Fermented Dill Pickles: Recipe from “Cultured!”

Wednesday Mar 13 | BY |
| Comments (13)


I love pickles! Annmarie does too.

So when we set out to write our fermented foods recipe book, we made sure we had a few pickle recipes so we could make them on our own at home — particularly when we finally got ourselves a garden and had an abundance of cucumbers.

Since it’s getting close to spring, I wanted to arm you with this recipe — and a few more this week — from our bestselling “Cultured! Make Healthy Fermented Foods at Home.”

Today, I wanted to share a recipe contributed to the book by Jackie Graff. (You can find more about Jackie at here website here.)

Fermented Dill Pickles

½ cup salt (Himilayan, Celtic or sea salt)
1 gallon distilled water
3 lb pickling cucumbers, washed with filtered water
¼ cup pickling spices
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large bunch dill weed, washed
1 tsp dill seed
3 probiotic capsules (with 8-10 or more different lactic bacteria)


Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt is dissolved.

Place the pickling spices, dill seed, garlic and dill weed into a gallon crock, glass jar or food grade plastic container and add the cucumbers.

Pour the salt water over the cucumbers to completely cover. Open the probiotics and empty them in the water and mix well.

Pour the remaining salt water in a one-gallon zip-top bag sealed to be a weight on top of the pickles.

Then place this bag on top of the pickles, making sure they are all submerged in the brine, or place a weight on top, cover and set in a cool place.

The pickles should be ready in 3-7 days. Check daily and skim off any scum. The water and the pickles should taste sour. When they are ready, refrigerate in jars with some juice. Save the remainder of juice for fermenting other vegetables. The brine will become cloudy from the lactic bacteria and sometimes white chunks of colonized bacteria and may be skimmed off.

Contributed by Jackie Graff (sproutrawfood.org)

Special Deal!

If you get a copy of “Cultured!” between March 13-18th, you can save $7.50 (25%) on the digital or printed version. Just use the coupon code CULTURE13 when you check out.

Click here to read more and get the book today!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Kim says:

    Thanks for the recipe Kevin, I’ll be trying these fermented pickles in the spring as well!

  2. Chris says:

    I was told to not add probiotics when starting because it can disturb the balance of what would already grow..so faster isn’t necessarily better…anyone have definite knowledge bout that?

  3. Zyxomma says:

    Fermenting with probiotics is great, but lately I’ve been experimenting with wild fermentation, particularly for my nut and seed cheezes.

    My latest (and definitely one of the greatest) is courtesy of a dear friend from the Pacific northwest, who shared with me, by mail, her abundance of hazelnuts. I started the wild ferment after I changed the soak water. Once it started, I put the jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. When the ferment smelled “right,” I put the nuts in the Vitamix with a little nutritional yeast, some of the soak water, and some artisanal smoked salt. Blended to a smooth paste. Put it in cheesecloth, wrung it out some, and let it drain in a sieve. Then I dehydrated it at 100 degrees overnight.

    I had to share it with other live food lovers; it’s incredibly good. Next time, I’ll put saffron into the mix.

    Kudos to all who ferment food! It’s so good for us, so healing and delicious. Health and peace.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Xyomma, That does sound delicious!! Could you spell it out for a new fermenter, like me. So you are fermenting hazelnuts…..what do you soak them in and for how long, and then what???

      I presume they’re raw? The ones I get from the health food store are activated? Is this the same thing as fermented?

      And when I can’t get activated, do I have to activate them first? How?

      Thanks in anticipation


  4. Candice says:

    must distilled water be used? i have read that distilled water is and therefore should not be consumed..

  5. Homekeeper says:

    Thanks for sharing this Kevin. I’m new to this & need some clarification on parts of the recipe.
    What pickling spices? Are they pre-made & organic in health food stores or, is there a recipe for them we make from fresh herbs?
    Is there a reason we wait to put he probiotics in the water after the pickles. It seems easier to do it before adding the cukes.
    Do you mean you put the plastic bag with water in it on the cukes? Wouldn’t that leach the chemicals from the plastic into the pickles in he making?
    By cool do you mean in an air conditioned room or the fridge?
    Us newbies need these details. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Hi Kevin..
    I’m from the Caribbean..St. Vincent and the Grenadines…been vegan for over 36 years, In our culture we pickle spices and fruits..we have fresh foods all year long..since travelling to this country,I have to cope with seasonal food supplies..my mission is to store thru fermentation..my question is do I really have to use probiotic starter.. I keep away from manufactured stuff…
    One Love

  7. Alan Arnell says:

    In 1992 my problem was cancer in or on the liver, 3 1/2 inches was removed from the right lobe, some weeks later the tube that runs from the liver to the pancreas to the duodenum was removed and re-plumbed. The surgeon that did the job was one of the pioneers in liver & heart transplants in Queensland, Australia. Just to add a bit more, lymphoma was thrown in. Some time later i met a bloke (RAY) that had the same operation (replacement of the bile duct) done by the same surgeon (Cameron Battersby), we both joined the same support group led by a lady Dr Ruth Cilento, author of HEAL CANCER choose your own pathway which was published 1993.
    To my knowledge Ray is still kicking along, one thing i have learnt is that most people do not take care of their health until they get hit with one of the various degenerative diseases, even then they think that the medical profession has a magic pill that will fix everything, and so not want to look at holistic way to improve their health.
    All the best & here’s to good health, & thanks for the receipt.

  8. Shirley J says:

    If you want crisp pickles you need to soak them first for 8 hrs or overnight.

  9. Shirley J says:

    Oops – I meant to say soak them in ice water 8 hrs or overnight.

  10. Shirley says:

    In Sweden they use cube a cup full of stale sourdough bread, a few raisins(for sweetness) some “juice” from pickles and top-up a screw top jar with water and leave for 2 days to ferment, then strain and store in a cool place. This gives you a fermented drink which you can either drink as it is in small doses to improve your intestinal flora or add to juice when having a party for a “little bit of Fizz!” Enjoy

  11. RB says:

    Fermenting is great – they will ferment w/ out the added probiotics. My pickle recipe is very similar except I don’t add “pickling spices” just dill, mustard seed, a few peppercorns & lots of garlic. Although, I think it a bit odd to post this now because cucumbers aren’t in season! I’m trying to buy my produce local from the farmers markets. – and I live in Southern CA where many things never go out of season but cucs. do.

    Also, if anyone is interested in fermenting I highly, highly recommend Sandor Katz’s books. They’re really fantastic & I’ve found them to be the most helpful!!

  12. Pearl McW says:

    Thank – you, I like the recipe since I do not use vinegar. Would this work also for zucchini?
    Look forward to your book.Pearl

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