Fermented Cucumbers Pickles are not like standard pickles! They are easier to make, healthier for you, and believed to increase your lifespan!
OTHER RECIPE YOU MIGHT LIKE
Fermenting foods has always been a favorite of mine. The flavor that fermenting imparts on food, as well as the nutritional increase that fermenting brings to food.
There is a long list of foods that can be fermented. There is no drawback to fermenting foods and in fact, fermented foods are easier to digest. Fermented foods also have more nutrition than the original product.
Not only is it healthier, fermenting foods is also a way to preserve it for long periods of time. What’s more, you can control the amount the food is fermented. So if you don’t like the strong flavor of fermented foods, you can just ferment it less.
A BRIEF HISTORY ON FERMENTED FOODS
Fermented foods are believed to have originated around 10,000 years ago. The original fermented foods were dairy products that were placed in goat stomachs and left in the desert sun in northern africa.
In the 1800’s, a researcher in France noticed people in Bulgaria had an average lifespan of 87 years! He attributed this great lifespan to their diet. Which included much fermented dairy products.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO FERMENT CUCUMBERS
- Glass jar/container or a food grade plastic container. DO NOT USE METAL – Buy Now
- Fermentation weights or something else to keep the cucumbers submerged in the brine. – Buy Now
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO FERMENT CUCUMBERS
* Used in this recipe
- Cucumbers – Fresher is better.
- Salt – Only pure salt like pickling salt and sea salt. Do not use iodized salt or salt with additives.
- Other vegetables – Optional
- Peppers – Hot or mild*
- and many more!
- Herbs and seasonings – Optional
- Whole pepper corns*
- Pickling seasoning
- And a whole lot more!
HOW TO FERMENT CUCUMBERS
- Wash cucumbers and slice them lengthwise into spears. Cut large cucumbers in half lengthwise, then in half again. Smaller cucumbers, slice once down the middle lengthwise.
- Pack them into glass or ceramic containers. I like to use mason jars because the shape is hard to beat for fermenting. Do not use metal containers for fermenting! If you are going to use plastic, make sure it is high grade food plastic.
- Add the salt, and any additional vegetables, spices, or herbs.
- Pour water in the container until all of the vegetables are submerged in the brine.
- Put a lid on and shake up the contents to dissolve the salt. If you are not using something with a lid, you can just stir it all up until the salt is dissolved.
- Place a fermentation weight on top of the cucumbers to ensure that they stay submerged.
- If you don’t have fermentation weights, you can use anything that is clean and has weight to it!
- People throughout history have used many things to weigh down the vegetables they are fermenting. They have used clean rocks, a smaller jar or cup to push it down, I have even used pinto beans in a ziploc bag before. Get creative if you need to.
HOW TO TELL WHEN CUCUMBERS ARE DONE FERMENTING
- Let them ferment for 3 days and then you can start tasting them. They will get more sour and stronger tasting as they ferment so, ferment them until you like the taste.
- The amount of time it takes to ferment varies based on how much salt you put in the brine and how warm the room is that you are fermenting in.
- The more salt and the colder the room the slower they will ferment. The less salt and the warmer the room the faster they will ferment.
- The more they ferment the softer and more sour they will become. So if you can find a good combination of sour and crunch then you will be in business!
HOW LONG WILL FERMENTED CUCUMBERS STAY GOOD FOR?
- Fermented foods when kept cold will stay good for a very very long period of time. The reason for this is that the salt and the lactic acid will preserve the food from bad bacteria. If kept submerged in the brine, and kept the refrigerator they theoretically last indefinitely.
- Just do a taste test if you are not sure. Trust your gut, if there are any undesireable colors, scents, or flavors then trust that it is not good anymore. But if it looks fine, tastes fine, and smells fine. Chances are it is fine!
OTHER RECIPES WITH CUCUMBERS
- When its hot outside we love to make Cucumber Sandwiches! On the bread I spread some Homemade Dill Cream Cheese and a little Foraged Wild Garlic Powder!
- 1/2 gallon jar full of cucumbers
- Enough water to cover the cucumbers
- 4 tablespoons of salt
- A few tablespoons of chopped dill (optional)
- a few tablespoons of chopped basil (optional)
- A few hot peppers (optional)
- 1 julienned carrot (optional)
- Wash and slice the cucumbers lengthwise into spears. Large cucumbers slice in the quarters lengthwise. Smaller cucumbers cut in half lengthwise once.
- Add the cucumbers, salt, herbs, and vegetables if you are using any herbs and vegetables. Shake up the jar to dissolve the salt completely.
- Cover with a fermentation weight or other heavy object to keep the cucumbers submerged in the brine for the entire duration of the fermentation process.
- Screw a lid on loosely or place a cloth over the jar and secure it with a rubber band to allow air to escape during the fermentation process.
- Start tasting the cucumbers after 3 days. Let the cucumbers ferment until you enjoy the taste of them. The time varies based on how much salt you put in the recipe and how hot the room is that you are fermenting in.
You can split the recipe in half or double it as you wish.
This is not an exact science so you can add a large variety of ingredients and in different amounts.
The amount of salt you can use varies based on a few factors. If you add less salt, the cucumbers will ferment faster but be less crunchy. If you add more salt they will ferment slower but will remain more crunchy.
A good range of salt to use per half gallon of fermented cucumber (or any other vegetable) Is 2-6 tablespoons. If you want them to ferment faster then add 2 tablespoons per half gallon of vegetable you are fermenting. If you want them to ferment slow, be really crunchy, and last a long time. Go ahead and add 6.
We are adding 4 tablespoons today because that is a good mid level range. We will have crunchy pickles that arent too salty and they will ferment in about a week or 2. Perfect for my schedule.
Serving Size:1 spear
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4.2Total Fat: .1gSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: .8gFiber: .3gSugar: .4gProtein: .2g