In the past, I have canned pickles but have never made refrigerated pickles. Not only am I surprised how easy they are to make, I am equally delighted with how delicious they taste. Whether you like dill or sweet pickles, you can make your own version of refrigerated pickled cucumbers in less than an hour. A perfect recipe for all the amazing fresh cucumbers that are currently available.
I prefer a crisp, crunchy pickle vs. one that has flavor but with a soft and soggy bite. What I like about this recipe is that you can eat them the next day or they will last up to 2 months in your refrigerator. No long canning process, no sterilization of jars, no hot water baths involved. Only a quick and easy method to get those crunchy, delicious pickles.
My Pickle Inspiration
With a little research on the internet, I am able to find a recipe that I like. Suzy from The Mediterranean Dish has an easy, 40 minute recipe. What draws me to her recipe is that there are many adaptations so you can make your own pickle variety.
What Type of Cucumber
The first batch I make is using fresh pickling cucumbers from the local farmers market.
However, in later batchesI use the slender English cucumbers (easily found in the grocery store). Kirby and Persian cucumbers will work well too.
Prepping the Cucumbers
Based on Suzy’s recipe recommendation, I cut them approximately 1/2″ thick and find that the slices are a bit too thick for my liking.
Since this is my first time making refrigerated pickles, I follow her instructions and ice the pickles for 20 to 30 minutes to give them extra crunch. I skip this step next time, because we are eating them so quickly, the crunch is present without the ice bath prep.
Making the Brine
With equal parts water and vinegar (2 1/2 cups each), I add the spices, green onion, dill and garlic but eliminate the jalapeños (I’m not a fan of spicy anything really). Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the temperature and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the brine to cool.
Packing the Cucumbers into the Brine and Jars
Since I make enough pickles to fill a few different size Mason jars, I experiment with one jar by adding a tablespoon of sugar to the brine. It didn’t add any sweetness necessarily but took the edge off the tartness of the brine.
Enjoying these Pickles
We are flying through these pickles. Each day I am eating them with lunch, dinner or as an item on a charcuterie tray. They are so delicious even one day in the brine. Every few days, I add fresh cucumber slices to the existing brine and even those are fabulous!
The two amber colored ones are quart size Ball jars with a wide mouth. I would recommend a clear jar so you can see the pretty contents! Again, these can last up to 2 months in your refrigerator, but I guarantee they will not last that long!
The Health Benefits of Eating Pickles
When you make your own pickles, you know exactly what ingredients you are using. It’s important to note that not all pickles are created equal, as some commercial varieties may be high in sodium and additives. Here are some potential health benefits of consuming pickles:
- Probiotics: Fermented pickles encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These probiotics can support a healthy gut microbiome, aiding in digestion and overall gut health.
- Low Calorie: Most pickles are low in calories, making them a suitable option for snacking if you’re trying to manage your weight.
- Hydration: Pickles can contribute to hydration due to their high water content, which can be especially beneficial on hot days or after physical activity.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Pickles retain some of the vitamins and minerals present in cucumbers, such as vitamin K, vitamin A, and potassium. These nutrients play roles in bone health, immune function, and electrolyte balance.
- Antioxidants: Cucumbers contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and flavonoids, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage and contribute to overall health.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies suggest that vinegar may have a positive impact on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of diabetes.
- Controlled Appetite: The combination of vinegar and fiber in pickles may contribute to feelings of fullness, potentially helping with appetite control.
- Electrolyte Balance: Pickles can provide a small amount of sodium, which is an electrolyte important for maintaining fluid balance in the body.
What I love about this recipe
You can experiment and make this recipe your own using different spices and herbs. Think of all the possibilities. I love the fresh dill in mine. You can make the brine tart, sweet or spicy~I even add some candied jalapeños in the jar. Not only can you use this recipe for cucumbers but other vegetables such as: green beans, carrots, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, maybe even hard boiled eggs?
Make it your own! Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you add to customize it to your tastes.
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