My little pickling cukes are growing fast. I can pick 4 or 5 of them at a time and make a quick quart of cultured pickles. After you do it a few times, it is so easy and takes no time at all! You just slice them up, pop them into a clean jar with a few ingredients and you have a healthy jar of snacks with the added benefit of all the healthy probiotics that comes with cultured foods. Here goes:
1. Strain the whey from 6 ounces of plain yogurt. This can be done by putting yogurt through a strainer. The clear liquid that filters through is whey. My homemade yogurt gives me the 4 tablespoons of whey needed to make a quart of pickles.
2. Cut 4 or 5 cukes into 1/4 inch slices. Pack tightly into a quart sized, wide mouth, clean jar.
3. Combine 1 cup of filtered water with 1 tablespoon of good quality sea salt. Stir to dissolve salt. Add 4 Tablespoons of whey. This is the time to also add whatever spices you like. I add a sliced clove of fresh garlic, a teaspoon of coriander and a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Substitute to your liking! Fresh dill or mustard seeds are good too.
4. Pour liquid solution over sliced cucumbers. Make sure you leave at least an inch of headroom to the top of the jar. I usually will cover everything with a cabbage leaf at this point and push everything down nice and tight and make sure everything is submerged under the water, but that is optional.
4. Seal your jar and put it somewhere out of direct sunlight. After 2 days, it is ready to move to the refrigerator where it should keep for up to 9 months. I usually start eating them after 2 days. The taste and texture changes depending on how long they sit. I like them at all stages! Make sure your pickles stay submerged under the liquid!
If you love to learn about culturing foods, you will love Donna Schwenk’s blog! http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/blog/