Pickling Naturally : Cucumber Dill Pickles

Cucumber Dill Pickles

After taking a minor detour to Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, we are back on track with preserving the summer’s harvest.  That was quite a treat and I must say that I’m glad that pie can sit in the freezer, out of sight, until company comes so we can share it!

Are your cucumbers coming on fast and in multiples?  Do you love dill pickles and think it impossible to make your own?  Not true.  And they are so EASY and so good for you when using the lacto-fermenting process. Healthy bacteria, normally present on the skins of cucumbers are allowed to grow in a salt brine creating an acidic, sour flavor that is not only tasty, but also very healthy for your gut.

Cucumber Dill Pickles   Cucumber Dill Pickles

Try this recipe for Pickling Naturally : Cucumber Dill Pickles.  Lacto-fermenting pickles can be so intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy!  You have to trust me on this!  Also, they keep for up to 6 months in your fridge.

Cucumber Dill Pickles

We love these, but better yet, I love feeding them to our grand kids, who can’t get enough.  Bonus is they get their veggies along with healthy bacteria for a healthy gut. They especially devour these Pickled Green Beans.

Cucumber dill pickles

Keep in mind small to medium cucumbers turn out crisper pickles.  Grape leaves are an optional ingredient in the recipe. The tannins in the leaves keep the pickles crisp.  I have done these with and without grape leaves.  Either way works, and I know grape leaves aren’t always available.  A local vineyard gave me permission to pick some for this recipe.

The wooden lid you see in the photos, my husband crafted for me to fit inside the jar, giving it a little knob so I can easily pull it out when needed.  He made 2 sizes, one for this gallon jar and one for a half gallon jar.  Just cut this recipe in half for the half gallon size.

I used the Zip Loc bag application for adding weight which is necessary to keep the vegetables submerged in the brine.  This is very important! If they are exposed to air, they will not ferment properly.

Cucumber Dill Pickles

Expect the brine to get cloudy around day 3 and don’t panic.  This is normal!  It also starts smelling very delicious at this point.

Cucumber Dill Pickles

These pickles become my “pets”.  The whole process is so exciting and inspiring that I check on them daily to see what has transpired.  Weird.  I know.  Can anyone relate?

Anyhow, venture into lacto-fermentation land.  You won’t regret it.  No matter what your diet preference is, all can benefit.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I will do my best to answer.

Happy pickling!

Amy

1 gallon glass jar

4 pounds pickling cucumbers

2 -3 bunches of fresh flowering dill

1/3 cup pickling spice

2 heads garlic, peeled and chopped

2 quarts filtered water

6 tablespoons sea salt

1 – 2 fresh grape leaves (optional)

Directions:

Rinse your clean jar out with very hot water.  Scrub your cucumbers with a firm bristled brush to get debris and dirt off.  Make sure flowering stem is completely off.   Set aside.

Place the spices, dill and garlic at the bottom of the jar.  Add the cucumbers by packing them in as tightly as possible.  Tuck the grape leaves in along the way.  (I was able to get grape leaves from a local vineyard). Dissolve the sea salt in a glass pitcher.  Pour over the cucumbers.  If you need more liquid, dissolve a little less than 1 tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of filtered water.  Water must cover the pickles, or your cucumbers will not ferment properly.

Use another jar lid (that will sit inside the mouth of the jar) with a weight on it to sit on the pickles to keep them submerged.  Cover with a light cloth.  Alternatively, place a plastic Zip Loc bag filled with water on top of the pickles.  I like to use the bag system because it seals the jar. But I’ve used both weight applications successfully.

Set your pickles aside in an undisturbed place in your kitchen, away from daylight to ferment.  A kitchen cabinet works for me.  I set the jar on a Pyrex dish to catch any juices. Allow to ferment for 1 -2 weeks. The timing  all depends on the temperature of the house.  A warm temperature will pickle quickly, where a cooler temperature will take longer.  I recommend tasting them after 7 days and if not done to your liking, ferment longer.  When they are done and taste just right,  remove weight, screw on a lid and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

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9 Comments on “Pickling Naturally : Cucumber Dill Pickles”

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe! I’m making these right now. I’ve just started experimenting with lacto-fermenting foods, so this is exciting for me 🙂 And..I love pickles!

    1. Well good, you’re a kindred spirit Erica b/c this is so exciting to me also even though I’m a veteran pickler! Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. I’d love to hear you’re feedback.

      1. Oooh! I do have a question! I put my cucumbers in the jar last night and used a Ziploc bag with water to cover the top of the jars. In the morning, I discovered the bag had fallen off. I decided to use a smaller lid to fit inside the jar to keep the cucumbers covered with the water. Then I put the lid on the jar. Do you think they will still ferment properly? There seems to be some controversy out there about how to do this process. They already smell delicious so I’m hoping they are ok. Thanks Amy!

  2. I also recently made up two batches of lacto-fermented mustard. The first was done today and it is yummy!

  3. Erica, There are many ways to skin the cat (so to speak) in keeping the veggies submerged so I think as long as they are under the brine completely, they will ferment properly. My bag can fall off too-it’s kind of a balancing act. Lacto-fermented mustard..now that sounds amazing! You inspire me 🙂

  4. Ok, I have a ton of green beans and I really want to give this a try. With this weighted method do you have to “burp” the jar? There seems to be lots of methods and lots of “controversy” about the best way to lacto ferment and I am not ready to drop the big bucks on some of the equipment that some people say you must have. Also this might be a silly question but can I do them all in a big gallon jar and then transfer them into smaller quarts to store in the fridge?

    1. Hi Kristin! When I have ferments going, they are literally like my pets so I check on them every other day, or so, whether they they have a screw top lid or the gallon zip- loc weight. So, in a way they get ” burped”. When using a screw on plastic lid, I leave it loose so as it ferments it can bubble out if it needs to. Always set your jars in something to catch the liquid obviously.

    2. Also, I have made pickled green beans in quart sized jars and gallon jars and I think the quart jars are easier. For the most part many of my pickles are a success but not all. I’ve had mold and had to dump a few batches but I keep pressing on. This year my green beans and cakes were both winners but a few batches had to go.

  5. Also Kristin, to answer your question about pickling the green beans in gallon jars then transferring them to quart jars , that I have never tried. Let’s have a phone conversation about the quart sized pickled green beans! I’d love to share some tips with you about that. Please feel free to give me a call.

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