Lacto-fermented Pickles

LF pickles 4

Lacto-fermented pickles jarred and ready to store in the fridge

Fermented pickles are definitely way better in taste and health benefit than vinegar-brined cucumbers.  Basically, you get a probiotic pickle.

In the past, I’ve always made lacto-fermented pickles using whey (the liquid that separates from curds in milk). Whey inoculates the brine with lactobacilii and makes the fermentation faster. It was always a reliable method for me and pickles were always ready in about 3 days (in the summer months).

Since my little one had a dairy protein sensitivity at birth, I’ve been exploring all the ferments I used to do with whey…with just salt. One down-side is that the fermentation process takes 1-2 days longer for the lactobacilii cultures to build up.

However, the up-sides are many. Using just salt, more of a diverse culture of beneficial bacteria emerge in your ferment (at least, that is the word on the street). As well, I think the taste is better…a cleaner taste, if you will. And, finally…you don’t have to hunt down a pastured dairy farmer and purchase milk…separate the whey and curds…and all that jazz. You just need salt.

Cold, lacto-fermented pickles are a great teething medium for little ones.  So, I really wanted to have some on hand for her to chew on.

So, here is my attempt at my usual lacto-fermented pickles, only using a salt brine.  It seems that the bumpy, pickling cucumbers definitely stay firmer than other cucumber varieties.

The process is easier than you think.

 

Lacto-fermented Cucumbers

Rinse the cucumbers

Quarter the cucumbers

Pack the vessel or wide-mouth jars with cucumbers, garlic cloves, and dill (fresh is ideal, but you can use dried)

For every 2 cups of water (spring water is most reliable for ferments), add 2 tablespoons of sea salt

Fill the jars until you can press the cucumbers below the brine

Use a glass or dish with some water for extra weight, to weigh down the cucumbers (they must be below the brine)

Place in a room temp, shaded area and cover with a cloth napkin

Wait 3-5 days and check pickles for sourness

When you have arrived at desired sourness, remove the weight…cap and transfer to fridge.

Should last for 3-6 months in the fridge…but I never really get to find that out because we eat them so quickly!

LF pickles in brine

After preparing the cucumber wedges and the brine, I submerged the cucumber wedges in this ceramic pitcher.  I then weighted down the cucumbers with a ramekin that I had on hand to make sure they stayed submerged.

LF pickles 1

After about 5-6 days, the pickles were ready.  Depending on ambient temperature, your pickles could take a longer or a shorter amount of time.

LF pickles 3

Then, the pickles were ready to be jarred and placed in the fridge.

LF pickles 2

Lacto-fermented pickle goodness

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