Easy Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Refrigerator dill pickles are an easy and delicious way to use up those extra cucumbers in your garden. They also make healthy addition to your diet. Learn how to make my easy, small batch, homemade refrigerator pickles at home. Plus discover the health benefits of fermented foods and the difference between pickled and fermented foods.
Now that we have our cucumber plants in the ground I’m already thinking about all of the ways I can use them in salads and other recipes to consume them. My favorite way to eat cucumbers though is as pickles. Making homemade refrigerator dill pickles is a great way to preserve your cucumber harvest past its shelf life. Plus pickling cucumbers is a lot easier than you may think.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Eating fermented foods is a great way to naturally boost your body’s immunity and improve gut health. Fermented foods contain probiotic bacteria that benefits the body in a number of ways.
Fermented foods offer a number of health benefits. They are as follows:
- They support the gut lining for a more robust immune system and help prevent inflammation from forming.
- Our bodies are more easily able to absorb necessary vitamins and minerals when we consume fermented foods. This also improves our gut’s ability to manufacture B vitamins and synthesise vitamin K.
- Fermented foods are easier to digest than sugars and starches. It also helps to breakdown lactose found in dairy products into simpler sugar to improve digestion.
- A healthy gut, aided by the ingestion of probiotics, such as those found in fermented foods, benefit the enteric nervous system. This in turn helps our gut create more serotonin which has a positive impact on mood and emotions.
Nutritional Benefits of Pickled Foods vs. Fermented Foods
Pickles are often thought of as a fermented food as they are made using vinegar, which undergoes the fermentation process. Pickled vegetables and fermented vegetables, however, aren’t quite the same thing.
While cucumbers are preserved in vinegar to make pickles, they don’t offer the same exact health benefits as true fermented foods. These foods include kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, lassi, tempeh and yogurt. There are several reasons why pickled vegetables and fermented vegetables differ nutritionally.
When you pickle cucumbers in vinegar to make homemade refrigerator pickles, the cucumbers in this case have not been fermented. Therefore, when you consume refrigerator dill pickles you make a home, you are actually receiving the health benefits of food fermentation from the vinegar only.
Additionally, while vinegar is rich in probiotics, like other fermented foods, adding food to vinegar kills some of the good bacteria present. As vinegar is typically used to preserve foods from spoiling, it thereby destroys bacterial growth that causes food to go bad. This in turn kills not only the bad bacteria, but also some of the good bacteria naturally present in fermented food.
Further, when heat is added to fermented foods, it can further destroy the beneficial probiotics found in them. Therefore, adding heat to the pickling process to make dill pickles for canning, further diminishes their health benefits.
Probiotic Benefits of Refrigerator Dill Pickles
However, by making refrigerator dill pickles with vinegar that still contains live bacteria, or the “mother” you can still support a healthy gut and immune health. Also, as homemade refrigerator pickles aren’t exposed to prolong or high heat, more of the benefits of the vinegar remain intact.
Following is an easy recipe for making refrigerator dill pickles.
Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles Recipe
This small batch, homemade refrigerator pickle recipe is a great way to make pickles using apple cider vinegar that contains the mother. These refrigerator dill pickles not only taste great,they also don’t require any special equipment to make. Eat them the next day or store your homemade refrigerator pickles for up to two weeks in your refrigerator.
Easy Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles
- 3/4 Cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Mountain Rose Herbs Pickling Spice
- 1 Cup hot water
- 1 pound Kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1/3 Cup fresh dill, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spice in a large glass bowl. Mix to combine.
- Now add the hot water to the mixture, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Once fully dissolved, allow the pickle brine to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, add the sliced cucumbers, chopped dill and garlic to a large bowl, then toss to combine.
- Pour the cooled pickle brine over the garlic, dill and cucumber slices. Turn to coat.
- Transfer the cucumbers and brine to an airtight container, ensuring the cucumbers stay immersed in the brine. Then refrigerate overnight.
- Your refrigerator dill pickles will be ready to eat the next day. You can store your homemade refrigerator pickles in your fridge for up to two weeks, in an airtight container.