Healthy Pickles Recipe (+ Video)

How to make healthy probiotic pickles the old-fashioned way, by fermenting sliced ​​cucumbers in water, sea salt, and a culture medium.

When my Australian husband first moved to the United States a few years ago after we got engaged, he commented that Americans really love pickles. No matter where you go in the United States, deli sandwiches are almost always served with some kind of pickle on the side.

It is true. Americans love pickles. Sweet pickles, sour pickles, dill pickles, it doesn’t seem to really matter what kind: Americans consider them an essential condiment, and the wide variety of pickles in the supermarket is a strong testament to this fact.

The problem with store-bought pickles is that, for the most part, they’re a nutrient-less addition to a meal.

The heat needed to package pickles or seal and sterilize them in jars that can sit for months or even years on the supermarket shelf or in the pantry without spoiling. In short, they are pickled but not fermented. Fermentation is the process by which cucumbers are pickled without heat, which adds beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and sometimes additional nutrients.

The traditional principles of fermentation can be applied to cucumbers in the same way as other foods such as beets, apricots, tomatoes, and cabbage, all of which have been the subject of previous video lessons demonstrating the wonders of fermentation. fermentation that strengthen health.

Why did it take me so long to make a video lesson on fermented cucumbers, also known as real pickles, you might ask? Given its tremendous popularity as a condiment, one would think pickles would have been one of the first fermentation videos he would have shot.

True in every way, with one very big problem. I’ve never been very good with fermented cucumbers. They were always soggy when I’ve made them in the past and who wants to eat soggy pickles?

But then my friend Alex Lewin sent me a copy of his book Real Food Fermentation, and I finally learned the secret to keeping my fermented cucumbers nice and crisp as they transform into enzyme- and probiotic-packed pickles that easily outperform any version of the store in both. flavor and nutrition.

How to make healthy probiotic pickles

I asked Alex if I could film his fermented cucumbers aka REAL pickles recipe on video and he kindly said yes, so at last The Healthy Home Economist makes pickles!

The recipe below includes this video demonstration. If you’re more of a visual learner, hopefully this will give you an idea of ​​how to make fermented cucumbers at home very easily!

Fermented Cucumber Recipe

Recipe for growing sliced ​​cucumbers into probiotic fermented pickles that are crunchy, flavorful and healthy.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Servings 2 quarts
calories 12 calories

2 pounds cucumbers preferably organic, cut into 1/4″ pieces, cut off and discard the flower end
1 liter of filtered water
1/2 cup sauerkraut juice
2 tablespoons of sea salt
3-4 fresh oak leaves
3-5 garlic cloves, peeled, preferably organic, optional
3-5 dried bay leaves preferably organic, optional

Cut the cucumbers and reserve. Be sure to discard the slice with the flower end, as this is where enzymes are found that can contribute to soggy pickles.

Place the garlic cloves, dried bay leaves, and fresh oak, bay, or vine leaves in the bottom of a clean 1/2-gallon mason jar.

Arrange sliced ​​cucumbers on top of condiments. Mix sea salt, liquid buttermilk, or sauerkraut juice with the quart of water (or a water and vinegar mixture if you prefer a more vinegary flavor for your pickles) into the fermentation brine and carefully pour over the top of cucumbers.

Leave about an inch at the top of the jar and screw on the lid. Add optional fermentation weight to keep cucumbers below the surface of the water. This will help prevent mold. I just use a smooth stone from my garden that I sterilized in hot water.

Leave the fermented cucumbers out on the counter for 2 days. After 2 days, remove a slice of cucumber with a clean fork and taste. If it’s crisp and pleasantly tart, refrigerate. Your pickles are ready. Otherwise, leave it on the counter for another day, tasting each additional day to determine when the pickles taste pleasantly tart and are still crisp.

If there is a small amount of foamy bubbles on top of the salt water, there is no problem. Just remove it and refrigerate. If there is a lot of mold with long tendrils in the water, the batch has not been taken properly. Discard and try again using more starter and/or vinegar with your next batch and/or a fermentation weight as a preventative measure.

Properly grown cucumbers, also known as probiotic pickles, will last for several months in the refrigerator.

recipe notes

1 pint of filtered water and 1 pint of boiled and cooled organic apple cider vinegar can be substituted for the quart of filtered water. This will result in a more commercial flavor to healthy pickles.

Raw sauerkraut juice may be substituted for 1/2 cup liquid buttermilk.

Fresh oak leaves can be substituted for fresh bay or grape leaves.

nutritional information
Amount per serving (4 pickle chips)
calories 12
Carbs 3g

Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin

This article was originally published on

Follow on Instagram

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.