Snack Time: Low-Sodium Pickles

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When our Bountiful Basket yielded pickling cucumbers, I got right online and started to research how to make one of my favorite snacks:  pickles!  Pickles, thankfully, are an easy vegan snack, but they are often loaded with salt and/or sugar.  I’ve pooled my resources to develop a low-sodium, sugar-free pickle formula.

What does a pickling cucumber look like?  There are different varieties, but this one doesn’t look much different than a regular cucumber; it’s just smaller.  In my online research, I found that you can in fact use regular cucumbers to make pickles as well.  Perhaps the process just takes longer?  I’m not sure…

DSC_2118I also found that while many pickle recipes called for distilled white vinegar, there were many that utilized other types of vinegar too.  Thus, I selected apple cider vinegar.  Too much of any acid in the system is not good for the teeth or body, but ACV in particular has some health benefits worth considering.  Among a lengthy list, it can assist in detoxifying the digestive system and even improve your skin and hair.  Not bad!

Finally, below are the ingredients I used to season my pickles.  I prefer a savory pickle over a sweet, so I didn’t use any sugar, but you certainly could.  First, I have dried dill; dill is one of my favorite herbs and it pairs well with acid.  I’m using just a touch of pink Himalayan sea salt and black peppercorns; I like the flavor of both, but not in large quantities.  Finally, one whole clove of garlic and dried minced onions; I put both of these in a lot of savory dishes.  The minced onions have a less abrasive, more concentrated onion flavor than fresh onions, which I sometimes prefer.

DSC_2119Like my jam formula, this one can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. to make pickles in large batches.  In a nutshell, pickles can be made either with a lengthy or quick process, which I found one blogger dubbed “refrigerator pickles.”  That’s what I’m making today because I’m too impatient.  🙂  They are ready with minimal flavor in just 24 hours, but get better with time, and can keep for 3-4 months.

FORMULA BASE:  PICKLES

Makes one 12-ounce jar

  • Pickling cucumbers (enough to nearly fill one mason jar when sliced)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup vinegar  –>  I’m using apple cider.
  • 2-3 tsps seasoning of choice (i.e. salt, sweetener, herbs, garlic, etc.) –> I’m using ½ tsp dried minced onions, 1 clove garlic, a few black peppercorns, ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt, and ¼ tsp dried dill.

Slice your cucumbers in disks or long strips.  Place in mason jar, add all ingredients, and shake well to combine.  Store in the fridge for at least 24 hours before snacking.

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