Healthy Pickles

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by Elisheva Margulies

KMOV.com

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 22 at 11:41 AM

Healthy Pickles Recipe

Ingredients & equipment:

1 quart mason jar (with lid)
2 Tablespoons sea salt or pickling salt (non-iodized)
hot and cold water
1 Tablespoon pickling spice mix
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
3 fresh sprigs of fresh dill or 1 dill flower
and as many pickling cucumbers as fit comfortably in the jar (usually 4-5)

(use a smaller variety of cuke, the fresher the better!  Going to the store and buying shelf produce probably won’t give you the best pickle, because of freshness)

How to turn cucumbers into pickles:

-Place garlic, dill, and pickling spice in bottom of clean 1 quart mason jar.

-Pack cucumbers into jar so they are tightly packed and all are firmly below lip of jar.

-In a separate bowl, dissolve 1 Tb salt in ¼ cup or less of hot water.  Once dissolved, add remaining (1 ¾ cup) cold water to solution.  Pour brine over cucumbers.

-If any cucumbers float to the surface, you need a weight in your jar.  A smaller jar or glass filled with water or a fat cucumber slice stuck under the lip of the jar are both great options.

-Cover them with a breathable seal (cheesecloth, paper towel or unscrewed mason jar lid all work).

-Watch your pickles over the course of 5-10 days.  Taste them every so often, skim any scum off the top, and when you like how they taste, place a lid on them and stick them in your refrigerator.

-They will keep for a few months in your refrigerator.

Some important fermentation facts:

-The vital period of fermentation takes place over the first three days of fermentation.  That is when the microorganisms are creating the first burst of lactic acid- thereby setting up the environment for the future and establishing an environment that is not at risk of spoilage.

-Temperature: Not too hot and not too cold: when you’re fermenting, the temperature around your jar needs to be within a range of the bacteria’s preference, which is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold and the spoilage of microorganisms might suddenly be favored, too much above 80 and you will get off flavors and the keeping value suffers.

-Keep in mind: don’t tighten lid while fermenting… the pressure will build up and you might end up with an explosion.
 

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