Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon [download google books]

  • Full Title : Asian Pickles: Korea: Recipes for Spicy, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Kimchi and Banchan
  • Autor: Karen Solomon
  • Print Length: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00ALBR6OQ
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: epub


A DIY guide to making the salty, sweet, tangy, and spicy pickles of Korea, featuring 15 recipes ranging from traditional kimchi to new favorites with innovative ingredients and techniques.

For Asian food aficionados as well as preservers and picklers looking for new frontiers, the natural standout is Korea’s diverse array of pickled products, homemade ingredients, and condiments that wow the palate. In Asian Pickles: Korea, respected cookbook author and culinary project maven Karen Solomon introduces readers to the unique ingredients used in Korean pickle-making, such as salted shrimp, fermented red pepper paste, sweet rice flour, and the right dried chile powder, and numerous techniques beyond the basic brine. And for the novice pickler, Solomon also includes a vast array of quick pickles with easy-to-find ingredients. Featuring the most sought-after Korean pickle recipes–including Whole Leaf Kimchi, Cubed Radish Kimchi, Spinach with Sesame, Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi, and more--Asian Pickles: Korea will help you explore a new preserving horizon with fail-proof instructions and a selection of additional helpful resources.




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the glucose from the sugar into the bloodstream, or stores it for later use. If the liver is already completely full of glucose it stores the extra as triglycerides, or fat. Fructose, another component of sugar, also has to be managed by the liver and is stored as glycogen. The liver can only hold about 100 grams of glycogen before it has to convert the rest to fat. Once the liver is filled with glucose and glycogen it becomes overtaxed and a whole host of problems can surface. When the liver is constantly overloaded with sugar, it becomes susceptible to liver disease. Also common for people with diets high in sugar, is insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes. Insulin resistance creates a highly toxic atmosphere throughout the entire body, allowing cancer cells to flourish.

The “Sugar High”

To make matters even worse, sugar is addictive. It causes physical reactions in the brain that result in manufactured feelings of happiness or relaxation. Dopamine receptors are located all over the brain and release feelings of pleasure whenever sugar is eaten, similar to the effect of heroin or cocaine, although on a smaller scale. This is where the term “sugar high” comes from. The mind and body begin to crave the dopamine high created by the sugar and the brain sends out powerful messages to the body reminding it to continuously feed this addiction.

Eric Stice, a neuroscientist at the Oregon Research Institute (, conducted MRI scans to illustrate what happens in the brains of overweight people when they consume soda, ice cream, and other sugary foods. He found that the brain actually builds up a resistance to the dopamine effect. In other words the more sugar they consumed, the more they needed to create the same level of pleasure. The body becomes addicted and desensitized at the same time. It craves more but is never satisfied. This overconsumption of sugar leads to the overconsumption of all foods and promotes habits perfect for obesity.

Trends and Statistics

On average, Americans consume approximately 130 pounds of sugar per person per year, or roughly 3 pounds per week. Children and teenagers on average consume even more, about 1 cup of sugar per day. Soda and other sweetened drinks are possibly the worst culprits because people become addicted to the high amount of sugar as well as to the caffeine that some drinks contain. A 12-ounce soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, and an average American drinks 53 gallons of soda per year. These high rates of sugar consumption are up 45 percent from sugar consumption thirty years ago.

Sugar As Reward

Societal trends also perpetuate the overconsumption of sugar. Sugar is often treated as a reward. Children are praised with candy and adults are treated with gourmet cupcakes at the office. If you’re having dinner at a restaurant, you might drink soda, lemonade, or sugar-laden cocktails, and have dessert as well. You could easily consume more sugar in one evening than you should have in an entire month! A traditional child’s birthday party is loaded with sugar. It seems that a party isn’t complete without a cake served with ice cream, a piñata stuffed to capacity with candy, and the ubiquitous favor bags with more candy and sweet treats.

It’s a sugar-obsessed world, and it’s fun to indulge. Not only is sugar physically addicting, but sugary treats are associated with celebrations and holidays. Candy, cookies, and cake are used to say “Good job,” “I love you,” “Happy anniversary,” and “Thank you.” While there is nothing wrong with this on a small scale, it’s important to be aware of how, in excess, these rewards and celebrations perpetuate the sugar-craze.

Sugar’s Effect on Health

In 2013 Credit Suisse’s Research Institute reported that as a nation the United States spends $1 trillion annually on health-care issues directly related to the consumption of excess sugar. This figure represents 30–40 percent of the total health-care costs in the United States. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist from University of California–San Francisco, published articles stating that sugar is a big player in the current decline of health in America and that 75 percent of disease is brought on by a person’s lifestyle. Lustig believes that because of this health decline, today’s generation of American children could end up being the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This is the sad outcome of our overconsumption of sugar; it’s literally killing us.

The Meaning of Sugar-Free

The term “sugar-free” is often used to describe foods, such as cookies, gum, and drinks, that have chemical and artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. Artificial sweeteners approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration include saccharin, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are found in products like Sweet’N Low, Equal, and Splenda. These products are indeed free of refined white sugar and are often calorie-free, but simply being “sugar-free” does not mean they are healthy. Diets heavy in foods with artificial sweeteners are as unhealthy as diets high in refined white sugar.

Research shows that similarly to sugar, artificial sweeteners desensitize the body’s reaction to sweet food, leaving the body unsatisfied. This results in consuming food in excess to satisfy hunger. Artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than regular sugar, causing a person’s proverbial “sweet tooth” to be continuously overstimulated. Over time, that overstimulation changes tastes and preferences. Naturally sweet foods such as fruit don’t taste as good as they once did, and non-sweet, simple foods such as vegetables can become truly unappetizing.

Studies also show that artificial sweeteners are just as addictive as white sugar. A 2007 study at University of Bordeaux in France found that rats overwhelmingly preferred saccharine to cocaine, suggesting the addictive quality of the substance. Researchers provided rats with a choice of saccharin-sweetened water and intravenous cocaine. The rats could press a lever and receive either a shot of cocaine or a sip of saccharin-sweetened water as often as they wanted. The animals chose the high from artificial sugar water 94 percent of the time. Researchers in the study believe their findings reveal that the concentrated sweetness of artificial sugars creates a more intense pleasurable sensation and addiction than cocaine does.

Benefits of Going Sugar-Free

The results of eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners can be astonishing, and the long- and short-term benefits can be wide-ranging. Physical benefits go beyond just weight loss. By allowing more room in the diet for healthy foods, vital nutrients can promote increased energy, a stronger immune system, improved complexion, better digestion, steadier blood sugar levels, and improved sleep. In addition, long-term health risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and diseases associated with these conditions can be reduced, if not eliminated.

Eliminating or even reducing processed sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet has the added benefit of promoting improved mental health. You may experience clearer thinking, decreased irritability, fewer mood swings, and an increase in self-control. Less mental energy directed toward fighting cravings or addictions promotes better overall health.

A Guide to Natural Sweeteners

Naturally sweetened recipes such as those found in this book are free of refined white sugar and artificial sweeteners. Natural, whole-food sweeteners including honey, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and molasses are used instead.

* * *

Please be mindful that although these natural sweeteners promote health and are full of vitamins and minerals, they should be used in moderation and with knowledge of how each sweetener affects the body.

* * *

Following is an overview of the natural sweeteners used in this book.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar, often called coconut palm sugar, is made from the flowers of the coconut tree. Coconut sugar does not have the same tropical flavor usually associated with coconuts. Coconut sugar closely resembles brown sugar in appearance and has a distinctly sweet scent. It caramelizes like sugar, so it works particularly well in baking. Coconut sugar replaces sugar cup-for-cup in recipes and mimics the taste and appearance of brown sugar. It’s naturally full of vitamins and minerals like amino acids, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Coconut sugar is a whole food and does not drastically impact blood sugar levels. It’s a safe diabetic sugar substitute, with a low glycemic index of 35.

Date Sugar

Date sugar is dehydrated, ground-up dates. Dates are a healthy fruit, high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, and they provide delicious natural sweetness to a recipe. Dehydrating and grinding the dates to sugar does not compromise the health benefits of whole dates and the dry product is a convenient natural sweetener. Because date sugar is dehydrated, it can drain baked goods of moisture, so most recipes with date sugar need a lot of liquid. Date sugar is a pure fruit, so it has a relatively high glycemic index and is not a good choice for diabetics.

* * *

When using date sugar in recipes, experiment to see how much liquid is needed to maintain moistness and enjoy date sugar treats within a day of making of them.

* * *

Raw Honey

Raw honey is unfiltered, unprocessed, and straight from the beehive. It’s an alkaline food and contains the vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and water needed to sustain life. Raw honey contains B vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and phosphate.

When a recipe calls for honey, any kind of honey will do. However, to get all of the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic health benefits, raw honey is recommended.

Raw honey can aid in neutralizing toxins in the body, has cancer-fighting properties, can soothe coughs and sore throats, and can help reduce fevers. It is often used topically to help heal skin rashes, acne, or eczema. When raw honey is mixed with ginger or cinnamon it can help calm upset stomachs, constipation, and nausea.

* * *

Honey should not be fed to children under one year of age due to the possible presence of botulism bacteria, which can cause serious food poisoning. Older babies and adults have more developed digestive systems and are not affected by the bacteria.

* * *

Processed honey, which is any honey that does not specifically say it’s raw, is void of most of the health benefits mentioned. Processing occurs to create a product that is clear and lighter in color than it’s natural state, which most consumers prefer. It also keeps it from crystallizing as quickly as raw honey does. Antibiotics, added sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup, and water are often present in processed honey.

* * *

All honey, whether raw or processed, begins to crystallize over time. Crystallization does not mean the honey has gone bad and does not harm the nutritional benefits of honey at all. To soften crystallized honey, simply place the jar of honey in warm water for a few minutes.

* * *

All honey is processed similarly to refined sugar in the body, so honey is not a low-glycemic food, ranking a 50 on the glycemic index scale. It should be used with care by those who suffer from diabetes.

Powdered Honey

Powdered honey is dehydrated honey. It can be called honey powder, granulated honey, or dried honey. There are many different brands of powdered honey available, and quality can vary greatly. Differences in products include whether or not the honey is organic, whether it is pure honey or contains fillers, and how finely it is powdered. Some products have thicker, bigger “grains” while others are extremely fine and look like a golden baking soda.

Honey powder is a great natural sweetener with some but not all of the health benefits of raw honey. It contains many vitamins and minerals and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. Powdered honey has a subtle floral flavor and provides a great texture to baked goods, keeping the final product moist and tender.

* * *

Desserts made with honey powder can turn golden brown quickly when baking. Covering a dish halfway through cooking time is a good idea if the dessert has browned on top but hasn’t finished baking.

* * *

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup is produced by boiling the sap of the maple tree. It contains amino acids, magnesium, zinc, and other vitamins and minerals. It has become popular in the health food industry because it is a natural source of antioxidants, similar to broccoli and blueberries. Antioxidants have been proven to fight cancer cells and to decrease the effects of aging. Maple syrup is a natural source of energy and nutrition when eaten raw. It’s a healthy sweetener, but should be consumed sparingly for those with diabetes, as it ranks 54 on the glycemic index.

* * *

In Canada maple syrup cannot be labeled as such if it is not made 100 percent from maple tree sap. In the United States, however, it can be made almost entirely from maple tree sap to be labeled “maple.” So read labels carefully and purchase only maple syrup labeled 100 percent maple syrup.

* * *

Maple syrup comes in different grades, from extra light to dark. In the United States, there are two grades of maple syrup, Grade A and Grade B. Grade A typically has a milder flavor and pale color. Grade B has a very sharp maple flavor and is darker in appearance. Both grades of maple syrup work equally well for cooking and baking.

Maple Sugar

Like maple syrup, maple sugar also comes from the sap of the maple tree. The maple tree sap is boiled until no water remains, creating a solid maple sugar product. Solid maple sugar is sold as a bar or ground into a granulated powder and sold by the bag. Maple sugar is almost twice as sweet as refined sugar, and has a distinct maple flavor. Maple sugar holds up well in baked items and caramelizes well.

Different brands of maple sugar have different size maple sugar granules. If one brand is too coarse, you can process the sugar in a blender to create a finer powder.


There are a few different sources of molasses, but the two most common in the United States come from the sugar cane plant and the sorghum plant. Molasses is a great alternative to sugar because of its slightly sweet taste, its high mineral and vitamin content, and its accessibility. There are a few varieties of molasses that can come from the sugar cane plant, with blackstrap molasses ranking as the most nutritious option. Blackstrap molasses contains high levels of iron, calcium, potassium, copper, and magnesium, which are all important nutrients for the body. Sorghum molasses also has significant nutritional benefits and is a natural source of sweetness. Sorghum molasses (also commonly called sorghum syrup) is an unprocessed product that contains many important minerals and B vitamins. Whichever type of molasses is used, organic, unsulphured molasses is recommended. Blackstrap molasses ranks 55 on the glycemic index, with sorghum ranking at 50.


Stevia is a sweet herb native to South America and has been used for centuries. It’s almost 300 times sweeter than sugar and is most commonly used in a liquid or powder form. It makes a great sweetener for teas and drinks.

Stevia is a healthy food, but there are many products on the market today that contain stevia with additional unhealthy fillers such as chemicals, animal byproducts, and sugar. Stevia is a plant that is so sweet that it is impossible to make a product in which stevia replaces sugar cup-for-cup. For instance, one would never use one cup of stevia to replace one cup of sugar in a recipe because pure stevia is too concentrated. If a stevia product claims it is equal to sugar in use, it contains unhealthy fillers to create the extra bulk. Look for plain stevia, either in liquid or powder form, with just one or two ingredients listed on the label.

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Stevia is one of the few sweeteners acceptable for the candida diet. Those suffering from any kind of yeast or fungal infection can enjoy stevia while undergoing treatment. A major benefit of stevia is that it is a zero-calorie, zero-carb sweetener. It has little effect on glucose levels and is completely safe for those with diabetes.

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Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in the fiber of plants and fruit. It is commonly extracted from certain types of tree bark, cornhusks, and mushrooms. It is a sugar substitute with almost a third of the calorie content of sugar. Xylitol has a flavor and consistency similar to sugar and therefore is ideal for a variety of recipes. However, it does not caramelize like sugar when baked, so this sweetener works especially well in ice creams, drinks, or frostings.

People are often familiar with xylitol because of its association with sugar-free gum and candy. Although other unhealthy ingredients are sometimes associated with sugar-free products like those, xylitol is a whole food, is nontoxic, and is very safe for consumption. It is important to note that because xylitol is a sugar alcohol, high consumption can upset the stomach or cause bloating. Introduce this sweetener into your diet slowly and monitor your body’s reaction to it closely so it is not eaten in excess.

Xylitol, like stevia, is acceptable for the candida diet. Not only is it acceptable, but it is the only sweetener that actually fights candida and helps kill yeast growth and infections. Xylitol doesn’t raise blood sugar levels and can even promote dental health. Xylitol has been proven to help fight plaque and rebuild tooth enamel. Xylitol is unsafe for pets, and pregnant women should only use xylitol after consulting with their doctor.



Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Baked Tomato, Basil, and Feta Frittata

Easy Mini German Apple Pancakes

Baked Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Chia Apple Spice Pudding

Banana Pancakes

Blueberry Blintzes

“Buttermilk” Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Crustless Quiche Bites

Classic French Crepes

French Toast

Easy Honey Granola

Granola and Fruit Parfaits

Green Lemon Crepes

Peaches and Dream Cereal

Old-Fashioned Lemon Scones

No-Bake Granola Nut Bars

Whole-Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Blintzes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles

Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Sour Cream Doughnuts

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Gingerbread Granola

Pumpkin Chia Pudding Parfaits

Vanilla Chia “Chai” Pudding

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Packed with protein and just enough sweetness, these pancakes will sustain you far better than the traditional version.


2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2⁄3 cup unsweetened almond milk

11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

11⁄3 cups almond meal

1⁄3 cup rice flour

1⁄4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the almond milk and vanilla.

Add the maple syrup, salt, baking powder, almond meal, and flour and whisk until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Heat a nonstick griddle to medium heat or 250°F. Pour 1⁄4 cup of the batter into the


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