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How to Make Live Culture Pickles

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How to Make Live Culture Pickles

by Jordan Laio, Networx

Home pickle-making is quite the rage right now. I use the term “pickle” in the broader sense, not to refer strictly to cucumber pickles, but as in vegetables preserved in brine. However, many people are not aware that there are two categories of pickles: The first is the more common sterile vinegar pickle, and the second, the live-culture lacto-fermented pickle.

The latter category is one of the oldest forms of preserving the harvest, and actually increases the nutrient content and digestibility of vegetables, and also increases immune system functionality. Types of lacto-fermented foods that you might be familiar with are kombucha, and dill pickles and sauerkraut which do not list “vinegar” as an ingredient.

To receive the maximum benefit from live-culture pickles, you should eat about a tablespoonful at least twice a day. It’s preventative medicine.

With lots of winter squash readily available, I thought I would present instructions for making a lacto-fermented winter squash pickle. These types of fermented foods require time and patience, but the end result just might amaze you.

What You’ll Need, in Addition to Normal Kitchen Utensils

  • A wide mouth half-gallon jar or crock, made from glass, ceramic, or fermentation-grade plastic or stainless steel.
  • A weight that fits inside the jar or crock. This can be a smaller jar filled with water, or a non-reactive stone (washed and boiled beforehand), or something else. The point is to keep the vegetables weighted below the brine.
  • A cloth or paper towel to cover the top of the jar or crock so that bugs and dust don’t enter.
  • A rubber band to secure the cloth.
  • Smaller jars with lids to store your pickle when it is finished.
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Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , ,

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84 comments

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3:28PM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

Looks interesting. There is nothing quite like some pickled delight.

3:59AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Thank you will try

4:56PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

5 weeks?? Too long for me to wait.

8:48AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

One problem for me: You said "... place in a warm place, around 65 degrees...". 65 degrees is definitely not warm, it's cold. I live in south Florida. I'm not going to have any place that I can store them that will be that cold. How warm can they be and not have a problem?

6:23AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thank you! We LOVE pickles!

7:04PM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Thanks so much, willing to try !!

2:47AM PDT on Sep 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing it

3:25AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

After reading all the ingredients I'll need to buy to make on my own, I will put a hold on my idea of doing it myself...

12:25PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

This looks like too much work. I pass on this one.

7:48AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

This is the Hungarian version of bread cured dill pickles. They are a very aquired taste. Enjoy

Some 4 1/2 pounds (two kilograms) of cucumbers are needed for a 6 1/2 pint (3-liter) jar. The right gherkins (or cucumbers) are four to five inches (10-12 centimeters) in length, two fingers thick, and crispy fresh. Half dried dill (several stalks are required, with flowers if possible). And that's the end of the shopping list, since the remaining ingredients are usually to hand in every household: a thick slice of bread (dark is better), two cloves of garlic, and salt.
First, place the cucumbers in a large bowl with lukewarm water to remove any sand on the skins. Clean thoroughly under running water, using a brush if necessary. Discard the two ends and slash the skins. It is worth testing every single cucumber, since a single bitter one can ruin the whole jar.
Add a heaped tablespoon of salt to a good two pints (one liter) of water, and bring to a boil. Leave to cool for about five minutes. Meanwhile, place half the dill and a peeled, sliced clove of garlic in the bottom of the jar, then layer the cucumbers on top. When the jar is half full, add a second layer of herbs and garlic; the bread is placed on top. Then pour the salt water over the cucumbers to cover them, and moisten the bread. Put a lid, a small plate, or a piece of cheese- cloth over the jar, and place in the sun. The cucumbers will have ceased fermenting after three or four days. The water turns cloudy during t

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