Saturday, July 24, 2010

Probiotic Pickles

After reading this post my mouth was watering for pickles. And not only are lacto-fermented pickles tasty, but they are loaded with health benefits.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.” – Sally Fallon, co-author of Nourishing Traditions (Here is more interesting info if you're interested.)

While picking up groceries at the co-op last night I saw organic pickling cucumbers, so I grabbed some along with the spices called for in the recipe at the link above (so thankful for my new smart phone! It was easy finding this recipe while standing in the produce department.)

After getting the girls down for their afternoon nap I got to work. Maybe "work" isn't the right word, because it was actually super easy and fun - kind of a cross between making a cake from a boxed mix and playing Tetris. Seriously.

I had bought the 10 or so dry spices in bulk, so each was in its own little baggie and required dumping into a bowl (out of the 5+ cups it made, the recipe only calls for 2 Tbs per 4lbs of cukes.) In another bowl I mixed the salt and water together for the brine. And then after washing the pickling cucumbers and cutting up an onion came the fun part: packing them into the Pickl-It jars Tetris-style.

I had enough cucumbers to fill four 1.5 liter jars so I adjusted the rest of the recipe accordingly, and before I knew it the jars were filled.

"Really? That's it?" I thought to myself. "That was sure easy!"

Now for the most difficult part of this whole process...waiting until they're done :)