Fermented Cucumbers

I’ve loved cucumber pickles since I was a kid. Fermentation takes them to a new level. Get fermented vegetable recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
I’ve loved pickles since I was a kid. My mom put dozens of jars of dill and “sweet” (bread-and-butter) pickles through a water bath every year, and I’d sneak them like they were potato chips. But the longer the pickles sat, the less chip-like crunch they gave. Over the years, I’ve played with ingredients and canning techniques that have helped. Then I discovered fermentation.

Think about it: Cucumbers are best fresh and raw. Putting them in hot water is bound to affect their texture. Fermentation replaces heat with time and vinegar with salt. No wonder the result is crisper and fresher. And the flavoring possibilities—from dill to tea—are endless.

If you’ve never run a fermentation, I suggest you check out my introductory post from earlier this month. But here are the basics: Start with everything clean and fresh. Monitor the batch daily so that you can see the process. If you have doubts, give it the toss and start again.
Learn to make Fermented Dill Pickles and Fermented Tea Pickles

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Curds and Whey

Once you start making cheese, you’ll quickly realize you’re left with a large quantity of whey—so much you’ll be loath to just pour the yellowish liquid down the drain. Fortunately, whey has many uses. You probably already consume more whey than you realize: it’s popular in protein powders, weight-loss beverages, and even infant formula. Cheese makers have long known the value of this by-product and use it to make more cheese, like ricotta and my favorite gjetost.

Whey is considered sweet or acidic. Hard cheese and Fresh Yogurt give you sweet whey; Lemon Cheese gives you acid whey. Some sources prefer sweet whey for baking, but I love tangy flavors. I use the whey from Lemon Cheese in baked goods, as a cooking liquid for rice, a stock substitute in soups, and a cheese sauce replacement for soups and pasta.
Learn to make Whey Sauce and the Cheesiest Mac and Cheese