The advantage of making your own pickles is that you get the benefits of probiotics, increased nutrients, and a wonderful taste. Store bought pickles are preserved with vinegar and sugar, and do not have the same health benefits. Here is an easy way to get started.
- 1 glass quart jar
- 3-4 pickling cucumbers (sliced)
- 1 TB sea salt
- 4 TB whey*
- 5 cloves chopped garlic
- Handful chopped fresh dill or basil
Place all the ingredients in a jar, then fill with water until the pickles are covered. Shake to evenly distribute contents. Release lid, then tighten it. Place at room temperature for 3 days, then move it to the refrigerator. Consume within a month.(You could also use dill instead of basil and garlic)
What is whey and how do I get it? Whey is the watery portion of dairy that is full of probiotics and makes fermenting easy. There are a few ways to get it. The first is to leave raw milk out on the counter until it separates, about 3-4 days. Strain the liquid from the curds and keep this in a jar in the refrigerator. The faster way is to use whole organic yogurt, goat or cow. Line a strainer with cheese cloth or a thin clean dish cloth. Place the strainer in a glass bowl so that there is some room for the whey to drip. Pour the quart of yogurt in the bowl and cover for 12-24 hours. When it is done dripping, you will have cream cheese and whey.
If you have a bumper crop of pickling cucumbers, you will need a large crock. Here is my favorite one.