Probiotic Dill Pickles

serves 8-10

INGREDIENTS & equipment

  • 8-10 small, firm, unwaxed, organic pickling cucumbers (Kirby or Persian) 
  •  2-3 springs fresh dill
  •  1 tbsp mustard seeds
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  1 tsp loose green/black tea leaves
  •  3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  •  1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  •  20-22.5 g (4-4.5 tbsp) Salt
  •  Wide mouth Mason jar
  •  Airlock (optional)
  •  Thermometer (optional)
  •  Kitchen scale (optional)

Video de la receta


  1. Prepare the brine by dissolving the salt in 200 ml hot water. Stir to completely dissolve, and then add 300 ml of filtered water. Let cool to at least 100ºF (40ºC).
  2. Scrub the cucumbers in water, and trim off (about 1/4 in / 6 mm) the blossom end of each cucumber as it contains an enzyme that will soften the pickles (see below).
  3.  Place the loose tea leaves and mustard seeds to the bottom of the mason jar
  4. Start packing in the cucumbers, one by one, incorporating the garlic, dill springs, bay leaves and onion as you go. If the whole cucumbers are too long and exceed the shoulder of the mason jar, trim them to a size that will allow them to fit.
  5. Cover the contents with brine, making sure the brine reaches about 1 in/ 2.5 cm above the cucumbers. Save any leftover brine in the fridge.
  6. Place the airlock onto the jar.
  7. Set aside and allow to ferment somewhere nearby, out of direct sunlight, and cool, for 7-10 days.
  8. Monitor the brine level closely and top off with reserved brine if necessary.
  9. Taste the cucumbers as they pickle and stop the fermentation when they taste as sour as you like them.
  10. Cap the jar with a plastic lid and store in the refrigerator.

what are the benefits of this dish?

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics and have been associated with a number of health benefits:

1️⃣ Provide a good source of live, active microbes.

2️⃣ Enhance food flavor, texture and digestibility.

3️⃣ Increase concentrations of vitamins and minerals.

4️⃣ Generate new nutrients and active compounds not present in the raw ingredients.

5️⃣ Support digestive health, immune function, and general wellbeing.

6️⃣ Remove/reduce toxins or anti-nutrients present in the original food.

Crunch is crucial in a good dill pickle. How do you achieve the right level of crunchiness? Remove a very thin slice from the blossom part of the cucumber (there is an enzyme present in the blossom that causes the cucumber to soften). Adding tannins to the brine also helps retain crispness. Grape leaves are the traditional source of tanning, but black/green tea leaves, fig tree leaves, raspberry leave,, currant leaves, sour cherry leaves and horseradish leaves can also be used.

Cucumbers can be bitter, and pickling does not solve the problem. All members of the gourd family produce organic compounds that remain in the leaves of the plant. If the plant is stressed (big fluctuations in temperature, uneven watering, or extreme heat) these compounds may enter the fruit. Occasionally, the bitterness is only in the ends of the cucumber, so if this is the case, trimming off the ends will be enough.

Cucumbers pickle quickly because the juice contains certain elements that encourage the growth of L. plantarum.

NOTE: If you are new to fermented foods, make sure to start with small amounts and SLOWLY BUILD UP. Some common side effects you may experience when introducing fermented foods for the first time include bloating, gas and diarrhea.

If you are not making these foods at home, always make sure to read labels when you buy. These products may contain sugar, caffeine, salt, MSG (monosodium glutamate) and even small amounts of alcohol that are part of the initial ingredients or produced as byproducts of the fermentation process. 

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