I have to admit that as a child I loved zesty pickles but really really hated bread & butter pickles. The cloying sweetness of a commercially-made vinegar-based bread & butter pickle was just so one dimensional. Like with many things, the real food version is so much better than anything from a national brand.
Enter the lacto-fermented bread & butter pickle. The flavors are balanced, slightly salty, slightly savory, and slightly sweet. They are perfect as a probiotic component of any meal, but especially in a chicken salad or on a grass-fed hamburger.
Like my recipe for savory lacto-fermented pickles, this fermentation process lends itself to probiotic goodness. Think of lacto-fermentation as a kind of pre-digestion. Your belly will thank you if you add fermented veggies and foods to your diet.
You can also see how to make other lacto-fermented foods, from condiments to drinks to more veggies, in my REAL FOOD 101 ebook.
Homemade Pickling Spice
cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
black peppercorns (buy herbs and spices here)
- In a small bowl, mix all these ingredients together. You can eyeball the amounts, smelling the combination as you go to hone the blend to your liking.
- In batches, scoop into the bowl of a mortar and pestle and crush the ingredients into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight spice jar.
Bread & Butter Pickles
makes one half gallon jar
10 cucumbers, or several gherkins, preferably organic, sliced into rounds 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons whey (how to make whey)
2 tablespoons sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
1 tablespoon homemade pickling spice (buy organic spices here)
2 tablespoons whole cane sugar (buy honey here, whole cane sugar here)
filtered water (buy water filters here)
- In a glass half gallon jar, fit the cucumbers until filled nearly to the top. Leave at least an inch or two of space at the top.
- Spoon whey, salt, pickling spice, and whole cane sugar into the jar over the cucumbers. Fill the jar with filtered water. Cover tightly with a storage lid and gently shake and upturn to mix the spices together with the water.
- Sit the jar on the counter for 2 days or so. The liquid will eventually turn cloudy as the fermentation process progresses. When the pickles take on the taste that you like, transfer to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process.