Have you seen most recipes for bread and butter pickles? They involve 4 – 5 cups of sugar and vinegar. While this will certainly preserve the slices of cucumber, it clearly doesn’t add value to the food – not to mention all the added sugar. The method outlined below preserves the sliced cucumbers and it will also add the valuable lacto-bacillus probiotics as well as nutrients and enzymes to help digest your food!
Before refrigeration was invented lacto-fermentation was the method used to preserve food. Humans reaped the benefits of this method by eating these foods and hosting the good bacteria. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits putrefying bacteria. Lactobacilli reside on the surface of vegetables and fruits and will convert the sugars and starches in these foods into lactic acid.
Eating these naturally preserved foods aids the human digestive system in many ways. First and foremost, we are able to maintain large populations of beneficial bacteria in our gut simply by eating cultured foods. Most people who do this, will not require a probiotic supplement.
Beneficial Bacteria Live Symbiotically With Us
These bacteria form the mucosal layer of the human digestive tract. Most of the bacteria reside in the colon. However, they do live in all the other parts of the digestive tract, although in lower numbers. There are literally trillions of cells of bacteria, fungi and yeast living in a balanced harmonic state in a healthy individual. There are actually more gut microflora in our intestines than there are cells in our bodies. That’s a lot! And they are very important to our health.
Here are links to other cultured foods with videos!
Cultured Bread & Butter Pickles
- 2 large cucumbers or 2 – 3 pounds of small cucumbers
- 1 large onion
- 1 Tbsp sea salt (where to buy sale and spices)
- 1 Tbsp peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp mustard seed
- 1 Tbsp dill seed or fresh dill
- 4 – 5 bay leaves
- 1 packet start culture dissolved in 1 cup warm water (where to buy starter cultures)
- 2 quart mason jars or 1/2 gallon fermentation master with air lock or regular lid (mason jars) (air locks) (air lock with tops)
- Glass weight to hold everything under the brine (where to buy)
- Dissolve the starter culture and the sea salt in the cup of water
- Clean and slice the cucumber into thin rounds and place in a large bowl
- Chop the onion into thin pieces and add to the bowl and mix together
- Add all the spices and mix together
- Add water mixture to the fermentation jar
- Add the cucumber and spice mixture to the jar
- Add water leaving at least one inch at the top for expansion
- Make sure all the vegetables are below the brine
- Use a glass weight to keep the vegetables below the brine
- Place in your fermentation shelf for 5 – 7 days
Tip: Make sure all the cucumbers and vegetables are under the brine or you will get mold growth. Use a glass weight (like these) to hold everything under the brine.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation Time: 7 days