(Adapted from Donna Schwenk’s Cultured Food Life Recipe)
~1.5 medium cucumbers = 1 pint.
7 medium cucumbers, washed and spines removed
1 medium yellow onion, thinly slivered
½ cup real maple syrup (we like Grade B best for it’s strong maple flavor)
2 tsp Sea Salt (I used Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ Sea Salt with Sea Vegetables)
¼ cup whey or ½ Caldwell veggie pack
1 tbsp whole celery seeds
½ tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
Slice the cucumbers into approximately ¼ inch thick slices. Put all the cucumbers into a large bowl and cover with ice and filtered water. Let them soak for about 3 hours. In the refrigerator is best, but I didn’t have room at the time, so mine sat on the counter, covered.
If using the veggie starter instead of whey, follow Donna’s instructions for reviving the Caldwell veggie packet: “add ½ cup of water then add Caldwell veggie culture. Feed it a little sugar to wake it up about 1 tsp and stir till dissolved. The sugar will be consumed quickly by the bacteria cultures, and there is no need to worry about the added sugar.”
I used whey for mine. Alternatively, you can skip both the Caldwell and the whey and just allow what ever natural bacteria is already on the vegetables to ferment them. This will require a longer time, but can be done.
Add the onions and celery and mustard seeds. Mix all together well.
After 3 hours in cold water, strain and stuff the pickles into the glass jars. I was able to fit 1 cucumber per pint jar. They should be snug. Divide up the seasoning mix between your jars. Fill to 1 inch from the top with filtered water and try to get all the pickles below the water line. If they are above, they can grow mold, which is harmless and can just be scraped off.
Check out these other tasty fermented veggie recipes: