How to Make Lacto-Fermented Garlic Pickles
If you are a dill pickle lover like me you’ll love these garlicky fermented dill pickles. They are a snap to make and are a wonderful addition to any lunch! Fermenting changes the pickles from tasty snack to probiotic-rich gut helper.
You don’t need any special equipment to ferment other than a wide-mouth mason jar with lid. I use a half-gallon sized jar for pickles. Air-locks are used by a lot of fermentors but are not a requirement.
Fermenting pickles requires a salt brine instead of vinegar. It is simple to make.
Salt Brine: Simply combine 6 TBS fine sea salt – I like Real Salt – (or 9 TBS coarse) with 8 cups of water and stir to dissolve. You’ll need about 4 cups of the brine for this recipe.
Either start with freshly picked cucumbers or soak older cucumbers for 30 minutes in an ice water bath. This helps retain crispness.
You’ll need something with tannins in it to add to the jar. This will also help keep the pickles crisp. I like to add a clean oak leaf to mine as they are prevalent in my yard. A grape leaf or black tea leaves will also work. Also, be sure to cut at least 1/16 of an inch off the blossom end (the rough outtie belly button looking bump not the smooth indented one) off each cucumber. If you don’t, the pickles will be mushy and that’s not fun.
- 8-12 kirby cucumbers (left whole with ends trimmed)
- 3-6 cloves of garlic - peeled and either left whole or halved
- 2 tsp. dill seed, 2-3 fresh dill heads, or a few sprigs of fresh dill weed
- 1/2 tsp. loose leaf black tea, 1 oak leaf, or 1 grape leaf
- 4 or more cups of brine
- Place garlic, dill, and cucumbers in jar.
- Fill with brine to 1 inch below top of jar.
- Add grape leaf, tea leaves, or oak leaf.
- Lid jar tightly and let sit on counter for 3-7 days. Test for desired fermentation after day 3.
- Store in refrigerator.
In no time at all you’ll have delicious sour, garlicky pickles that you will love!
What’s your favorite way to eat pickles? By themselves or with another food?
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Sarah is a wife, mom of 4, farm owner, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also an Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).