More than just an old-fashioned way to preserve food, pickled veggies are a delicious way to help your digestion. Most of the time, people think of this as a labor-intensive process and think they're too busy to make it for themselves. It doesn't have to be that way! You can make pickles at home, it's super easy and gives you more control over what goes in your body.
Here's a recipe featuring the most popular pickled veggie, the one that we all think of when we hear pickles- the cucumber.
- 1 medium-to-large cucumber or 2 small cucumbers (ideally 12 ounces total)
- ½ cup water, at room temperature or cooler
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
- 20 twists (about 1¼ teaspoons) of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 leafy sprigs of fresh dill, roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- Slice pickles into the desired shape (rounds/ spears/ sandwich thins). Set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes (if using) and black pepper. Stir until most of the salt has dissolved into the liquid, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.
- Place the cucumbers into a wide-mouth jar about 3 to 4 inches in diameter, tall enough to offer at least 1 inch of extra space on top (for pickle spears, it’s important that all the pickles fit snugly, vertically—a wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar would work well).
- Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic. Tuck the bay leaf into the side of the jar. Pour the all of the liquid over the cucumbers so they’re fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for pickle rounds) or at least 3 hours (for pickle spears). The flavor will continue to develop over the next couple of days. These pickles will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Once you try it out, make changes to the seasoning. Want bread and butter pickles? Add more sweetness. Hate dill? Take it out. The vinegar, water, and cucumber amount need to stay the same ratio, but the seasonings are all yours to play with.
Recipe taken from Cookie + Kate, a vegetarian recipe site. You can find the site HERE.
Posted in Nutrition, Recipes