I believe that incorporating pickles into your diet is essential for good health. No, I am not talking about the commercially prepared pickles made with vinegar and produced for the masses (ie. the ones you find in most major supermarkets). I am talking about raw, vinegar-free pickles made with the natural fermentation process which has been used by healthy humans for centuries all over the world.
The health benefits of consuming naturally fermented raw pickles are numerous. These raw, naturally fermented pickles contain active cultures and enzymes (like those in yogurt) which support proper digestion, contribute to healthy metabolic function, and inhibit harmful microbes in the intestinal system. Lactic acid (which is a by-product of the fermentation process) supports the growth of healthy intestinal flora. Many people, including those into macrobiotics, make their own pickles as part of their lifestyle. I don’t make my own pickles because I am a princess and I buy mine in jars.
My favorite pickles are made by a company called “Real Pickles” which are 100% organic and come from family farms in New England and New York. I love the Garlic Kraut and Sauerkraut the best; but you can buy all types of pickles including Asian-Style Cabbage (Kimchi), Ginger-Carrot, Dill, Garlic Dill, Spicy Dill and many other varieties. I buy my “Real Pickles” in Whole Foods and they are sold throughout the Northeast in various stores. You can also order them from the “Real Pickles” website but I think that they only ship in the Northeast region of the country. My other favorite brand of pickles is “Bubbie’s.” I think “Bubbie’s” ships anywhere in the country but you could check their website. For your information, a “Bubbie” is a Jewish grandma and I was named after my “Bubbie.”
My favorite snack is made by toasting a piece of sourdough rye bread (I love the brand “Bread Alone” which I buy in Whole Foods), smashing avocado onto the toasted rye bread and, then, topping with raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut or garlic kraut (after the juices have been squeezed out of the kraut). This simple snack also works well with a Lundberg Farm brown rice cake. Obviously, you can use any variety of raw, naturally fermented pickles in many other ways (ie. topped on a tofu hotdog, on a tempeh or avocado reuben or as a side to any other vegan dish). Yum!
TOASTED SOURDOUGH RYE BREAD TOPPED WITH AVOCADO AND SAUERKRAUT
1 large slice of sourdough rye bread, toasted
1/4 to 1/2 avocado
Raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut or garlic kraut
Smash about 1/4 to 1/2 avocado onto a large slice of toasted sourdough rye bread. Squeeze the juice from the sauerkraut and place as much as you desire on top of the avocado. I will say “your welcome” right now for introducing you to this simple, healthy and delicious snack!!!