Did you know that cucumbers are in the watermelon family? And did you know that the watermelon rind is edible?
And not only that, it’s quite tasty, too! It’s crisp and hydrating with a mild flavor. It’s similar to cucumber in texture, and there are tons of great ways to use it—like coleslaw, tzatziki, and gazpacho, for example! And don’t forget watermelon rind salad.
These watermelon rind pickles are salty, briny, sour, crunchy, and a little spicy—the perfect condiment in my eyes. They are a delicious snack. We are calling this recipe watermelon rind “pickles,” but that’s just to show what they taste like; they are fermented, not pickled. The main difference between pickling and fermenting is the presence of probiotics (“good” bacteria) with fermentation. And here’s a recipe that does NOT use either vinegar or sugar:
Wash and dry the skin of the watermelon, and cut into quarters. Scrape out the pink (and eat!) the juicy fruit and clean the pink flesh off the rind as much as possible. A spoon is a great tool to scrape with. Use a potato peeler to peel away the green, tough, outer layer of the watermelon. Once you have prepped the rind, cut it into one-inch strips and chop into a size that accommodates your jar.
Pack a clean, wide-mouth, quart or pint canning jar with the rinds and snuggly fit in the cinnamon stick. Pour the brine over the rinds, submerging them completely. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or other breathable cloth cover to keep dust or bugs from entering the ferment. Store at room temperature, ideally between 60º and 75ºF. Keep out of direct sunlight.
This is a 3-day ferment. Check on the ferment daily to make sure the brine remains over the rind. Once the fermentation is complete, store in an airtight glass jar (with the brine) and refrigerate.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
Yield: One pint. (Double the recipe for a quart jar.)
Watermelon rind, peeled
One cinnamon stick. (OK to use powdered cinnamon.)
2 teaspoons pink Himalayan or Kosher salt.
1 cup purified water (Note: Nothing will ferment in chlorinated water.)
1/2 teaspoon ground clove (optional).
If you want to try the sweeter, ginger-spiced version, here are the other ingredients you can add:
Savory spreads are great on crackers, hors d’oeuvres, or piped into pasta shells. They are firm enough to be cubed to go into a salad or rice dish. They can be used in a stuffed potato, enchilada, or any lettuce wrap or nori roll.
The sweet version of this spread can go in the middle of muffins, on pancakes, rolled into crepes, mixed into a creamy fruit smoothie, or cubed and arranged on a fruit platter.
1 cup liquids + 1 cup solids + 1–3 teaspoons agar agar powder. Add the flavorings, herbs and spices. Put all ingredients in a Vitamix (turned on high) for 4–5 minutes. Pour into mold. Let set until cooled and firm. Unmold, garnish, and enjoy!
Agar Agar is a whole-food, nutritious Red Sea algae that is used as a thickener. It is basically tasteless. It comes in bars, flakes, and powdered. For these recipes, I have used the powdered.
TIP: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon.
Agar agar powder works great with fruit to make fruit glazes, sauces, jellies, or jams. By using 1, 2 or 3 teaspoons, you can determine how firm you would like it. One teaspoon is a soft gel, two teaspoons works for a jam, and three teaspoons is used for the above, firm recipe.
SAVORY SPREAD RECIPE
LIQUIDS: 1 cup vegan milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or home-made sauerkraut juice, Japanese ume plum vinegar, or a vinegar of your choice.
SOLIDS: 1 cup nut flour, such as almond, macadamia, tiger nut flour (a root, not a nut, for those who don’t eat nuts), or 1 cup any white beans (use 2 teaspoons of agar agar with the flours and 3 teaspoons if using the beans).
Vitamix: Place your choice of liquids and solids into the Vitamix, with spices, herbs and flavorings added. Only a dash, because it easily picks up flavors! Suggested spices for the Savory Spread are: cayenne, sea salt, oregano, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast.
I use a meat or candy thermometer to measure temperature. Should be between 115º and 120º after Vitamixing.
SWEET SPREAD RECIPE
Sweet Spreads use the same process. 1 cup fruit juice + 1 cup fruit, agar agar, and a tablespoon of your favorite liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut nectar)—or no sweetener at all.
Add flavoring or extracts of your choice: lemon, orange, vanilla, or almond. Follow the same steps as in the basic recipe; it’s very versatile. Enjoy creating your own variations!
An easy, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cold-fighting recipe for a golden-warm, vegan, turmeric latte that will help you sleep, improve your mood, and may even improve your memory. The natural-health benefits are many!
Ever since adding Getting a Great Night’s Sleep to my list of intentions, I’ve been putting more thought into how I spend the last 90 minutes before I climb into bed. And by “more,” I mean that I’ve actually been thinking about it, period. If you are looking for ways to relax, unwind, and improve your sleep—or if you simply like the idea of a warm, tasty beverage adding a little cozy to your evening—this Soothing Bedtime Golden Milk recipe has been a wonderful addition to my nighttime routine, and I can see it having a welcome spot in yours, too!
I’ve heard a lot about “golden milk” over the years, but I didn’t fully understand or appreciate its benefits. I’d seen enough recipes for it floating around the web to know it contained turmeric and ginger (the sources of its signature golden hue), but I didn’t connect it with sleep until I decided to get more serious about my own.
I’ve always thought the idea of a “nighttime routine” or “bedtime rituals” sounded either silly or reserved for someone far more in touch with their inner juju than me. Now that I’m paying more attention to how I spend my pre-bedtime hours, I realize that I DO have a bedtime routine: Checking my phone, finishing miscellaneous household tasks, and thinking about my to-do list for the next day—all kind of BORING! So, to improve on that, I now LOVE making myself a cup of this easy, Soothing Bedtime Golden Milk about an hour before bed.
In addition to soothing me to sleep, this bedtime ritual has also helped me appease my nightly craving for something sweet before bed. With this warm, golden elixir I find myself feeling completely satisfied and ready to “lay me down to sleep,” knowing that these healthful ingredients are working their magic for me all night long…
About the Ingredients
Almonds: Rich in magnesium, which promotes both sleeping and muscle relaxation. This golden milk recipes uses them in th