I’ve Returned (with Fermented Pickles)!

Fermenting pickles

Hello again friends! I’ve returned from my new marital bliss and have been trying to screw my head back on the right way ever since. My husband and I left for Costa Rica at 5AM the day after our wedding and oh. my. goodness. That place is beautiful. I won’t get into too much detail at this point, but I will say that I gained at least 8 pounds over the course of a week because of all of the delicious sweet cakes and endless cocktails. It was uh-maze-ing.

Anyway, I’m back and getting into the swing of things as best I can. I will admit, a severe case of the post-holiday blues settled over me and my husband when we returned, so we did the best thing we could do and found out how to make homemade margaritas. While delicious and fun, they’ve not been too friendly on my waistline, and I’m coming to terms with the fact that I can’t wear my favorite new skinny jeans AND have margaritas every night.

So, in hopes of getting myself back up to speed, I’ve been researching new and exciting recipes that are both paleo-friendly and exciting or new. Something that many paleo folks swear by is fermented foodstuffs. After looking around the web and realizing I’m sorely underprepared for a large feat (sauerkraut? better have an extra room where you can stow that stinky stuff) I stumbled across a super easy, low-cost way to make sour, fermented pickles. After some tweaking to suit my own tastes, I’m excited to present you all with this recipe for your very own fermented pickles!

Keep in mind, the fermenting process is completely different from setting the cucumbers in vinegar with dill and garlic. Fermented pickles will have a notable sour taste, and the saltiness depends on how concentrated your brine is.

Fermented Pickles in a Jar

Prep time: 30 minutes | Wait time: 1-2 weeks | Serves: depends on who’s hungry!

Supplies needed:

  • Wide-mouthed ball jar with open, screw-on lid (32 oz.)
  • Clean cheese cloth squares, about 5”x5”

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 large, organic cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp. Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. Allspice
  • 2 tsp. dill weed
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed, dried bay leaves

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan, combine 1 quart of water with the 2 Tbsp. kosher salt and bring it to a boil. Let all of the salt dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. As the brine mixture is cooking, slice the ends off of the cucumber and toss them. Slice the cucumber into 1/4”-thick pieces and place them in the clean ball jar
  3. Add all of the spices to the jar on top of the cucumbers
  4. Cover the cucumbers with the brine mixture, making sure all of the pieces are submerged. Stir to make sure the spices are well-incorporated.
  5. Cover the mouth of the jar with the cheese cloth and tighten the ring of the lid over the top Note: don’t close it off with the top portion of the lid! The cheese cloth lets the fermenting cucumbers breathe while keeping dirt and debris out. Don’t seal it off or nothing will happen!
  6. Place the jar in a cool, dark space, somewhere where the temperature stays consistently between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Check the pickles once a day, carefully, to make sure there isn’t any mold growing on the top. If there is, simply scrape it off with a sanitized knife an re-cover it with the cheese cloth.
  8. After about a week, cut off a piece of one of the pickles and give it a try. If it’s not as sour as you’d like, let it sit for a few days longer until you get the taste you want.
  9. When you’re satisfied with the taste, seal the pickles off with the entire lid and put them into the fridge. This will keep the wild yeast from continuing to multiply.

And voila! Homemade fermented pickles. Enjoy!

(Of course this should go without saying, but if you’re getting any really funky/nasty smells from those pickles, chances are they’re no good and you should start over with a fresh batch. A small amount of mold is normal, but do take caution before inhaling these delicious delicacies!)

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