Pickled Watermelon Rind & Beets

A week or so ago I bought myself a HUGE watermelon from WFM and thought to myself, “how can I use the rind to this melon”.

Watermelons are in the same family as cucumbers and zucchini, so I tried to think of cooking techniques for those.

Dehydrating first came to mind then of course breading/frying followed, because anything fried can be tasty.

Finally pickles came to mind!

I’ve never pickled or fermented anything and the idea not only fascinated me but also was terrifying.

I decided to peruse the net for basic pickling recipes to guide me in the right direction.

During my search I stumbled across a recipe for pickled watermelon rind! Oh, lucky days!

The recipe was adapted by Kitchen Riffs from a David Chang recipe.

As mentioned before I do not like using refined white sugar but it was important for me to follow the recipe somewhat closely for the first attempt. So, I reduced the sugar quantity from the original.

I pickled the rinds Monday night after waiting the recommended four days, I popped off the lids and gave them a try.

Ok, I do admit that eating pickled rind from a watermelon may not sound scrumptious, and well, I cannot say it was my favorite. These freshly packed sour warheads have an intense “POW, IN YOUR FACE” flavor.

Kitchen Riff recommended using ACV instead of Chang’s rice wine vinegar, so I went along with the ACV. The ACV has a sweet element and enhances the intense flavors to an overwhelming degree.

The thing about watermelon rind is that it doesn’t have much flavor and are bitter—absorbing whatever sauce used. Less sugar and the strong, sweet flavor of ACV took over the rinds, resulting in unbalance between sweet and sour/tangy, with sour/tangy dominating the profile.

Cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger were also added to my brind which adds a layer of heat to the pickles.

There is a real sweet, tangy, sour explosion of flavors that are not for the average soul.

There was also that expected crunch from the hard rind which you’ll find from a well pickled vegetable. The crunch adds another degree of complexity to this already stimulating flavors.

This would be great with some ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day or garnish for a fun, fruity cocktail.

I’ve generated two jars and am seeking creative ways to eat these tangy morsels because summer is on it’s way out and seldom drink, but once in a while I do enjoy a classic gimlet with gin. I’ll post updates about tasty finds for pickled watermelon rind.

I ended up using some extra dressing to pickle a golden beet that wasn’t looking too good. I honestly loved the pickled beet.

The ACV wasn’t as overwhelming and still had a strong beet flavor and a slight crunch to them.

These would be great with hummus and roasted corn or in a nice green salad with some toasted walnuts. YUM!

Have you tried pickling? Do you have a favorite recipe or tricks? Let me know!

Decadent (Dairy-Free) Hot Cocoa

This recipe was created to help control my sugar intake during cravings, which often controlled me.

The secret to this hot cocoa is the nutty boost of toasted sesame oil, but the all-star here is Callebaut unsweetened dark 60% chocolate.

I say less sugar the better and my tastes have adapted to enjoying the bitter essence of pure chocolate, but I still enjoy a touch of sweetness.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR RECIPE)

Why do I prefer honey?  Click here to find out. 


 

Sweet Treat (Dairy-Free) Hot Cocoa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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CRAVING SUPPRESSOR ALERT! Creamy, chocolaty goodness—ready in minutes!


Credit: Kat Polomsky

Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup flax or hemp milk
      • 1/2 cup almond or cashew milk
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 2-3 tbsp local honey (Add more if you like sweeter)
      • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
      • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped (I use Callebaut unsweetened bitter chocolate)
      • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
      • 1/2 tsp sea salt
      • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon stick

     

Optional Ingredients:

  • Vegan marshmallows.  Make sure your marshmallows are vegan!  Many brands contain fish gelatin, collagen, or egg whites.  Have you ever made marshmallows at home?  Let me know how it worked out!
  • Fine toasted coconut,
  • Coconut cream
  • Finely ground protein powder.  Whisk in well with other ingredients in step 4.

Directions

1) Measure out 1/2 cup flax milk, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil & honey and pour into small saucepan.

2) Set range to low and add dark chocolate to saucepan and slowly whisk continuously.

3) Continue to whisk liquid until chocolate is completely melted and begins to thicken.

4) Turn off heat and add 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp vanilla, salt, & cinnamon and continue to whisk until blended.

5) Pour the velvety smooth treat into your favorite mug and enjoy!

Note:  Even though unsweetened dark chocolate is used, it still contains high amounts of saturated fat and consists stearic acid and palmitic acid and should be used in  moderation.

Easiest Chocolate Cloud Cookies

I am in awe right now.  I have discovered a cookie recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to make, has very few ingredients, has no added sugar, and uses only 1 bowl and 1 spoon and 1 large cookie sheet.

If you are anything like me, you are a sugarholic!  Luckily whenever I get a mean craving for something chocolately sweet these cookies come to the rescue!

Let’s give these puppies a boost of star power by adding a scoop of your favorite flavorless vegan protein powder to create a delicious post-workout treat, with 12g of protein per serving (serving size 4 cookies).

Chocolate Cloud Cookies

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: Kat Polomsky

Ingredients

    • 3 large mashed bananas
    • 1/2 cup almond butter (can substitute with favorite nut butter)
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp sea salt to garnish

Optional Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp toasted coconut
  • 2 tbsp favorite chopped nut

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2) Peel bananas and mash in medium mixing bowl.

3) Add cocoa powder, nut butter, and vanilla extract. Mix until thick dough is formed.

4) Add optional ingredients.

5) Place large dollops of the dough onto a non-stick baking pan. Cookies do not expand in the oven, so try to get all of your cookies onto one pan!

6) Place cookie sheet onto medium shelf in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

7) Once firm, remove cookies from oven and set aside to cool.

8) Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

Vegan Corn Elote with Lima Crema Sauce

Corn Elote is one of those street foods that you cannot pass up!  If I go to a Mexican restaurant, you know I’m looking to see if they have Elote.  I’ve had great elote and horrible elote, horrible consisting of watery canned corn and globs of egg-based mayonnaise.

The amount of energy I have when I don’t eat animal products is astounding.  My body doesn’t ache, I don’t have a stomach ache, I’m not as tired or not tired at all and I feel an overall surge of good within me.

As a cook, a favorite game I like to play is: guess the ingredients.  Elote was fairly easy for me since it uses common seasoning found in Mexican food and consists of less than 10 ingredients.  Remember less is often more.

If you want to improve your ability to recognize flavors, I recommend tasting ingredients individually and taste the dish you’re preparing throughout the cooking process.

This recipe is delicious and can trick anyone that loves dairy.  Follow Your Heart produces delicious dairy-free alternatives and their shredded parmesan is no exception.  I pulsed mine in a small food processor to imitate the texture of cojita.

This is an easy dish to make in large batches and I guarantee that if you serve this at your next party that it will be a huge hit!

Enjoy!

Vegan Corn Elote

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A zesty and cheesy Mexican favorite made dairy free.


Credit: Kat Polomsky

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup vegan shredded cheese (Follow Your Heart shredded parmesan is mighty tasty)
  • destemmed & chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lima Crema Sauce

Lima Crema Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo found at WFM)
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice (Fresh is always better but I used bottled lime juice)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika is tasty too!)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp destemmed & chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

1) Grab all ingredients and place mis-en-place on the counter.

 

2) Husk corn and remove as much string of the cobs as possible. Wash.

 

3) I cut the cobs in half. If you plan to do this, use the butt of your chef knife and be careful not to cut yourself.

 

4) To cook the corn: Either grill corn, while turning often or heat pan to medium/high heat and cook until soft with brown/char spots on kernels (approx. 10 minutes)

 

5) While corn is cooking, mix all ingredients of lima crema in a small ball until completely blended.

 

6) When corn is soft and has some color, remove from flame.

7) Slather lima crema onto cooked corn, sprinkle with vegan cheese, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

8) Enjoy!

 

Want to make this healthier? Instead of using mayo, try using ripe avocado! Take 1/3 medium avocado and mix in 2 tbsp of your favorite unsweetened dairy-free milk and mix with the rest of the ingredients in a bullet blender.