With a quick pickling process, these Garlic Ginger Carrot and Cucumber Quick Pickles are easy to make and have a lovely Asian-inspired flavor.
An news alert appeared in my inbox yesterday. It included several new articles on how super hero characters are being used to get kids to eat more vegetables and fruits. “A Clever Way to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables,” declared CBS News. “The Superpowered Secret to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables,” said CNN’s headline. And, from the New York Times’ Well blog: “How to Sell Kids on Vegetables.”
The articles were all based on the recently released results of a 2013 study that looked at the impact of different marketing techniques — banners, television screens, etc — on whether kids at 10 schools would eat more veggies from the salad bar. The marketing program likened veggies with super powers, and turned ordinary veggies into super hero-like characters. The results showed a marked uptick in how many students in the schools ate from the salad bar.
It’s smart marketing.
Likening vegetables, with all their vitamins and minerals, to super power-giving fuel taps into our fascination with super heroes and the idea that through biology or science, mere mortals (and their alien counterparts) can have extraordinary power to save the world. My inner geek loved is.
While I don’t believe that kids need to be “tricked” into eating veggies and fruits (seriously, it’s food. We’re people. People eat food), I am all for anything that makes their display eye-catching and appealing. Why shouldn’t good food be fun? And the fact that it attracted more kids to enjoy it? That’s pretty rad.
And really, why shouldn’t catchy marketing be used for good food?
Another way to make food fun? Get creative in the kitchen. Taking the foods you love (my kids, for instance, adore both cucumbers and their pickled version), and transforming them in a tasty recipe like Garlic Ginger Carrot and Cucumber Quick Pickles? That’s pretty fun too.
My kids gobble these right on up. Me too.
Fresh garlic and ginger join with seasoned rice vinegar, honey, peppercorns and more to flavor these sweet-tangy Garlic Ginger Carrot and Cucumber Quick Pickles. They are refreshing and vibrant, full of flavor and attitude. And, as if the flavor isn’t enough, they’re easy too.
Like super easy.
You simply layer the cucumbers, carrots, ginger and garlic in a jar.
The ginger and garlic go on top so they can flavor everything. Then you pour in the warm pickling solution — vinegar, water, honey, salt and peppercorns. Close the jar top, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, giving it a shake every so often.
Then they’re ready. Easy peasy.
Of course, if you can be patient, the flavors get even better with time.
Why shouldn’t good food be fun?
Garlic Ginger Carrot and Cucumber Quick Pickles
- 1 cucumber , thinly sliced (about 2 1/2-3 cups of slices)
- 1 carrot , julienne cut (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1- inch piece gingerroot , peeled and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- Add the cucumber slices, julienne-cut carrots and garlic to a bowl or quart-size canning jar.
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey, salt and peppercorns. Heat over medium heat to a bowl. Pour over the cucumbers and carrots, and shake to combine. Let sit, shaking occasionally, for at least 30 minutes.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.