Homemade Pickles Recipe

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Wanna make some finger-licking good pickles?

If you’re curious about preserving the harvest, reducing food waste and eating healthy, give vinegar pickling a try! It’s a fun process that doesn’t require much effort and it’s the perfect way to extend the life of your produce.

One of the fondest memories I have from my childhood is gazing up at the shelf on which my grandma kept all her pickles – it was jam-packed all the way up to the ceiling with jars that were impossible to reach. The colorful jars looked just like magical potions! And they really did have magical properties: the pickles encouraged a healthy balance of intestinal flora, they could curb your appetite, and provide support for your liver. Not only are pickled cucumbers healthy, pickling is also a great way to preserve food without losing its nutritional value. And best of all, you can make many jars at once and store them in your fridge: you won’t have to worry about them spoiling for quite some time, and you can snack on them whenever you want.

“…they really did have magical properties: the pickles encouraged a healthy balance of intestinal flora, they could curb your appetite, and provide support for your liver.

Of course, I didn’t realize how much I would miss my grandma’s pickles until I came to live in the United States. I saw pickles everywhere, of all sizes and colors. One particular type caught my attention: pickled cocktail cucumbers. I knew I had to make my own! So after many hours in my kitchen attempting to make the perfect batch of pickled cocktail cucumbers, I completely messed up my ingredient proportions (not the first time this happened…) and ended up with my absolute favorite dill pickle recipe!

So, thanks to the most fortunate of accidents, I present to you my culinary crown jewel! 😉 Here’s how to make homemade pickles that will wow your friends and neighbors!

Serving size: 4 jars (pint-sized)

Preparation time: 30 min

Total time: 3 days

Ingredients:

  • 4 pint-sized jars
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½  cup of vinegar
  • 2  tbsp of coarse sea salt
  • 1.5 lb  of cocktail cucumbers. You can replace these with regular cucumbers.
  • 8 oz of white pearl onions. You can replace them with small white onions.
  • 2 oz of dill.  You can replace them with fennel stems or whatever herb is local to you.
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. of peppercorn
  • 2 tsp. of brown mustard seed (*)
  • 2 tsp. of yellow mustard seed (*)
  • 2 tsp. of red pepper flakes (only if you like it spicy!) (*)

(*) Optional ingredients.

Don’t let any food go to waste! If the cucumbers or onions you have don’t fit quite fit your jar, pop out another jar to fill or use them up in another recipe! The measurements are general guidelines – the most important part is just to submerge your veggies with the vinegar mix 🙂 (explained below)

 Thinly sliced cucumber
 lengthwise cucumbers
Onions: whole, quarters, and thinly sliced
cocktail cucumbers and onions mix

Instructions:

  1. Bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Let it boil for approximately 4 minutes or until you can no longer smell the intense odor of the vinegar.
  2. Allow the mixture it to cool for at least one hour.
  3. Time to cut the pickles! You can cut them in thin slices or lengthwise (in quarters for cocktail cucumbers, in eighths for regular cucumbers). You might prefer slicing them lengthwise if you like to snack on them, or if you enjoy them as a small side dish. If you are a fan of sandwiches, sliced cocktail cucumber are the perfect topping! Both options are delicious, it’s up to you to decide =)
  4. Cut the onions!The white pearl onions can be cut in quarters or thinly sliced. If you chose the lengthwise pickles option, I recommend cutting your onions in quarters. The thinly sliced onions are a better match for the thinly sliced pickles.
  5. Place as many cocktail cucumbers and the onions in the jars. Depending on how you cut the pickles, you can put them vertically or in pieces. If you chose the sliced pickles option, make sure to mix the cocktail cucumbers and onions before packing them into the jar.
  6. Add 2 cloves of garlic,  1 tsp. of peppercorn and 2 to 3 dill stems per jar.
  7. Optional ingredients: for every jar, you can add ½ tsp. of brown mustard seeds and ½ tsp. of yellow mustard seeds, and, if you like spicy food, ½ tsp of red pepper flakes.
  8. Once the vinegar water is at room temperature, pour the mixture into your jars, making sure to submerge all the ingredients.
  9. My special trick is to set the jars at room temperature for 3 days first so that the flavors really blend in with each other. Then I transfer the jars to the refrigerator.

I dedicate this recipe to my neighbor who is the number one fan of this dill pickle recipe! =) It’s your turn to join the fan club and join me in this pickling adventure! Which of the two options do you prefer: in quarters or thinly sliced? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Permaculture principles applied:

  • Use slow and small solutions
  • Catch and Store Energy
  • Produce no Waste

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