Dill Pickles are my absolute favorite ferment, Sour And Crunchy! This recipe is Vinegar Free.

Dill pickles are my absolute favorite fermented food! Only in summer can you find those pickling cucumbers. They should be small and crisp. Once fermented, they are salty, tart, juicy, and crisp all at the same time. I don’t use any vinegar but lacto-ferment cucumbers instead. As a result, they are less acidic, more flavorful, and just as crunchy as those in vinegar. You can flavor pickles with your favorite herbs and spices. Dill is a must, in my opinion. 

Fermentation is one of the oldest traditional ways to preserve food. The process also makes food more nutritious and digestible. Lacto-fermentation simply happens because of the bacteria present all around us. We add salt to inhibit putrifying bacteria and encourage beneficial ones. 

Health Benefits Of Pickles

Like all fermented foods, pickles are full of probiotics and improve your gut health. The brine is also rich in beneficial bacteria. Add it to soups or salad dressing. You can even drink some. However, a little bit goes a long way! For more information on the health benefits of eating fermented foods, please check my article on fermentation.

Pickles are protective against kidney stones and gout as they help dissolve the precipitates of uric acid. Uric acid is the byproduct of purines – compounds in meats and meat products. Interestingly, the French tradition is to serve pickles with pâtés, terrines, and sausages. Somehow they figured out long before we knew the science of purine metabolism that preserved meats and pickles go together.

two mason jars with pickles

Crunchy Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

Bunch of pickling cucumbers (2-3 inches in length) to fill two one-pint mason jars
2-4 peeled whole garlic cloves
1/2 Tbsp dill seeds or 1-2 fresh dill plants that went to seeding
1 Tbsp of spice combination: mustard seeds, coriander, caraway, and black pepper. Use whole, not powdered spices.
1 Tbsp sea salt, preferably Celtic
¼ cup whey or an additional 1/2 Tbsp of salt
Filtered water

Directions:
  1. Tightly pack the cucumbers, dill, garlic, and other spices into glass jars.
  2. Add salt, whey, and water. Make sure to leave at least ½ inch below the top of the jar.
  3. Cover tightly with a lid and keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. The fermentation time will depend on whether or not you are using whey and the temperature.
  4. You can tell that the pickles are ready by their color. Look at the picture above to see the difference between day one and day 3. When they turn from bright green to yellowish green, they are ready to move into the fridge for storage.
  5. Pickles last in the fridge for a couple of years. 
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