Easy Homemade Half-Sour Pickles (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
Fresh pickles are a must have this summer and these crunchy, herby, brine-y pickles are so easy and so good for you! These beauties take less than 15-minutes to get started, but then the hard part begins, the wait for the fermentation process to do it’s magic, but it’s worth it, I promise! You will love these gorgeous green spears with all your sandwiches, burgers, and chopped up in your salads or sauces.
What is Lacto-Fermentation
Did you know that salt brined pickles are not only super delicious, but these fermented beauts are OH SO GOOD for your GUT due to a process called lacto-fermentation? The lacto-fermentation process (in salt brine versus vinegar) that creates the delicious tang of these pickles is also what makes these pickles so gut friendly! Lacto-fermentation is where specific lactic acid microbes break down the carbohydrates in foods into carbon dioxide and lactic acid. This process creates an environment where good microbes thrive while inhibiting the growth of undesirable ones, thus producing a delicious food that is beneficial to your gut microbiome when eaten.
Why Fermented Foods are So Good For You!
So what happens when you eat fermented foods that are filled with good microbes (probiotics)? The microbiome in your gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria and other microorganisms such as yeast  and this symbiotic community plays a vital role in health, immune function, food sensitivities, inflammation and more.
Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut are beneficial to your microbiome as they introduce and help to maintain a population of “good” microbes as well as inhibit the overgrowth of “bad” microbes.
When Hippocrates said that “Food is Medicine” he knew what he was talking about. Eating fermented foods actively works to improve and sustain a healthy microbiome not only because of the probiotics, but also the prebiotics that are in the fermented foods. Prebiotics are the fibers found in fruits and vegetables that feed and fuel the good microbes, increasing their population and keeping us healthy.
So grab some fresh cucumbers and let’s get fermenting!
Easy Homemade Half-Sour Pickles
2 16oz or bigger Wide Mouth Jars
Pickling weight or smaller jar that fits in the mouth of large jar
16 oz Cool Filtered Water
1 Tbsp Coarse Sea Salt OR 3/4 Tbsp Fine Unrefined Salt
1 lb. Pickling Cucumbers
1-2 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1-2 Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp Black Peppercorns
1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1-2 Sprigs Pickling Dill
For Spicy Pickles add a jalapeño or habanero (opt)
How to Make Homemade Half-Sour Pickles
1. In a medium bowl combine the filtered water and salt, stirring to dissolve.
2. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, roughly grind the black pepper, coriander, and bay leaves.
3. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and set aside.
4. De-prickle the cucumbers and rinse well under cool water. If the cucumbers are small, no need to cut, if they are larger, cut pickles in half lengthwise, or you can quarter or slice them.
5. Lie the jar(s) on its side and fill with the cucumbers.
6. Add the spices and pickling dill blooms.
7. Fill with the salt water mixture until the pickles are covered and set a pickling weight or a smaller jar filled halfway with water on top to keep the pickles in the brine (do not overfill, as the fermentation process takes place water will be released from the cucumbers).
8. Set on the counter for 2-days. There will be bubbles at the top of the pickles that form, this is normal.
9. After 2 days, spoon off the foam and enjoy!
10. Secure with a lid and refrigerate!
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Q: How long do homemade half-sour pickles last?
A: If they last this long, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3-weeks, keeping in mind the longer they sit, the more sour they get due to the fermentation process still going on.
Q: What if I can’t find pickling dill to make homemade pickles?
A: You can use the fresh dill you find in your produce section.
Q: Is the pickling brine supposed to get cloudy?
A: Yes, this is all part of the fermentation process that occurs, cloudy brine means your pickles are fermenting!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. – Amy
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.