My grandmother Sophia was making beautiful fermented cucumbers, my mother Mira used to do is as well. So, since I moved to a house with nice cellar, I also started making fermented cucumbers for winter. They are not only perfect for eating straight, as part of salad or a delicious sour soup, they are also very valuable for digestion system.
Few years ago I met prof. Marek Naruszewicz who is well known nutrition specialist cooperating with Univerisities in Sweden and United States, President of the Polish Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, know person in the world of science, medicine, pharmacy and healthy eating, published his works in "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" and other prestigious magazines. We talked about fermented cucumbers, although it wasn’t the main subject of our conversation… ha ha… Professor said that fermented cucumbers are very valuable, because they contain bacteria that are important for improving digestion and we can’t find it anywhere else, they are specific for fermented cucumbers…
So beautiful people! Ferment your cucumbers!
I will share with you today the method present in my family since decades. It works great. 100% guarantee. The only 2 reasons why fermenting cucumbers might be a flop. This happens if cucumbers were grown using chemical fertilizers – for some reasons such cucumbers do not ferment in a proper way, but rather become soft and smelly… brrrr… The second reason is too hot temperature during fermentation. For that reason better avoid temperatures over 80F/26C.
Containers: You need 1-gallon container for 5 pounds of cucumbers. They say that food-grade plastic is OK, but I’d rather choose glass containers, which are excellent.
Keep cucumbers 1/2 inches under brine during fermenting. It is possible to use plate or glass pie plate inside the fermentation container if you choose bigger container. If you use glass jars just place cucumbers tight enough so they don’t float freely. Don’t fill the jar fully. The level of brine should be at least 1 inch below the edge of the jar.
Wash and rinse the fermentation container, plate, and jars with hot water.
Dill and Cucumber Fermented Pickles
Take for one liter jar:
1 lbs. of 4-inch pickling cucumbers
2 tbsp. dill seed or 2 to 3 heads fresh or dry dill weed (seeds not the plant itself is important)
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. of mustard seeds
2-3 slices of fresh horseradish root
Proportions of the salt and water brine: ½ cup salt and 8 cups water. Do not use salt with added iodine.
How to make fermented cucumbers
Boil water with salt for 5 minutes. Wait until cools down. Wash cucumbers. Place all spices on bottom of a container. Add cucumbers. Pour cold water over cucumbers – remember leaving 1/2 inch space from the edge. Close the lid. Store where temperature is between 70°F/21C for about 1 week while fermenting.
After 5 days we like to eat such partially processed cucumbers, but they are half done. You may try if you like it. If don’t then wait at least 2 weeks.
Attention! If the pickles become soft, slimy, or develop a disagreeable odor, discard them.
Fully fermented pickles may be stored in their original containers for about at least 6 months, provided you don’t open the container.
Below you can see how my pickles were changing in 5 consecutive days.
More information about fermenting veggies you will find at Minnesota University website.