Lactic acid fermentation relies on beneficial cultures to break down natural sugars in pickled products producing a variety of healthful substances, like lactic acid bacteria, helpful in aiding digestion and maintaining the nutritional benefits of foods. These cucumber pickles (you can also use zucchini, if preferred) undergo a relatively short fermentation period in the refrigerator so you’ll have to wait awhile to enjoy these pickles but they turn out perfectly crispy and crunchy, just the way everyone likes them.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pickling or small cucumbers ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise
- 8 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
In a medium saucepan, combine one cup water with the vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Stir frequently until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Divide cucumber spears, garlic, dill and peppercorns between two sterilized pint-sized canning jars. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the contents to cover. Seal with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate 2 to 3 weeks before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
Makes 2 pint jars.
Adapted recipe from Kathy Ulicki, Vermilion, Ohio
Photo by Jodi Miller