Tasty Pickles! Garlic, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Ginger, and More.

Tasty Pickles! Garlic, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Ginger, and more

Cinnamon Dill PIckles. Sounds strange, but these are yummy!

Our family enjoys pickles.

Dill pickles, sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles. But not the type you find on the shelves of the grocery store. Those are just a poor imitation of the real thing. Pickles were originally fermented. Fermentation was one of the few methods available to preserve foods in the days before refrigeration.

I’ve written before about the basic procedure for making real pickles. We’ve been making different varieties of dill pickles for several years now, and they are delicious! This year we branched out a little bit and tried several other varieties.

I promised I’d share our results with you, so here they are!

  • Garlic Dills: An old favorite! These are always a big hit. To make these, you can follow my basic dill pickle directions and add a teaspoon or so of dried, minced garlic, or even chopped fresh garlic, to each jar to taste.
  • Sweet Pickles: I’d always wanted to attempt lactofermented sweet pickles, but never had a good recipe to try. These were adapted from a recipe in Wardeh Harmon’s new book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods. I’ll share it with you below.
  • Cinnamon Dills: These are pictured above. They sounded interesting, so we decided to give them a try! I know it sounds strange, but the hint of cinnamon really makes them…they’re delicious! We’ve let several friends sample them and they’ve all been impressed and asked how we made them. We adapted these from a recipe found at Cultured Food Life.
  • Rosemary Lemon Sage Pickles: This recipe caught my attention because we have more fresh rosemary growing in our garden than we know what to do with! And they just sounded different, so we gave them a try! They’re very unique. Definitely not an all-purpose “goes with anything” pickle like a dill, but tasty in their own right. I picture these going well with a steak. Here’s the recipe we adapted for these.
  • Spicy Ginger Pickles: Oh my. These are fantastic!! They’re not super spicy, they just have a little bite, and the hint of ginger just makes them! These are going fast…we’re going to have to make another batch! This recipe also came from Wardeh’s book…it’s a must have resource!
So there it is, a run down of the five varieties we’ve made this spring so far. There wasn’t a dud in the whole bunch!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Rosemary Lemon Sage Pickles in progress.

Rosemary Lemon Sage Pickles

Rosemary Lemon Sage Pickles

Here are the directions for the sweet pickles:

  • 3 medium cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1/3 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whey (we use whey from kefir, but yogurt whey will work great too!)
  • 1/2 tbsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sea salt (we use Real Salt)
  • several grape, oak, or blackberry leaves (the tannins in the leaves give the pickles that crunchy texture!)

Soak the cucumbers in ice water for at least 30 minutes, unless they’re freshly picked. Meanwhile, dissolve the salt in the water and set aside. Slice cucumbers into 3/8 inch slices. Pack cucumbers, leaves, and onions in a wide-mouth quart jar or other fermenting container. Sprinkle the celery seed, mustard seed, and dill seed into the jar.

Next, mix the whey, 1 cup of the salt water brine mixture, maple syrup, and turmeric in a mixing bowl until the turmeric is dissolved and the maple syrup is fully mixed in. Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and onion in the jar. Add additional brine as needed to fill the jar to within 1 inch of the rim.

If needed, add a weight of some type to hold everything under the brine (we’ve used smaller lids and various things, but recently found these great weights). Cover the jar lid tightly or with an airlock. Leave at room temperature for about 3 days, then transfer to cool storage. Yields one quart. (Adapted from a recipe in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon)

Pickles in their ice water bath, with a bowl of fresh blackberry leaves standing by!

Pickles in their ice water bath, with a bowl of fresh blackberry leaves standing by!

If you haven’t ever investigated making your own real, honest-to-goodness, fermented pickles, I hope this sparks your interest!

For more information on the process, the health benefits, and so on, check out these posts:

Linked with Monday Mania, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, and Real Food Wednesday
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  1. love your site! will be visiting it often, thank you

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