Cultured Pickles

Lacto fermented pickles...instructional

Lacto fermented pickles…instructional

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.

Separating whey from yogurt

Separating whey from yogurt

2. Cut 4 or 5 cukes into 1/4 inch slices. Pack tightly into a quart sized, wide mouth, clean jar.

Slice cukes about  1/4 inch thick

Slice cukes about 1/4 inch thick

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.

Combine ingredients to add to cucumbers

Combine ingredients to add to cucumbers

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.

Added cabbage leaf, pushing everything down to stay submerged under liquid

Added cabbage leaf, pushing everything down to stay submerged under liquid

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!

All done!  Set somewhere out of direct sunlight and then refrigerate after 2 days.

All done!   Set somewhere out of direct sunlight and then refrigerate after 2 days.

If you love to learn about culturing foods, you will love Donna Schwenk’s blog! http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/blog/

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