Last week, for the first time in my life, I made my own pickles. They were so easy and so delicious.
We had dozens of cucumbers that were ready to be picked, and a family can only eat so much cucumber salad in a matter of a few weeks. I had plenty of glass canning jars, so I attempted Rodale’s Easy Refrigerator Pickles.
Why have I not thought to try pickling before this summer!?
All I needed was my glass containers, cucumbers, some sprigs of fresh dill, apple cider vinegar, water, and sea salt. That’s it.
The quick recipe is as follows:
Thoroughly wash canning jars and cucumbers. (Cukes without a commercial waxy coating are best.) Put a sprig of dill in the bottom of each jar. Slice cucumbers. (For some jars I cut my cukes in long slices; for others I cut little chunks.) Put cucumbers in jars. Mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water and stir in 1 tablespoon of sea salt to make a brine. Pour brining liquid in each jar. Tightly twist a lid on each filled jar and store in the refrigerator. Crunchy, refreshing dill pickles will be ready to eat in about one day!
In my future pickling attempts, I’ll try adding some other ingredients for different flavors – like garlic, oregano, or jalapenos.
What is pickling?
Fresh foods can be preserved by pickling – all you need is brine and the foods you’d like to pickle. While cucumbers do make tasty pickles, consider pickling other veggies, too, like carrots, beets, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, okra, turnips, garlic, and ginger.
The great thing about pickling foods is that they’re fermented – and many fermented foods are filled with nutrients and helpful bacteria. Some fermented foods are probiotics, meaning that they contain good bacteria for your digestive system.
For the record, since my pickle recipe includes vinegar, my pickles are not probiotics. But … for a lacto-fermented variety, Cultures for Health recommends a recipe that’s similar to my vinegar one. Looks like I’ll try to make some more pickles with 5 tablespoons sea salt and 2 quarts of chlorine-free water instead of the 1 cup of apple cider vinegar!
Have you tried pickling before? What are your favorite foods to pickle?
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