BRINE PICKLING FOR HEALTH
Pickles can be made by storing prepared vegetables in
vinegar, a weak brine solution, by dry salting or allowing the vegetables to
ferment without salt. The best way to gain the benefits of consuming the friendly
bacteria caused by the fermentation process is to avoid pickles made in
vinegar as this kills the bacteria outright.
Lacto-fermentation is an easy traditional and most healthy
method of making pickles without using vinegar. Pickles made in this manner
are alive and rich in probiotics.
In this age of antibiotics consuming lacto fermented pickles
will address the balance of the flora growing in the intestines which in
turn aids absorption and production of nutrients.
Fermentation with lactic acid is also a very safe way to preserve food and
comprises of just vegetables, herbs, spices, water and salt. This provides
the right conditions for nature to take its course. The salt slows the decomposition of the vegetables briefly
until the sugars in the vegetables are broken down by friendly lactobacilli
and converted into lactic acid to preserve the vegetables for many months.
Vegetables must be fully submerged beneath the brine and sufficiently
weighted down. If an errant cucumber is sticking out of the brine and
exposed to air, yeast and mould are likely to flourish.
Check the pickles
regularly and immediately skim off any growth that does occur. Yeast and
mould are much more difficult to control in warmer temperatures.
Temperatures between about 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit make the best
Necessary Equipment (sterilise by
rinsing with boiling water before use)
grade plastic bucket, glass jar or other nonreactive container to hold the
pickles. (A 1 gallon container is needed for each 5 pounds of fresh
plate that will fit snugly inside the rim of the container
Fine sea salt
Mixed together to make a 5% salt solution. If you need 2 litres of
water to cover the vegetables, you will use 100 grams of salt, for example.
You need enough water to completely cover all the vegetables, so how much
water and salt you need depends on how many vegetables are being used.
much of one or more of the following as desired
green tomatoes (quartered),
cucumbers (sliced or whole)
beetroot (thinly sliced)
walnuts, bamboo shoots,
are good with
Suggested herbs and spices
Garlic (5-6 cloves, crushed, sliced, or chopped per quart of brine)
Dill (a handful of dill heads per quart of brine)
Black Peppercorns 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns per quart of brine
Mustard Seed1/2 teaspoon per quart
Chilli Peppers (dried or fresh) 1-2 per quart of brine
Bay Leaves 1 per quart of brine
other herbs and spices may be added as desired. Choose no more than three
predominant, complimentary flavours. Experiment and create pickles based on
nutritionally beneficial or medicinal vegetables, herbs and spices for a
particular condition. See
A-Z Ailments for the natural vegetables, herbs and spices for any
illnesses, infection or disease.
Some additional beneficial and nutritious
ingredients to add:
an Asian spiced pickle with Sichuan peppercorns and ginger
Mexican spiced pickle with jalapenos, cumin, and oregano.
pickling spice gives pickles a spicier, old fashioned flavour
crunchier pickles add a few grape or sour cherry leaves per quart of brine.
turmeric & ginger
if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin and ibuprofen,
have heart problems
and during the first trimester
cabbage, kale, plums and prunes if suffering with thyroid problems, kidney & gallstones, joint problems, or osteoporosis
clean pickling jar, layer the well washed vegetables and spices.
about 2 inches at the top.
Prepare the brine with cold, filtered water and salt.
well to completely dissolve the salt and pour the brine over the vegetables
to just cover them.
down the vegetables to keep them fully submerged in the brine by using a
plate that just fits inside the container, creating a seal, and weight the
plate down with a well-scrubbed, large rock or a slightly smaller container
that has been filled with water.
Alternately, use a plastic bag filled with brine to act as both a weight and
heavy plastic freezer bag inside another. Fill the inner bag with a salt
brine of 3 tablespoons salt to 1 quart of water and tightly close both bags
to prevent leaks. Place on top of the pickles, making sure it fits tightly
around the inner edge of the jar. It acts as an airtight weight on top of
the vegetables, which will discourage the growth of yeast and scum.
Store the pickles in a cool place (60° to 75°F).
Liquid may bubble and seep from the pickles as they ferment, so place the
pickle container on a tray to contain any overflow
The pickles will take about 4-10 days to
complete fermentation, depending on the temperature of fermentation and the
concentration of salt in the brine. Cooler temperatures and saltier brines
slow fermentation. The fermentation is complete when bubbles are no longer
rising to the surface of the pickles and they have a fresh, tart
smell. Taste the brine. If the saltiness is not balanced with sourness, let
the pickles continue to ferment another day or two.
The pickles will keep for up to a year in the
refrigerator as long as they remain submerged in the brine.
Hot Chilli Pepper Sauce
Ferment hot peppers, adding garlic for spicing.
Turn the fermented hot peppers into hot sauce by stemming and pureeing them.
Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers. For a thinner sauce,
strain. Bottled sauce will keep all year in the refrigerator