Dill pickles are a favourite of mine...always have been! To now be making them myself and avoiding any undesirable aspects of store-bought pickles is SO satisfying!
Did you know? Store-bought pickles are more often than not, not fermented, but come stored in white vinegar, along with a host of unnecessary ingredients that exist for shelf life. Fermented foods offer tremendous probiotic value for the gut/immune system (otherwise known as your invaluable MICROBIOME!). The lactic acid created by this ferment lends probiotic (good) bacteria to the gut, helping to nourish your immune system and outnumber the bad bacteria in the gut (where inflammation and disease love to breed)! In this ferment, it is the reaction between the filtered, chlorine-free water and unrefined sea salt that catalyzes the fermentation process.
Fermenting foods in different ways is my latest area of professional development with my culinary skills; naturally, I'm looking forward to ultimately fermenting various vegetables, including carrots and asparagus. This task doesn't require extensive supplies, ingredients nor time, just patience! It's pretty rewarding to start a fermenting project from scratch, see it through its stages to the finished product, testing it for taste along the way, and then enjoying the product as much as I do!
The recipe inspiration for this process comes courtesy of Canadian nutritionist, author and speaker Meghan Telpner; you may access the video and recipe here.
What You'll Need:
1. Mason jar with lid
2. Parchment paper
3. Enough mini cucumbers to fit snugly into the mason jar (likely 6-7)
4. 2 tbsp. celtic/unrefined sea salt (I used coarse sea salt)
5. 1 tbsp. dill seeds or 1 bunch fresh dill (I used fresh dill)
6. 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
7. 1-2 cloves of garlic, sliced (optional)
8. Filtered (chlorine-free) water (enough to submerge the vegetables)
1. Fill the mason jar with all ingredients, submerging the contents in filtered, chlorine-free water (there should be some free space at the top).
2. Place a layer of parchment paper between the top of the jar and the lid, screwing the lid on tight.
3. Let the jar sit on the counter for three days, then taking a taste. Transfer to the refrigerator, following.
*Before transferring to the refrigerator, I removed the dills from the jar and set them aside while straining the remaining contents of the jar. I returned the dills to the jar with the pickle brine (garlic, mustard seed and dill removed), so they would not become overly strong in flavour and continue to ferment during their refrigeration time. In not removing the contents in this way during my prior batch, I found the pickles became too strong to flavour during the refrigeration time, beyond that of my liking! Something to consider!
I hope you give this a try! And, I hope you LOVE the result as much as I do!