Dill, Bread & Butter,
Hot & Spicy, oh my!
Pickles. I am obsessed with pickles. I could probably throw down a jar in a day. Easily.
I have always assumed making your own pickles was a long and complicated process, using tools and techniques that I just didn’t have. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered just how truly wrong I was.
A few weeks ago, I splurged on a jar of homemade, organic pickles, and I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the label. There were only about five essential ingredients and I already had them all in my kitchen.
Why couldn’t I make them? But wait, why did store bought pickles have a longer list of ingredients? Why were some on the shelf and some in the cooler? Why were they neon yellow? The answers I found were truly alarming.
In addition to water and cucumbers, commercial pickle juice typically contains:
- Refined Table Salt – chemically stripped of minerals and contains 97.5% sodium chloride while the other 2.5% contains anti caking and flow agents (dangerous chemicals).
- Calcium Chloride – the FDA deems it “generally recognized as safe” while the UK has it listed as a hazardous irritant and carries a warning “harmful if inhaled or swallowed”.
- Polysorbate 80 – used as an emulsifier in food and also a common ingredient in vaccines. According to the Polysorbate 80 Material Safety Data Sheet, it may be carcinogenic as well as mutagenic.
- Natural Flavor – currently, there are over 1,000 ingredients that fall under the US FDA guidelines as “natural flavors”.
- Yellow #5 – food coloring agent, also known as “Tartrazine” which belongs to the large class of food dyes known as “azo” dyes. Yellow 5 causes the most allergic reactions of all azo dyes. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has called for a ban of Yellow 5 in the US.
Easy & Healthy Homemade Pickle Recipe!
This pickle recipe is SUPER easy, healthy and fun and it does not involve canning, any special tools or ingredients and can also be altered to suit your own personal taste
- Cucumbers (any variety, cut into spears or medallions)
- 1c. water
- 1c. vinegar (apple cider vinegar)
- 1T. sea salt (himalayan pink salt)
- 1T. dill seed
- 2-3 bulbs of garlic (crushed)
- Peppercorns (large pinch)
- Fresh dill sprig or celery leaf
- 1 medium to large glass jar
Place garlic, peppercorns and dill seed in your jar and pack your cucumbers in. Combine the water, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Remove your brine from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool, pour over your cucumbers and fill to just about the top of the jar (leave about 1/2 in of space). Refrigerate. The longer they are left alone, the softer they become. Enjoy!
*Please try to use organic ingredients & spices whenever possible*
**The above recipe is for a garlic dill variety; feel free to spice or sweeten them up according to your taste**