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Natural Organic Lactic Acid Fermented Pickles

(Traditional Ukrainian Pickles)

Pickles fermented naturally with only sea salt, garlic, and dill weed, are different than pickles made with vinegar. The natural taste and texture is sour, tart, crisp and full of flavour, and most of all, delicious and good for you!! 

Ingredients:

5 pounds of small organic cucumbers, unwaxed and unwashed. (fresh & crisp!) (2 to 4 inches long)
1/2 bulb organic garlic
3 dried sprigs of dill weed with heads
3 grape leaves or cherry leaves (optional)
1 cup unrefined sea salt
4 quarts water (filtered)
6 peppercorns (optional)
1 gallon glass jar or crock (Medalta crock # 3 will hold 5 to 10 lbs. of cukes)


 lactic acid fermented pickles

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Soak (but do not scrub) cucumbers in very cold water for 5 minutes. Use hands to loosen any dirt.

Scald a very clean glass jar with boiling water. Place a grape leaf at the bottom and arrange cucumbers vertically in layers, inserting garlic cloves and dill weed here and there. Do not pack tightly.

Add salt to filtered or spring water and stir and dissolve. Pour brine over cucumbers and add peppercorns.

Cover with leaves and a plate and place in a cool, dark place to ferment.(Long cool fermentation creates the best tasting and best keeping dill pickles. Cover with lead-free ceramic plate and river rock on top. Cover the plate and rock with 2 inches of brine (water and sea salt). The cucumbers need to be completely submerged and weighed down, under plate and stone.

After 1 week, the cucumbers will be semi cured; some prefer them that way. However, it is only after 3-4 weeks that they become fully cured pickles (without pale areas, completely translucent green). Once a week scoop the scum (kahm yeast) that forms on top, and discard (unless you are using a Harsch crock pot that has a clever patented airlock water gutter, that prevents the scum from forming).

Pickles may be placed in smaller jars that are more convenient for storage. Scald 3 or 4 quart jars, pour off and strain pickling juice (discarding garlic and dill weed). Transfer pickles, fill quart jars with strained liquid, cover, and refrigerate.

Once the pickles have been eaten, the leftover juice, or kvas, is never thrown out. It is used as a flavourful base for soups, borscht, or even salad dressing.

Naturally fermented pickles will keep easily for a whole year (they acquire more taste as they age). In the middle of winter they will light up your tastebuds and provide a delicious appetizer or a tasty ingredient for sandwiches, and keep your digestion happy. Enjoy!

This healthy gourmet vegetarian recipe is brought to you by ECO-NATURAL.COM

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