Friday, August 9, 2013

Fermenting Cucumbers Recipe

Upon learning that my summer assistant Jonathan is a fan of cucumbers, especially pickles, I wanted to make sure we got to making them ourselves before his internship was over; Jonathan goes back to Junior year of high school in just a week. Where did the summer go? In the midst of processing orders last Friday, we picked up fresh ingredients from the local Farmers Market for our home ferment. I'll let Jonathan take it from here with his summary of the recipe and experience.

Farmers Market Pickling Cucumbers.

About a week ago, Sophia and I choose to avoid the preservative-filled pickles sold in major food stores and traveled to the local farmers market in search of ingredients to ferment cucumbers. We purchased 8 cucumbers and sprigs of fresh dill to supplement some other ingredients.  
  1. 3 - 4 pickling cucumbers
  2. 2 sprigs of fresh dill
  3. 1 - 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt per 2 cups of filtered water until all veggies are submerged.
  4. 1 bunch of organic dill
  5. 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  6. 1 grape leaf (recommended to give the crunch, but we opted out because we couldn't find any fresh leaves)
  7. 1 optional teaspoon of whey to speed up the process.
Fermented Pickles.

To actually put the ingredients to work, first prepare a sterile, glass jar that can fit the appropriate number of cucumbers. Add 1.5-2 cups of water depending on the amount required to fully submerge the cucumbers underwater. Then, include the right ratio of salt, you can even taste the water to make sure it's salty, but not to a point that you can't drink it. Make sure the salt is properly stirred and is evenly dispersed throughout the container. Lastly, add about 2-3 sprigs of fresh cucumbers, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, dill, grape leaf, and potentially 1 teaspoon of whey and be certain to thoroughly mix the ingredient-filled water. Now, there is nothing one can do but wait to see how their fermented pickles will turn out to be in about a week's time.
After four days of fermentation, our pickles turned out to be delicious but just a tad under-salted and less crunchy then desired. To ensure crunchier pickles, be sure to leave the pickles in the jar for a couple days more ( 1- 2 weeks) than we did and add a fresh grape leaf.
       Overall, fermenting cucumbers is a great way to prepare a homemade nutritious snack that promotes good digestion due to naturally occurring live cultures. 

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