Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation known to man, and it is believed to have originated from India around 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. Due to the lack of water and decrease of food production during summertime, Indians learned to preserve their food by placing them in a mixture of oil, salt and chili powder.1
Today, pickling is generally done by soaking vegetables (mainly cucumbers) in a jar filled with vinegar. This allows the vegetables to ferment and produce probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help support a healthy digestive system.2 However, eating pickles this way can eventually become mundane. This pickle recipe from Naturally Savvy seeks to reinvigorate this classic snack, providing you with a rich flavor that can be added to various dishes. The different herbs help improve the aroma and nutritional profile as well.
Simple yet Flavorful Homemade Pickle Recipe
- Rinse your jar with boiling water to sterilize it.
- To make your brine, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, the Kinetic Culture Starter (if using) and enough salt so that it's saturated (you should have some salt that doesn't dissolve).
- Add whichever spices you prefer to the jar.
- Add the cucumbers into the jar, packing them tightly.
- Add the fresh herbs on top (coriander and dill).
- Fill the rest of the jar with purified water.
- Cover and place the jar in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Note: Be sure to turn the jar over every day to get the spices on the top of the jar.
Cucumber Is the Classic Vegetable to Pickle
Cucumber is a versatile vegetable to have in your kitchen. It can be added to various dishes and cooked in many ways. However, pickling cucumber is perhaps one of the most well-known and convenient ways to prepare it. But did you know that it can be beneficial to your health as well? Here are a few reasons why you should eat cucumber:
- Support brain health — Cucumber contains a substance called fisetin, which may help improve memory and protect your nerve cells from age-related decline.3
- Weight management — Cucumber is very low in calories, yet it makes for a filling snack because it is rich in fiber, which can help your stomach feel full longer and help you eat less food.4
- Fight inflammation — According to one study, cucumber can help control your body’s inflammation response by inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes such as cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2).5
Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Pickle the Cucumbers
As mentioned earlier, pickling in the United States mainly involves vinegar. In the case of this recipe, apple cider vinegar is used. It’s versatile and contains various health benefits, such as:
- Diabetes Management — The various acids in vinegar are said to be antiglycemic, which may control blood sugar levels and be beneficial for diabetics. The process isn’t exactly clear, but it is theorized that the acetic acid found in vinegar may prevent the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, leading to blood sugar control.6
- Support Heart Health — Aside from controlling your blood sugar levels, vinegar may protect your heart from cardiovascular disease when consumed regularly. According to one study, its chlorogenic acid content may help prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol in your system.
- Weight Management — Just like cucumber, apple cider vinegar can help manage your weight, too. According to one study, those who added vinegar to a high-carb meal consumed 200 to 275 fewer calories in a day, which roughly equates to a weight loss of 1.5 pounds per month.7
- Support Digestive Health — Common digestive problems such as acid reflux are usually a result of having too little acid in your stomach. To help improve your acid content, dilute 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it every day. Furthermore, it can help lower the risk of harmful microbes from overgrowing in your gut, such as Candida.8
Add Herbs and Spices to Improve the Flavor and the Aroma
Traditionally pickled vegetables usually contain salt and vinegar only, which can become tiresome when eaten over and over. Instead, why not add herbs and spices to improve the aroma and flavor? Not only will this make your cucumbers more enjoyable, but more nutritious as well. This recipe uses the following herbs and spices — feel free to experiment with the combinations:
- Fennel — Known for its distinctive licorice flavor and fragrance, this European herb contains a good amount of vitamin C, as well as smaller amounts of potassium and folate.
- Pepper — Using this spice can add a dash of heat to your pickles. It’s also rich in certain nutrients, such as manganese, vitamin K, iron and fiber.
- Mustard seeds — This type of seed contains iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and healthy fats that may help alleviate bronchitis, colds, toothaches, ulcers and other stomach disorders.9
- Coriander — Its leaves are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids that can act as natural antihistamines, and may even help reduce pain and liver damage.10
- Dill — This herb contains impressive levels of calcium that can help support healthy bones and teeth, as well as good amounts of vitamins A and C.
About the Blog
Founded by a Holistic Nutritionist and a trusted expert on healthy living, Naturally Savvy’s main focus is to make sure its readers eat organic and non-GMO whole foods, while learning how to integrate nutrition into their daily lives. The website shares the latest news on healthy living, how to properly read food labels, and other tips to make you and your family live a happy and healthy life.
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