Pickle jar sealed and ready to go
Pickle jar sealed and ready to go

Lacto-Fermented Pickles

August 8, 2016

Lacto-fermentation is great for healing from digestive distress. It introduces beneficial bacteria, enzymes and essential vitamins into your gut, as well as pre-digests - or breaks down - the food before you even consume it. Add a small portion of lacto-fermented foods to your diet if you suffer from celiac disease, leaky gut or other digestive distress.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • 20 mins

    20 mins

  • Yields: 1 jar


1-2 lbs of 2-3 inch cucumbers (pickling cucumbers)

1 wide-mouth mason jars (1 quart)

Bunch of dill weed with seeds

2 garlic cloves (peeled)

1Tbsp Kosher salt (or non-iodine salt)

2 dried red chili peppers - optional

1 scant tsp. distilled vinegar

Water to fill up each jar


Sterilize mason jars and lids. You can run the jars through the dishwasher and boil the lids for 1 minute.

Wash pickles in a cold water bath. Gently scrub pickles to ensure they are clean.

(If pickles are a big soft, soak in cold water bath for 2 hours - it will perk them up.)

In mason jar, add 1 Tbsp. salt, 1-2 chili peppers, 1-2 garlic cloves and small bunch of dill weed.

Layer pickles until jar is packed tight with pickles (use the small and curved pickles on top and to fill in gaps). You want the pickles packed tightly and firmly so they don't move.

Add vinegar.

Next, fill each jar with water to fully cover pickles but leave an inch of open space at the top. Do not fill the jars to the rim.

Seal jars tightly and store on a rimmed baking sheet (in case of leaks) on your countertop in a cool, dark place.

Check pickles every 1-2 days. If the pickle jars look like they're about to explode, you can “burp” the lid (open it for a second), which will allow the carbon dioxide to escape. Don't leave it open too long as you will introduce more oxygen into the jar and oxygen can create mold. The brine will become cloudy and bubbly over time, which means the fermentation is working. You should see your pickles change to a dull olive green color too.

You can eat the pickles after 1-2 weeks (depending on how pickled you like them). Simply check them daily. Keep them stored in a cool place (like your basement) after 2-3 days of fermenting on your countertop. (If they are moldy or smell foul, discard, something went awry with your ferment.)

When the pickles are at your desired taste and texture (usually 2-3 weeks), store them in the fridge until you eat them.

Pickles can last 6+ months after pickling (for best results), however, they can be eaten for years afterwards too (they just might be softer).

You will need about 1-1.25 lbs of pickles per 1 quart wide-mouth mason jar. Make sure you get smaller pickles. Just ask for a combination of 2" and 3" cucumbers to ensure they fit properly in your jars.


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