No need to purchase probiotics! Support your family’s gut health with good bacteria from yummy pickles! Heres an easy recipe that you can make with your age appropriate kiddos.
RECIPE: EASY & YUMMY Probiotic Pickles
What you will need:
Spices – pick your favorites: garlic, ginger, dill, coriander, etc.
Vegetable/s – pick your favorite veggie or combo: cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, etc.
Salt (use only non-iodized salt like sea salt, pickling salt, or kosher salt)
Pickling Crock (ceramic or glass jar) and weight
Cloth and Rubber Band or String
- Wash your pickling crock and weight with hot soapy water. Wash your hands also.
- You can use any vegetables. Some common examples are cucumbers to make pickles. Cabbage to make sauerkraut. Cabbage, carrots, onions and daikon radishes to make kimchee.
- Rinse your vegetables with cold water to remove dirt and pesticides (organic vegetables are best). Its important not to blanch or wash vegetables with soap as this will kill the beneficial bacteria on the surfaces of the vegetables and they won’t pickle properly. Old or rotting vegetables won’t produce a desirable pickle.
- Cut your vegetables into the desirable size. You can do big chunks or whole pieces, which is most common for pickled cucumbers. And, you can use a grater or food processor to get a more finely chopped product, which can be easier for kids to chew.
- Mix in your spices with the chopped veggies. This could include garlic cloves, ginger, coriander seeds, cloves, dill…whatever you want to add some flavor to your pickle. These smaller spices tend to float up to the top and are best to start on the bottom.
- Pack your vegetables into your crock 3/4 full. The weight sits on top of the vegetables without sticking above the rim of the crock. The vegetables tend to expand while fermenting so if its too full it may overflow the following day.
- Dissolve 2-4 tablespoons of salt into 3 cups of cool water to make a brine and pour the brine into the crock. More or less salt can be added to taste. Top off the crock with more cool water until the vegetables and the weight on top are fully covered. Try to keep the brine level 1 inch below the top of the crock. Push the weight down lightly so that everything fits tightly into place and any air bubbles can escape. Anything that is floating above the surface of the brine will rot, the weight should hold the vegetables below the surface of the brine. Some spices may float up to the top, thats OK.
- Cover the crock with a clean, tightly woven cloth and secure it around the rim with a rubber band or string. The cloth should be tightly woven to keep out any bugs or dust. The top of the crock does not need to be air tight.
- Ferment for 1-4 weeks. After 1 week open your crock, skim off any “scum” floating on the surface and remove the weight and taste your pickles. Wash and keep your hands clean whenever you are working with your pickles. The flavor and character of the pickle will change a lot over 1-4 weeks. Stop the fermentation when you like the flavor and texture of your pickle by putting it into the refrigerator. Enjoy!
- There are so many variations! Many different spices and vegetables can be pickled with great success
- How do I know if its safe to eat? If it smells good try it. Pickles should have a lightly sour smell. Pickled veggies should not be mushy or rotten smelling.
- More References: There are many good books on fermentation. I recommend “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz. It’s a great book for picklers of all levels. Information can also be found online. Or you can contact me: Rachel Kriger firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s some pictures of my wonderful husband demonstrating some pickling magic.