Lacto-Fermented Cucumber Pickles by Miranda Hunt

Submitted by Primal Docs member, Miranda Hunt, AADP

Many of us are familiar with fermented food (yogurt, wine, sourdough bread, etc.), but not all ferments are created equal. Unlike the more familiar vinegary pickles, the acid in lacto fermented pickles is produced by the activity of beneficial lactobacili, which occurs when you vegetables are exposed to a large amount of salt in an oxygen-free environment. Not only are pickles a cinch to produce, they offer numerous health benefits. The active cultures and enzymes found in traditionally made pickles are known to support proper digestion (aka good bugs), aid in nutrient absorption, inhibit harmful microbes in the intestinal system (aka bad bugs), and contribute to a healthy metabolism. Lactic acid supports the growth of essential intestinal flora and even normalizes stomach pH. According to a 1999 Lancet Study;

Regular consumption of naturally fermented vegetables positively correlated with low rates of asthma, skin problems, and autoimmune disorders among children attending a Waldorf school in Sweden.

Not only are fermented foods tasty and healthy, they are a reminder that a traditional diet is often the best diet and a wonderful way of honoring our ancestors.

Lacto-Fermented Cucumber Pickles

5 pickling cucumbers (organic if possible)
2 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
2 tbs. sea salt
1 cup filtered water

1. Wash cucumbers well and place in a quart-sized wide mouth glass jar.
2. Combine the dill, sea salt, and filtered water together.
3. Pour over the cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
4. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature from 3-7 days before transferring to the refrigerator. Depending on the size of the cucumbers and the temperature, it may take up to one week to fully sour.

 (Image not from actual recipe – image courtesy of Bill Staley