Garlicky Lacto Fermented Pickles

My hands smell sooooo yummy. I just spent the last few minutes preparing some lacto fermented pickles and if the combination of scents on my hands is any indication, these pickles are going to be divine! I literally can’t stop sniffing my hands… Trevor thinks I’m creepy.

I decided to make lacto fermented pickles instead of its more modern counterpart, canned pickles, because of the added health benefits of eating a “living” food. The process of canning –either using the water bath method or pressure canner– kills off all of the living bacteria present, even the beneficial kind. Fermented foods: have minerals that are more easily absorbed, contain beneficial acids, have neutralized harmful food components, contain probiotics which promote healthy gut flora in your intestines, and even contain enzymes which pre-digests food. Good stuff.

The best part is that lacto fermented pickles take all of 10 minutes to prepare. If not less time. It all depends on how long it takes you to cut a few cucumbers into spears and shove ’em in a jar. By the way, I harvested 4.25 pounds of Parisian Pickling Cucumber today to use. To all of you who asked, I am keeping track of how many pounds of produce we have coming out of the garden this year. There is an up to date count at the bottom of the blog page (eggs are counted monthly)!

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Garlicky Lacto Fermented Pickles

Fill 4 quart jars evenly with:
• 7 1/2 cups of speared or sliced small cucumbers (cut off the blossom and stem ends)
• 5-6 cloves of minced garlic (depending on preference)
• 1/2 teaspoon black tea leaves (tannins in tea keeps the pickles crisp)
• 3 teaspoons pickling spice

Mix up:
• 6 tablespoons of fine sea salt (we like the pink sea salt)
• 8 cups of filtered/de-chlorinated water

Make sure to give your pickles 1″ inch of headspace in the jars. Pour the salt water mix (brine) over the pickles until they are completely submerged. Place a regular mouth lid or some sort of weight on top of your pickles, if they want to float to the top, to keep them submerged in the brine. Put the jar lids on loosely and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days to help give the lacto fermentation a head start. Then refrigerate the pickles for 6-12 months… although these may not last that long before being eaten. Every once in awhile check the lids to make sure that built up gas can escape.

18 thoughts on “Garlicky Lacto Fermented Pickles

  1. Awesome! Was just starting to research lacto fermentation. My mother made ‘pickled (green) beans’ and ‘pickled corn’ in crocks along side of a huge crock of kraut every summer when I was young. I miss that true pickle taste & had no clue that she was doing lacto fermentation- I doubt she knew either! Sad but, my vinegar based dilly bean from the BBB are just not the same. I am going to try your recipe!
    BTW, not to get too hokey but my mom talked about not “putting up” (fermenting- I assume) pickles or kraut “under the signs of the feet” because they smell worse- have you heard of this? My parent’s were big Farmer’s Almanac people & followed the moon/signs for gardening & other things. I have gone to the Mother Earth News Fair for the past cpl years in Seven Springs (so glad to read you went) & have learned that my parents were prob not too far off in their thinking- lol!! 😉 Enjoy your blog!

    • I am pretty hopeful with my recipe because it smells so darn good. Fingers crossed!

      It’s funny you say that because my mother and grandmother both were visiting for a minute is evening and when I started to open the pickle jar to let them smell, they both yelled, “No! Don’t open it, you’ll ruin the pickles!” Neither of them had ever heard of lacto fermenting ANYTHING before I just explained it. My mom thought it sounded ‘sketchy’…. lol.

      I have never heard of putting up certain foods (or not) under the different astrological signs. If you find any info on that, post a link. I would be interested in reading about it and possibly doing my own little experiment.

      • I will check it out & see if I can find anything. Hey…maybe if Sandor Katz is at the MEN fair this year in Seven Springs, I will take his class & ask him his thoughts. Hopefully he won’t look at me like I have two heads! lol!
        Have you ever tried grape or apple leaves in the jars? I am a total newbie & have yet to try anything– Except kraut last year that was not krauty enough. I chickened out & pulled it too soon. Edible, but def not fermented enough.

      • I’ve read that you can use grape or oak leaves, but I’ve never tried it. I am a total newbie to fermented foods too. The fermented things I have tried I totally love and are super easy so it is encouraging to keep trying more.

        You should ask Sandor Katz… oh well if he thinks you’re crazy. 😉 I’m pretty sure I creeped Joel Salatin out. In the picture I took with him, he was actually laughing at me for threatening to photobomb him. These authors need a little weird once in awhile.

      • Phew! Just missed the feet! It may seem weird, but I have heard of astrological signs affecting other things too like the difficulty of splitting wood, or fishing, or harvesting crops. To an extent it does make sense because all of these things involve water (wood contains water if it is not seasoned) and the moon’s pull affects us and this planet… so why not?

  2. I’m a little confused on how to do the lid weighted down part. So I hope I have this right. Your using wide mouth jars to store the pickles but are using a regular mouth jar lid to weight them down correct? If that’s what your doing I’ll have to make these soon. They sound good. I’ve got a 5 gal pail of sauerkraut brewing right now and within the next week I hope to start brewing kombucha tea.

    • Yes, that is what I meant. Sorry if it wasn’t clear enough. I am using wide-mouth jars and keeping the pickles under the surface of the brine using a regular-mouth lid and then closing the jar loosely with the wide-mouth lid and ring that fits the jar.

      You can always use something other than a smaller lid to keep the pickles submerged, but the smaller lids are convenient and just heavy enough to do the job. (It’s the same idea as when people put a small plate in the crock to keep the sauerkraut weighted down under the surface.)

  3. I kind figured that’s what you meant but I wanted to check. I use a dinner plate with 3 clean 2 liters of water to weigh down the plate for my kraut. Can’t wait to try these. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Cultured Gathering: July 20 | Cultures for Health Blog

  5. There’s nothing wrong with eating pickles with everything, I’m that way to. Or pickled beets, I don’t care what I’m eating if I have a jar in the fridge I’m eating every chance I get.

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