Pickled carrot on a salicylate challenge

No, the carrot isn’t challenging salicylates, my middle son is. We put him back on a very strict elimination diet over a week ago and for the first time ever, he hit true baseline. When we started out on our journey to determine what foods he was intolerant to, our dietician put us on a moderate diet which meant that we could have any foods that are moderate in the offending food chemicals of salicylates, amines and glutamates. We did notice a difference in my son but not what everyone calls baseline. He, by no means, displayed what society considers normal behaviour and life was still crazy but we thought this was ok, actually, we really didn’t think much about it because he was quite a bit easier to cope with.

After about 2 months of “cleansing his system” we started challenging foods but I have since learnt that we made a few mistakes. Over 18 months down the track, his behaviour was deteriorating drastically and I was at my wits end once again, and fed up with the level of conflict and aggression in the house…not to mention the silly behaviour! I decided to get strict, really strict…no red meat, minimal seafood, no dairy and only foods from the low food groups (ie, low salicylates, amines and glutamates). Wow! Just a week later we had hit true baseline. There was a completely different child living in the house. He was calm, positive, polite and, dare I say it, “normal”. There was no more beating up his big brother, speaking rudely to my partner or I, the selfishness was gone….oh I could go on but I think you get the picture. He has been a real delight to have around. His father even complied with the diet (for the first time ever) and we had no set backs. So on to challenging foods again.

We decided to try salicylates first which is possibly the most exciting challenge. This group includes herbs and spices and a vast array of fruits and veggies. All weekend while the boys were at their father’s, the idea of challenging had completely slipped my mind so when we wrote up the week’s meal plan, it was all the usual suspects….beige food. Monday was to be rice paper rolls, meaning that those of us who aren’t intolerant to much could jazz our meals up with a few herbs and perhaps a chilli dipping sauce. Half way through the day, however, I realised that we were challenging as of that evening so this meant that we could all have flavour packed parcels of ricey goodness. So off to the shops it was….mint, coriander, cucumber, snow peas, chilli, mmmmm, my mouth was watering. And then there was the marinade on the chicken….ginger, chilli, coriander, pepper, just to name a few flavours. Heaven was waiting. Oh, and the carrot. I’m not a huge fan of carrot but once it’s pickled, I love the stuff, especially when paired with some of the above flavours. So here it is, my Asian inspired pickled carrot…….

2 large carrots

2 tsps of salt

2 tsps of sugar

Using a sharp knife, finely julienne the carrots and place into a non metallic mixing bowl. If your knife skills aren’t too flash, I guess you could grate the carrot but be warned, it will lose a bit of its crunch.

My attempt at a fine julienne…not too bad really but certainly not the standard of a chef

Sprinkle the salt and sugar over and, using clean hands, mix well for a few minutes until the carrot is glossy. Leave to sit for about 10 minutes or until a thicker piece bends easily without snapping. You’ll find a lot of bright orange liquid comes out of the carrots.

Place carrot into a strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear then drain well and return to the rinsed mixing bowl.

Now you’ll need:

2 cups of warm water

4 tsps of white sugar

3 tsps of salt

2 tsps of citric acid

Place all ingredients into a jug and stir until dissolved. Have a little taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly then pour over the prepared carrot. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if you like. Now they’re ready to use however you see fit. They were amazing in our rice paper rolls or you could add them to a salad, or even a sandwich. However you choose to use them, I’m sure you’ll find they add a new dimension of flavour to your meals…we sure did 🙂

It just occurred to me that I should mention you could pickle almost anything you like in this way. I’m now keen to try pickled choko and swede……


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