberries are common in the United States and Canada and are typically used in both sweet and savoury preparations. Pickled strawberries are even paired with meats in some U.S. and Canadian restaurants. They can even be used in fruit parfaits or just added to your breakfast cereal to add some zing and flavour to it.
There are many different ways to pickle strawberries. The easiest way to prepare strawberry pickle is with vinegar and sugar. Cut the strawberries into halves or quarter pieces and place them in a heatproof and airtight jar. Add water to vinegar, salt and sugar and bring it to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the solution over the strawberries and allow it to cool. Cover the strawberries and let them sit undisturbed for a couple of days. Serve the pickle chilled. You can also add a pickle starter culture to your jar to start the fermentation process.
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