Saturday, March 7, 2009


So after much consulting of the Internets, I have come up with my own refrigerator pickle recipe. They are a lot of fun to make and they are very crisp like Claussen's... or at least, what I remember Claussen pickles to taste like.

I was told at one point there is a legal pickle at Trader Joe's. They were called half sour dills with whole spices in the jars. So far, I have never found them, but if you do... they're accepted as legal by the SCD populace.

On to my recipe!

You might want to cut the brine recipe in half if you are not making a lot. I found that if I stuffed a quart jar with cucumbers, I needed 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cups water (and thus 1 1/2 tsp salt). So that is 1/4 of the recipe. At least I think it was a quart jar. Now it is full of pickles, so I can't check.


2 cups apple cider vinegar (or distilled white vinegar, wine vinegar, whatever you want)
4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried dill (or fresh sprigs of dill)
pickling cucumbers, cut into spears (peeled if you're still symptomatic)
whole peeled garlic cloves (if you want)

Mix up the vinegar, cold water, and salt. Peel if you are still peeling your veggies to cook them.

Cut cucumbers into spears or rounds or whatever. Toss in the jar with the dill and garlic, and refrigerate. Ready in about 10 days.

I found pickling cucumbers at my local grocery store, but I live in a really strange ethnic neighborhood, so I can't say that they're available everywhere. I'm told the dark green ones with lots of warty spots are the freshest. As you can see from the photos, the ones I got are not the freshest. But they still worked fine! I just picked the ones that felt really hard.


My not-fresh pickling cucumbers

Here you can see our very big pickle jar in progress. This jar holds half a gallon I think. I needed the whole brine recipe and then some for it. Luckily you can do the math and cut it down or multiply as needed. Well, at least I hope you can. I can't really assume. One time while I was working retail, these 11-year-olds asked me how much 50 percent off a pair of earrings was. After I finished laughing, I realized they were serious. And then I was sad.

See? Dill bits abound.

The fresh sprigs of dill are a much better idea than the dried. The dried dill sticks to the pickles and then you have to worry about dill in your teeth. A social faux pas if ever there was one.

Finished jar, ready for refrigeration!

So there you have it. You can start eating the pickles in about 10 days. Anything before that, they don't really taste much like pickles. They will become more pickle-like as time goes on. The brine and pickles should keep for about a month after the 10-day period.

Oh, and I did have a pickle helper...

He hasn't exactly been behaving lately, so he hasn't had a chance to try them. But I am sure he will be thrilled when he does. :)



Anonymous said...

Have you seen the pickle recipes in
"Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon?
They are true fermented pickles, actually gut healing - no vinegar, just whey (you can use goat milk whey if dairy is an issue) sea salt, filtered water and cukes..
lots of other yummy recipes too.
Real Pickle brand makes a true fermented pickle that appears SCD safe, as well as gingered carrots, dillly beans etc. Hawthorne Farms is another brand if it's available to you.

The SCD girl said...


I do not have a copy of Nourishing Traditions, but true fermented foods are extremely advanced for most people on the SCD. Some individuals can tolerate the juices of fermented foods sooner, but people with very damaged digestive systems often cannot tolerate fermented foods for months, even years. We are in the years category I think. LOL!

At least I like these. My husband told me they were the best pickles he ever had! And they are very easy to make. I peel them for my son. I just have to get more jars for a rotating supply in the fridge.

Perhaps in another year or so I might be able to consider more advanced recipes and foods. For now, we will have to wait. :)

Sarah said...

You say the cucumbers should be peeled for those needing to do that with other diet foods. We are still at the peel and deseed stage. Should I also deseed the cucumbers before making them into pickles?

The SCD girl said...

Hi Sarah,

If you are using actual pickling cucumbers, the seeds should be very small and immature. If you cut one up, you'll see what I mean.

If you're still worried, you could try to use very crisp large cucumbers that you deseed. At least you'd be able to see what you were doing! :)

If you're feeling a little bit brave though, give the pickles a try. Tiny seeds such as those in small zucchini are often OK even when other foods are not -- many people never deseed those and do fine.


Sarah said...

Hi Susan,

I'll try them with the seeds, though truthfully I'm a little nervous. I actually tried zucchini with the seeds and suffered horribly for it. But I'm pregnant and craving pickles so much that I'm willing to give it a try. :)


Sandy M said...

Help! I did something wrong. Its been 20 days and they taste half pickle half cucumber. So not what they should taste like. I used dried dill and regular vinager but everything else is the same. What do you think I did wrong?

Susan said...

Hi Sandy,

That's actually how they should taste. Pickles in stores are usually a bit more cooked tasting. Enjoy them!