Naturally Fermented Homemade Pickles

Naturally Fermented Homemade Pickles

I’m going to be honest and say that pickles rank very high up on my list of favorite foods.

There’s something about pickles that is so refreshing, especially when they’re cold. I love how they satisfy my craving for something salty, rather than buying a bag of chips. They are the perfect little snack (for any time of the day in my opinion), and one that I figured I should learn how to make since they are such a constant in my life!

Normally when you think about anything pickled, you think vinegar, right? Well, there’s actually a way to make pickles without vinegar, and it’s one of the easiest things I’ve done in the kitchen recently. Instead of using vinegar, you ferment the pickles in the fridge using whey, which contains probiotics to help with digestion (read more about probiotics)!

To start the process, you need some cucumbers.

Pickling cucumbers are the best kind to use, but you can also use mini cucumbers.

You’ll also need:

Handful of fresh dill

3 cloves of Garlic (chopped)

2 tbsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tbsp Peppercorns

1 tbsp Mustard Seed

1/4 cup of Whey

Filtered Water

Large Mason or Pickling Jar with lid

So what is whey? Where do you get it?

Whey is the remaining liquid from milk that has been curdled or strained. You can also find this in whole-milk yogurt. If you ever see that little bit of watery liquid that exists on the top of yogurt before you stir it, that’s whey! There’s a couple different ways to make it, but I went the route of just scooping some off the top of yogurt.

First, slice up the mini or pickling cucumbers into long spears. Place these in the jar, then add in all of the other ingredients except the whey. You can be pretty lenient with the spices – feel free to add in more depending on the amount of flavor you want. Once all are added, fill up the jar with enough filtered water to cover the cucumbers, then add in the whey.

Give the mixture a good stir to distribute the spices and whey, then cover with a tightly-fitting lid. Place this mixture in the fridge and allow the cucumbers to ferment for a few days.

I let my jar sit untouched for about 3 days, then voila – pickles!  For a stronger flavor, I’d let the mixture ferment for about a week. Next time I’m going to try adding in some jalapenos and sweet onion for a spicy version! Have you ever made your own pickles? Let us know your tips in the comments!

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