Beautiful, easy, probiotic rich fermented pickles!- Scratch Mommy

Easy Fermented Pickles

So, what’s the Big Deal with Fermentation?

I’m sure at this point in your life you’ve heard of fermentation, like these easy fermented pickles. It’s all the rage in the “health” food world *real* food world. The funny thing is, fermentation has been around (literally!) for centuries. In fact, if you eat sauerkraut, drink wine, or enjoy yogurt—you already know about fermented foods.

So, what’s really so special about fermented foods? Well, for starters, it’s an effective way to preserve food without processing it in a canner, freezing it, or drying it. Beyond the preservation advantages, fermented foods increase your vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of food. Due to the fermentation process, it’s also a rich source of probiotics, aka lactobacillus, which have been proven to contribute to overall good health. …AND, most importantly, fermented foods taste great!

Easy Fermented Pickles

7 simple ingredients & just 3 easy steps:

  • Prepare the cukes
  • Prepare the brine
  • Fermentation

Let us take you step-by-step through our easy fermented pickles recipe. Enjoy our photos to help while you create! Then, print the complete recipe at the end of this post and start your easy fermented pickles for a daily probiotic boost.


1. Prepare the Cukes

All cucumbers have a stem end and a blossom end. Removing the blossom end will help keep the cucumbers crunchy. The blossom end contains enzymes that can cause softening. Confused about which end is which?

fermented-pickles-stem-end
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This is the stem end of your cucumbers

The stem end will be greenish and rough, and in most cases still have the stem attached.

fermented-pickles-blossom-end
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Blossom end of a cucumber

The blossom end is yellowish or whitish. It’s typically smooth.

Remove at least 1/16th inch from the blossom end. Repeat for all the cucumbers.

fermented-pickles-cut-off-blossom-end
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Remove at least 1/16 inch at the end of the blossoms on your cucumbers

2. Prepare the Brine

Add the salt to the room temperature water.

fermented-pickles-make-brine
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Add quality sea salt to your room temperature water

Mix in the salt until completely dissolved. The water will be clear again.

fermented-pickles-mix-brine
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Mix your sea salt (or quality pickling salt) until the water is clear

Add the spices to the bottom of a sterilized jar and pack in the cucumbers tightly.

fermented-pickles-pack-jar
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Pack your pickles as tightly as possible, not quite to the top

I like to just fill it up to the “shoulders” of the jar. Fill the jar with the brine until the cucumber are completely covered, but don’t forget to leave a one inch headspace.

The cucumbers need to stay submerged. I learned this trick from Alton Brown…

fermented-pickles-add-brine-and-bag
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The Alton Brown ‘baggie, water, submerge’ trick…

Use a sandwich size zip baggie and fill it with about an inch of water. Press as much air out as you can and zip it shut. Press the baggie into the jar until the cucumbers are completely submerged. Some brine may spill out—that’s fine. Wipe the rim and put on the lid. Place the jar on a saucer (and a towel you can remove to clean…more below) in a cool, dry place.

3. Fermentation

Depending on how warm it is in your home, fermentation will take up to four weeks. After a couple of days you will see little bubbles forming in the jar. This is the fermentation process. The warmer the temperature in your home is, the faster the fermentation process.

fermented-pickles-checking-progress
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See the little bubbles? Let them do their thing and let the fermentation happen, but check in daily at this point!

As the fermentation process gets going, you will need to check it daily. The gas produced during the fermentation process will cause the lid to bulge and some of the brine will leak out. Replace your towel on the saucer, if needed. You don’t want fruit flies coming around! You can alleviate this leakage by “burping” the jar. Simply remove the lid to let the excess gas out. Replace the lid and check again the next day.

The pickles are done when the bubbling stops and the cucumbers have turned an olive green color inside and out. At this point, refrigerate the pickles. The fermentation process will continue, but a slower rate in the fridge. Enjoy your pickles on sandwiches, burgers, or straight up!

These easy fermented pickles are a great way to get a daily dose of healthy probiotics in your diet (& they are oh.so.tasty)!


Easy Fermented Pickles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Instructions
Preparing the Cukes
  1. All cucumbers have a stem end and a blossom end. Removing the blossom end will help keep the cucumbers crunchy. The blossom end contains enzymes that can cause softening. Confused about which end is which? The stem end will be greenish and rough, and in most cases still have the stem attached.
  2. The blossom end is yellowish or whitish. It’s typically smooth.
  3. Remove at least 1/16th inch from the blossom end. Repeat for all the cucumbers.
Prepare the Brine
  1. Add the salt to the room temperature water.
  2. Mix in the salt until completely dissolved. The water will be clear again.
  3. Add the spices to the bottom of a sterilized jar and pack in the cucumbers tightly. I like to just fill it up to the “shoulders” of the jar. Fill the jar with the brine until the cucumber are completely covered, but don’t forget to leave a one inch headspace.
  4. The cucumbers need to stay submerged. I learned this trick from Alton Brown. Use a sandwich size zip baggie and fill it with about an inch of water. Press as much air out as you can and zip it shut. Press the baggie into the jar until the cucumbers are completely submerged. Some brine may spill out—that’s fine. Wipe the rim and put on the lid. Place the jar on a saucer in a cool, dry place.
Fermentation
  1. Depending on how warm it is in your home, fermentation will take up to four weeks. After a couple of days you will see little bubbles forming in the jar. This is the fermentation process. The warmer the temperature in your home is, the faster the fermentation process.
  2. As the fermentation process gets going, you will need to check it daily. The gas produced during the fermentation process will cause the lid to bulge and some of the brine will leak out. You can alleviate this by “burping” the jar. Simply remove the lid to let the excess gas out. Replace the lid and check again the next day.
  3. The pickles are done when the bubbling stops and the cucumbers have turned an olive green color inside and out. At this point, refrigerate the pickles. The fermentation process will continue, but a slower rate in the fridge. Enjoy your pickles on sandwiches, burgers or straight up! Fermented pickles are a great way to get a daily dose of probiotics in your diet.
Notes
*A note on salt. You may use any type of PURE sodium chloride for this recipe. Pickling salt is 100% sodium chloride. Some sea salts will have anti-caking agents added to them, so be sure to read the label. The anti-caking agents won’t necessarily impact the taste, but it will cause the brine to cloud.

Looking for more fermented food recipes?

We have plentysee them all HERE!

 

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