Have you ever noticed how much shelf space at your grocery store is dedicated to pickles? The jars go on and on, row after row. Up, down, right, left. That’s because pickles are a favorite of so many people. Infact, where I live there is a little pub/restaurant to the north called ‘Pickles’. How clever! I hear that name and I just want to go there! Why? Because everyone loves pickles! Pickles at the grocery store can be a bit pricey and saltier than you want to think about. It is easy to make your own. You control what’s in them and what’s not. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much less salt is in the pickles you make yourself. You don’t have to ‘can’ them. Use your freezer! This recipe is easy and the result is delicious. You can add your own twists by adding different seasonings, and adjusting the sweetness. Of course, you can make them just like the recipe for a tasty, sliced pickle. The next time you pass those gleaming green cucumbers at the market, or a generous neighbor brings you some excess, try these simple sliced pickles. The recipe is easy to divide or increase. The pickles can be eaten after 8 hours in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to six months. If you are after ‘clean eating’ there are substitutions included at the end of this post for the refined sugar. My Right From The Freezer Pickles have less sodium, but wonderful flavor. You can be satisfied knowing they were made right in your kitchen and haven’t traveled a zillion miles to get to you. The resulting slices are flavorful, a bit sweet and a bit tart. So enjoy another recipe for ‘clean eating’ at its best. Eat to live – live to eat, and enjoy pickles along your route!
5 cups sliced cucumbers – Use cucumbers that aren’t too big around. Y our ‘pointer finger’ and thumb should be able to wrap around the diameter of the cucumber. If you can’t do this; your slices will fall apart from all the seeds inside your cucumbers. This recipe should require about 5 – 6 seven to eight inch cucumbers.
1 cup thinly sliced, white onions
½ cup thinly sliced small colored sweet peppers
4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons water
½ cup sugar*
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1-teaspoon dill weed
Wash the cucumbers. Trim the ends. Slice the cucumbers with the peel into ¼ inch slices. You can slice them thinner for a softer pickle slice. Slice the onion very, very thinly and separate the rings. Slice the peppers into rings or if you have large peppers roughly chop them. Place the vegetables into a large glass dish. Add the water and the salt and stir thoroughly but gently. Allow this to rest on your counter for 2 – 3 hours. Drain the mixture into a colander and shake well. Pour two cups of cold water over the drained cucumber mix and drain again in the colander.
In a glass bowl add the vinegar, sugar, and dill weed. Stir to mix. Add the cucumber mix and stir to coat the vegetables evenly. Allow the mixture to rest on your counter 15 minutes to help dissolve the sugar. Stir. Place the cucumber mix into plastic freezer bags, or jars with a lid. Bags should be filled ¾ full and if using jars be sure to leave 1-½ inch room at the top of your jar for expansion when the mixture freezes. Always thaw before serving. The now ‘pickles’ can be eaten after 8 hours in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for up to six months.
*If you don’t want the refined, white sugar, substitute it with 1/3 cup honey or 1/3 cup lite agave syrup. You will end with a bit more liquid. When freezing the pickles use just enough of the liquid to cover the pickle slices. discard the extra. For those of you wishing to reduce your carbohydrates you can substitute the sugar for an equivalent amount of sugar substitute.