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Homemade pickled cucumbers recipe

Homemade pickled cucumbers recipe


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Homemade pickled cucumbers. Keeps well in the fridge for a week and has a variety of uses.


Kent, England, UK

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 large cucumber
  • generous sprinkling salt
  • 120ml white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

MethodPrep:10min ›Extra time:20min soaking › Ready in:30min

  1. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, carefully slice the cucumbers as thin as possbile. They need to be wafer thin.
  2. Place into a colander and sprinkle generously with the salt. Allow to soak for a good 20 minutes. Drain and lightly rinse. Using kitchen towel very carefully dab the slices to soak up any excess liquid.
  3. Place the cucumber into a bowl or plastic container. Add a little seasoning and pour over with the vinegar to cover. Wrap with cling film and place into the fridge until needed. Can be used in a few hours, but best made 24 hours in advance.

Tip

Called continental cucumbers in Australia, English cucumbers in the USA, the cucumber to use is the long, thin, seedless variety that is sold shrink wrapped in the shops.

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10 Homemade Pickles Recipes

Are you a pickle fan? Well you’re in luck, because making pickles at home couldn’t be easier! Why make homemade pickles? They’re infinitely tastier than pickles from the grocery store. And, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment that doesn’t come from grabbing a jar of pickles off the shelf at the store. Here are our favorite easy homemade pickles: all of them are either refrigerator pickles or quick pickles. Keep reading for the recipes: and a few pickle definitions!


In this article you will learn how to pickle cucumbers the easy way.

Time to pickle beautiful vegetables from Farmers Markets and personal gardens! This is the moment, people, as it will not last for ever.

In Minnesota the summers are short but from late August to late October, the markets are offering an abundance of vegetables and fruits.

If you live in a temperate climate, with four seasons, August-September is the time for pickling cucumbers or other vegetables.

This is the time when I try to take advantage of the beautiful gifts from the gardens and preserve some of them for the winter.

Now, you might ask me, why are you doing this? Can&rsquot you just go to the store and buy pickles already in jars and ready to eat?

Yes, I can, but you see, there is something therapeutic about being in the kitchen and making food for my family.

Some would say that the amount of work is not worth it. I will say that for me, it is very important, as I can preserve vegetables using old recipes that I inherited from my family, recipes used when canning and preserving foods for the winter was a way of surviving.

My collection of cans went smaller and smaller over the years, but I still like to make a little bit of each one of my favorite recipes, just to enjoy them for holidays or when I get homesick.

Pickles are well-known staples of the traditional cuisine of the Old Continent, Europe. Even today, many cultures consider the pickled cucumbers to be an important part of their diet during the winter.

In Eastern Europe, during the winter time, salads made with fresh vegetables are replaced with pickled vegetables, like cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots etc.

These pickled vegetables are served with stews, soups, roasted meats, beans or potatoes. We also make a lot of lacto-fermented foods, like sauerkraut or cucumbers in brine.

What kind of cucumbers are good for pickling?

&ndashKirby cucumbers- they are small cucumbers and are very popular in Farmer Markets. They have bumpy skins and firm flesh.

&ndashGherkins or cornichons&ndash also small and perfect for pickling

&ndashGarden cucumbers are the most popular ones found in North America. They have a thick skin and lots of seeds. Good for quick pickling if you peel and seed them. I am personally not a fan of them, but I know a lot of people who love them. These cucumbers are sold waxed in the store and need to be peeled.

&ndashLemon cucumbers&ndash look exactly like a lemon. They are sweeter and delicious in salads and pickled

Stay away from the English cucumbers (the long, seedless ones), they are not a good option for pickles.

Also, buy organic when possible. Cucumbers are part of the &ldquoDirty dozens&rdquo vegetables that can contain over 10 different types of pesticides. If you plan to pickle cucumbers, go to the Farmers Market first.

Vinegar or Brine?

Both ways are perfect for winter canning but are actually very different techniques.

Pickled cucumbers, or easy called pickles, can be preserved in two ways: vinegar or brine. The vinegar version is more popular in United States, but in Eastern Europe, fermented cucumbers in brine are the thing.

First of all, this is happening because many cultures knew for hundreds of years that fermented foods have nutritious value and are good for your gut.

There are recipes for winter and recipes for summer. The summer recipes are designed for quick consumption and the cucumbers are fermented in the sun.

These summer pickles make a terrific snack in the hot weather, especially served with some good crusty rye bread. Here is a recipe that you will definitely fall in love with.

Overall, preserving vegetables was always a form of survival. No canning for winter meant no food, as people did not have access to grocery stores.

If you think, when we have weather emergencies, like winter storms, hurricanes or severe weather, people empty the grocery stores and guess what they buy: cans of anything they can put their hands on!

Today, I am going to share with you a recipe from my Romanian old cooking book. This recipe is easy to make and doesn&rsquot require a lot of science, which I like.

How To Pickle Cucumbers/Gherkins in vinegar:

Step 1.

Clean them with warm water and soap or put them in the dishwasher and give them a good bath. Then, sterilize them. Here is a link about how to do that properly.

I used quart jars with a wide mouth, for better fitting the cucumbers inside.

When you sterilize the lids, do not put them together with the jars. I clean them in warm water with soap and dry them well, then I just boil water and add them for the last 2 minutes to sit in that hot water.

Try to replace any older lids that do not look good, if they are too old or have rust on them replace them.

The new guideline is to not even boil the lids, but for my peace of mind, I think you should place them in hot water at least for few minutes before you use them. (here is the link that talks about not sterilizing the lids anymore: https://www.freshpreserving.com/canning-lids-101.html).

Step 2.

Choose healthy cucumbers with no defects or spots. Scrub them well under running water with a brush.

If they are curled and not easy to fit in the jar, slice them vertically, like in the picture above.

Slice horseradish in thin, long pieces that will go in between the cucumbers.

Step 3.

Fill up the jars with the cucumbers and add garlic cloves, black peppercorns, dried dill and slices of horseradish in between. Add 1-2 pieces of horseradish on top.

Step 4.

In a big pot, bring vinegar to a boil together with salt and sugar. Add the bay leaves, thyme and mustard seeds. Reduce the heat and simmer the vinegar for 2-3 minutes .

Step 5.

Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers to fill the jars.

Seal the jars and store them in a cool place above freezing temperature.

These cucumbers will not ferment and will be perfect for the winter time.

Classic ingredients for the pickled cucumbers:

Horseradish root&ndash This is one of the secret ingredient that Eastern European countries use for their canned vegetables.

Don&rsquot be afraid to use it! Clean it, peel off the skin and slice it into thin sticks that you put in between the cucumbers and on top of the jar.

I also went through some of my old American cooking books (see The Settlement Cook Book as an example) where I was actually able to find few recipes of pickles that use horseradish.

I am not sure when horseradish went away from the pickled cucumbers recipes, but it is an amazing preservative and also maintains the vegetables crisp for long periods of time. Also, the pickles are not going to be spicy.

Dried dill- Especially the one you can find late in the fall, with the seeds still attached, is a perfect ingredient for preserving and flavoring pickles.

Other treasures to add to your jars: Garlic cloves, thyme, black peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves are great additions. Use them and your cucumbers will taste amazing.

Salt for pickles&ndash You can find it in any grocery store.(NO IODINE added to it)

TIP: As a basic rule, for each gallon of vinegar 5% acidity, add 4 tablespoons of salt(make sure the salt is for pickles with no iodine added to it) and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. OR, for each liter of vinegar add 1 tablespoon salt, in case you plan to can a smaller amount of cucumbers.

Interested in more recipes for preserved vegetables? Here are few of them:

Here are few things I was asked about this recipe:

How long should you let the jars with cucumbers sit before you start eating them (for full flavor)?

I would let them sit for at least 3-6 weeks before you start consuming them. In Romania, people preserve vegetables for winter only in September-Octomber when the weather is cool.

They start opening the jars with cucumbers, for example, late November or December. The cucumbers in this recipe should last the whole entire winter season, until May.

How long can they be stored?

They should last about 1-2 years if they are stored in a cool environment.

Just place them in cool storage? No water bath?

No water bath, just place them in cool storage. Vinegar destroys botulism, and this recipe is pure vinegar. Just make sure the vinegar you use is at least 5% acetic acid. The horseradish root, mustard seeds, dill, sugar and salt give flavor and also preserve the vegetables for months.

Paragraph worth reading, as it explains why there is no water bath in this recipe:

I did some research on other American recipes on the web to see how they are made. I noticed that majority of them add a little bit of vinegar, then dilute it with water, add spices, salt and sugar and then process the jars from 5-10 minutes.

Now, the vinegar you find in the American stores is 5% acidity. If you dilute it with water, then you mandatory need to process the jars, because you lower the acidity of the vinegar and bacteria will develop. Therefore, you need to process them.

My recipe though uses pure 5% vinegar without water. Also, the vinegar and spices are boiled together and poured over the cucumbers.

There is no water involved. The pickles will be more sour, but this is how we like them in the winter with roasted meats. They also need 3-6 weeks to be ready for eating.

As we boil the vinegar before we add it to the cucumbers, the bacteria is destroyed. Also, because you use 5% acidity vinegar and it is not diluted, the cucumbers do not need to be processed.

This is a Romanian recipe that I adapted for the Americans. Vinegar sold in the Romanian stores is 9% acidity, therefore very acidic.

Because the vinegar is so strong, the recipes require usually 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. They still do not process the jars, as there is still enough acidity to keep the pickles safe. Does it make sense?

If you lower the acidity in the pickles juice under 3% I would say, then you need to do the water bath for them, if you keep the acidity close to 5%, then you don&rsquot.

Where do I store the jars?

If you pickle multiple jars, keep them in a cool place, like a garage, basement, or a pantry above freezing temperatures.

Cucumbers are very pretty and colorful in jars which makes them a great gift for family or friends around holidays.


How To Make Crunchy Pickles (Secret Ingredient)

Hello fellow pickle lovers! This recipe was inspired by the DIY Pickle Station at the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival over the summer. My husband is from Santa Barbara so we go up there from time-to-time to visit his family.

Santa Barbara is a small town nestled between the beach and the mountains surrounded by grapevines and beautiful seas. Sounds terrible right? I love visiting SB and was super, duper ecstatic when I found out there was a fermentation festival going on the same weekend we were going. Like jumping up and down like the fermenter nerd I am.

The festival was awesome! There was every ferment you could think of. Kombucha, kombucha popsicles, kefir, water kefir, fermented vegetables of every kind, kvass, meats, cheeses and of course pickles. The summer was the first time I ever made pickles and they were O-K. There was too much clove in them so they tasted a little funny. But I was determined to experiment, get it right and create a recipe that was pure pickle heaven. And I did or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Making your own pickles is sooooo much better for you then buying ones from the store and it’s easy. Store bought usually have distilled vinegar and are loaded with salt and other additives that are not good for you. If you do buy store bought pickles, I recommend the Bubbies brand or check the list of ingredients. They should only have pickles, water, salt and pickling spices, and the brine should be cloudy. If the brine is clear and if there is anything else in the ingredient list, put it down and check another.

These pickles are rich with nutrients and probiotics, because I used the lacto-fermentation method. Lacto-fermentation is the oldest form of food preservation in the world. It creates an anaerobic environment where only the good Lactobacillus bacteria thrive and where bad bacteria cannot survive. The result is a pickle that is loaded with probiotics and therefore promotes a healthy gut. Eating probiotic foods like this strengthens your immune system, increases vitamin and mineral absorption and helps balance hormones.

AND its very easy. It’s one of the easiest ferments ever. Not kidding.

The Secret Ingredient

One ingredient I wasn’t familiar with at the time was the addition of a grape leaf. Apparently the grape leaf adds tannins to the brine which makes the pickles crunchy. I searched and couldn’t find grape leaves anywhere in San Diego or the interwebs. So, I gave up on the grape leaves and went looking for an alternative. Well I found one and it worked! I know the anticipation must be killing you…. It’s tea leaves! Yes, tea leaves. If you add tea leaves to the brine it will make the pickles crunchy. Crazy huh? The great thing is that tea is easy to find (like in my pantry always) and bonus…they don’t change the flavor of the brine.

How to make crunchy pickles using my secret ingredient. This recipe is super easy, very healthy, crunchy and delicious.


Taiwanese-style Pickled Cucumbers

Yield: makes ½ cup (fits 12-oz canning jar)

Ingredients

  • 1 regular English cucumber or 2 small Persian cucumbers, cut into ⅛-inch rounds or 1-inch long slices (as pictured above)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (preferably Kadoya)
  • 1 any hot red chili, preferably Thai, roughly chopped or ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes, or more if desired
  • ½ cup rice vinegar*
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pureed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional) for garnish after pickling

Method

Place the cucumber in a bowl and season with salt, stir or shake to distribute the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse and drain cucumbers in a colander. Place the drained cucumbers into a lidded jar or container of choice.

Combine sesame oil, chili, rice vinegar, sugar and garlic in a bowl and pour over the top of the cucumbers with enough liquid to cover the cucumbers. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, but preferably 16 to 24 hours if possible. This will allow the flavors to combine and any spices to infuse the pickles. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

Advance Preparation: The pickled cucumbers can be kept in the refrigerator, covered well, for up to a week but are best when consumed within a day or two.

Extra Heat: Add more Thai chili, but I recommend using one for moderate heat. Also keep in mind that the longer your pickles sit, the more the heat will infuse.

Gluten-Free Option: Not all rice vinegars are gluten-free, make sure the rice vinegar is gluten-free such as ‘Marukan‘. Use apple cider vinegar if needed.

The pickling liquid can used as a dressing over rice or noodles, or when the pickles are consumed early (after a day or two) the pickling liquid can be reused for a new batch of pickles.


How to make Pickled Cucumbers

Homemade Pickled Cucumbers (with onions)

Ingredients

  • Sliced cucumbers – 6 cups
  • Sliced green bell peppers – 1 cup
  • Sliced onions – 1 cup
  • Distilled white vinegar – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1 tbsp
  • White sugar – 2 cups

Homemade Pickled Cucumbers with Onions

How to make

Take a large saucepan and pour in the vinegar. To this, add sugar and salt and bring it to a boil until both the salt and the sugar dissolves. Transfer the sliced vegetables in another bowl and pour over this the vinegar mixture. Mix well and transfer the whole thing again in a clean container. Store the pickle inside the refrigerator.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers (sweetened)

Ingredients

  • Boston Cucumbers (medium size) – 3-4
  • Coarse salt – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seed – ½ tsp
  • Ground turmeric – 1/8 th tsp
  • Dill fronds – 1½ cups
  • Celery seed – ½ tsp
  • White vinegar – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 1½ cups
  • Red chilies (optional) – 4-5

Quick Pickled Cucumbers Sweetened

How to make

Cut the cucumbers into 4 pieces each, longitudinally, and keep aside. In a large sauce pan, combine white vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, ground turmeric, red chilies, sugar and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil while constantly stirring and helping the sugar and the salt to dissolve completely. Now transfer the cucumbers and dill fronds in a sterilized jar and pour in the brine so that the cucumber is completely covered. Allow it to cool and store it in the refrigerator.

Cucumber Bread and Butter Pickles

If you want to make a pickle to consume with bread and butter, consider adding honey to this. Rest of the ingredients and procedure are all the same as above.

Cucumber Bread and Butter Pickles

Easy Fermented Cucumber Pickle

Soak sliced cucumbers in a brine solution for about 4-6 weeks. The color of the vegetable would change from bright green to olive or yellowish green, and the soft interior of the cucumber turns translucent. Use this cucumber to make your pickle, as mentioned above.

Korean Cucumber Refrigerator Pickle

Ingredients

  • Kirby (Israeli) cucumbers (peeled and thinly sliced) – 3
  • Rice vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce – 2 tsp
  • Scallion (only the white and light green parts sliced thinly) – 1
  • Garlic (crushed and peeled) – 2 cloves
  • Sesame oil – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Cayenne pepper – 1 pinch

Korean Cucumber Refrigerator Pickle

How to make

Whisk together the sesame oil, cayenne, salt, soy sauce and vinegar and add in it the cucumber, scallion, and garlic. Mix well. Press down and pour it all in a dish and spread. Refrigerate the pickle for at least 1-2 hours.

Easy Japanese Pickled Cucumber

Ingredients

  • Japanese cucumbers (if you can’t find Japanese cucumbers, use other types) – 2-3
  • Rice vinegar – ¼ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Hijiki or wakame seaweed (optional reconstituted in water) – 2 tbsp

Japanese Pickled Cucumber

How to make

Chop the cucumbers into coins and sprinkle it with salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain. Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients. Transfer into a container with lid and refrigerate for a full day. The pickle is ready to eat, however, for the best flavor, allow the pickle to stand for 2-3 days.

Sweet Cucumber Pickle Recipe (Asian)

Ingredients

  • Asian cucumbers (cut into angles into 1-inch slices) – 4
  • White vinegar – ½ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Dried dill leaves (chopped) – 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Mustard seed – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Garlic (cracked) – 1 clove

How to make

In a saucepan add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic and put over medium fire, bringing it to a simmering point until the sugar and the salt are dissolved. Next, toss the sliced cucumbers, dill and bay leaf together in a bowl to mix them well. Pour the simmering mixture onto this tossed mixture and mix well. Let this cool. As it cools, keep it in the freezer if you want it to cool it fast before serving.

Homemade Refrigerated Cucumber Pickle

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers – 1 pound
  • White-wine vinegar – 6½ tbsp
  • Water – ¾ cup
  • Garlic – 3 cloves
  • Black peppercorns – ½ tsp
  • Whole mustard seed – ½ tsp
  • Organic light brown sugar – 2/3 rd cup
  • White distilled vinegar – 6½ tbsp
  • Dill weed – 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf – 1

How to make

Chop the cucumbers into spears and transfer them in a 2-quart jar with a lid. Add the garlic, mustard seed, bay leaf, dill weed and peppercorns. Next, stir together thoroughly the vinegars, the brown sugar and the water until all the sugar dissolves. Now pour the whole of the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and mix everything well, while shaking the jar. Cover the lid and chill. To get the maximum aroma and all the flavors, refrigerate the pickle for minimum 24 hours before you serve it. If you store it in the refrigerator, the shelf life of this recipe is 3 months.

Try these simple and delicious recipes one by one, as also share with us all that you know, if you think your recipe is something interesting and different. Send us your thoughts and give us your feedback. Share with us your all that you know about pickling cucumbers, and give us comments if you like our pickled cucumber recipes, and we will share your recipes and suggestions with all our other readers.

Related Articles


PIN THIS FOR LATER:

A Few questions you might have:

Can I keep these jars for months?

No, you cannot. These are fermented vegetables, not canned. Lacto-fermentation is a common and traditional form of pickling vegetables but it is not the same as canning and it is not used for long-term preservation.

The taste will change over time as the fermentation continues even if you place the pickles in a cold place.

Fermented foods are consumed as soon as they reach the level of fermentation desired and finished in shorts period of time before the flavors change too much.

Canning involves sterilization as the product is designed to last often 6 months or more.

Can I pickle this way some other vegetables? And which ones would be good?

Yes, you can try green tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, baby water melons, celeriac, cabbage, apples, quince etc.

While I am sure there might be other vegetables that can be pickled this way, I recommend you looking for recipes that would teach you how to preserve that specific fruit or vegetables you want to experiment with.

Why is this recipe better than the cucumbers pickled in vinegar?

It is better because it is healthier. The lactic acid in the jars is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

Lacto-fermentation also increases or preserves the vitamin and enzyme levels of the fermented food.

In addition, lactobacillus organisms are the heroes when it comes to good bacteria in your gut and probiotics.

Fermented cucumbers- What is Normal?

You might get anxiety if your fermented pickles do not look like the home-canned pickles you are used to. Here&rsquos what to expect:

a. Cloudy brine, often getting cloudier as time progresses.

b. Fizziness! Fizzy brine is totally normal and just a sign things are working as they should.

c. Liquid leaking out of the jar. Again, absolutely normal. However, you can sometimes avoid it by making sure you don&rsquot add too much brine to your jars. This is the reason I placed my jars on a bakind tray, just to make sure that it doesn&rsquot become messy.

d. Bubbles equals happy pickles

e. Pleasant sour taste. Fermented pickles have a slightly different tang than vinegar pickles.


Say "No" to Old Pickle Recipes

“I recently made homemade dill pickles by my grandmother’s recipe I have made pickles by this recipe for a very long time. This year the pickles were bubbling when I opened them. There is a white film in the jars. They taste just fine but I am wondering if they are safe to eat. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cup water
  • ¼-1/2 cup pickling salt
  • Whatever spices
  • Then bring brine to boil, pack cucumbers in sterilized jars, cover with hot brine and so on.”

The Answer:
These pickles are not safe. Please do not eat the bubbling dill pickles with white film in the jar. These pickles are spoiled and only a microbial analysis can tell what is spoiling them and whether it is harmful. Growth of either bacteria or yeast can produce gas. Growth of bacteria, yeasts and/or molds can cause the film. Molds growing in pickles can use the acid as food thereby raising the pH. A raised pH increases the chance that harmful organisms (such as the organism that causes botulism) can grow.
 
The proportion of vinegar to water in this pickling brine is 1 to 4 and is too low to be safe. A safe, tested quick dill pickle recipe is included below the ratio of vinegar to water in this recipe is 3 to 4. Cucumbers contain very limited acidity and typically have a pH of 5.12 to 5.78. Making sure enough vinegar is added to the cucumbers is important to make safe pickles Clostridium botulinum can grow in improperly canned, pickled foods with a pH higher than 4.6.  It is critical to use scientifically tested recipes for making pickles to ensure their safety.

Quick Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles (from HGIC 3420)

Ingredients:

  • 8 pounds of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1¼ cups canning or pickling salt (divided)
  • 1½ quarts vinegar (5 percent)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice
  • 3 tablespoons whole mustard seed
  • About 14 heads of fresh dill OR 5 tablespoons dill seed

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slices off blossom ends and discard, but leave ¼ inch of stem attached. Dissolve ¾ cup salt in 2 gallons water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain. Combine 1½ quarts vinegar, ½ cup salt, ¼ cup sugar and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean, white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seed and 1½ heads fresh dill (or 1½ teaspoons dill seed) per pint jar. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process pints for 10 minutes or quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

My recommendation is to dispose of the spoiled pickles where your pets (if any) cannot get to them (See HGIC 3000 Preserving Foods for recommendations for safe disposal of spoiled canned foods). See the following links for tested information about making cucumber pickles from our Home and Garden Information Center.


Ideas for Using Fresh Garden Cucumbers – Recipes, Homemade Pickles and How to Freeze Cucumbers

What to do with fresh cucumbers? We are harvesting the first of our garden cucumbers this week! Cucumbers are a happy veggie as my kids love to eat raw cucumbers and are perfectly happy!

We have several methods of also using cucumbers in recipes and raw, so we wanted to share some of our ideas with you to help you use up all of your cucumbers!

This is another addition to our Ideas for using fresh garden veggies series.

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #1 – Cucumbers and Berries Together

For the first idea and recipe, we wanted to share this great recipe for Cucumber Salad HERE that has strawberries, basil and of course…cucumbers! Check out the recipe.

Berries and cucumbers go very well together. This idea can be done with many types of berries!

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #2 – Marinated Cucumber Salads

There are two classic ways that I learned to make marinated cucumber salads – both are from two of my grandmothers that I learned to make when I was a small child. This was a popular dish that each of them served, especially in the summer!

Marinated Cucumbers #1 – The Classic Version

  • 4 cucumbers (leaving peel on or peeling – whatever you want!)
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion (optional)
  • 1 tomato (optional)

Mix the vinegar, sugar, water and salt and pepper. Then pour over the cucumbers and other veggies and marinate for at least 1 hour. This is also a great make ahead side dish

Marinated Cucumbers #2 – The Creamy Version

  • 4 cucumbers (leaving peel on or peeling – whatever you want!)
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion (optional)
  • 1 tomato (optional)

Same instructions as above, except this one is best served immediately and will store “ok” but best freshly made.

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #3 – Crisp Cucumber Salsa

My grandma, the one that makes the Marinated Cucumber Classic Version, also made this a couple of years ago for a summer family party and it was a huge hit. She later sent me the recipe from a Facebook group that she was a part of! This is so good! See the Pin here that was passed around.

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Tortilla chips

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips.

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #4 – Stuffed Cucumbers

Try stuffed cucumbers! You can make many versions – they are great! Basically, cut medium thick to extra thick cucumbers and hollow out a little hole. Then you can stuff all kinds of goodness in there and serve it up!

Here’s a list of foods that you can “stuff” in there:

  • Tuna Salad
  • Salmon
  • Crab Salad
  • Chicken Salad
  • Sour Cream Ranch Dip
  • Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
  • Hummus
  • Cream Cheese

Also, sprinkle chopped green onions, bacon pieces, bell pepper chunks and/or paprika on top of your stuffed creation! This is also a fun food for kids!

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #5 – Cucumber Lime Jello Salad

  • 2 large boxes lime Jello
  • 2 large cucumbers sliced or diced
  • 1.2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Whole container of whipped cream

Prepare the lime Jello and set in the fridge overnight with the cucumber slices. Mix all of the other ingredients together to top the salad and serve!

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #6 – Homemade Canned Pickles and Refrigerator Pickles

Finally, we are going to share some preserving ideas – the most popular…… pickles of course!

There are two main ways to make pickles, long term storage in glass jars (canning) and refrigerator pickles which are a quick version, but will not last as long.

How to Make Refrigerator Pickles Recipe

  • 6 Cups of whole, sliced or speared cucumber
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup of sliced onion (optional)
  • 2 heads fresh dill

In a saucepan, add vinegar, salt and sugar and boil over medium heat, stir constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Then place the cucumbers, garlic, onion and fresh dill in a large bowl or jar (whatever you plan to store in the fridge) and pour the liquid mixture over the top. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

For homemade canned pickles, we recommend using the recipe for Homemade Canned Dill Pickles from Almanac.com HERE.

Fresh Garden Cucumbers Idea #7 – How to Freeze Cucumbers

Now, if you run out of ideas, recipes or don’t want to make anything with cucumbers right now, you can freeze cucumbers.

However, just a warning. Cucumbers are not great frozen. What we mean is that they certainly cannot be eaten raw, just like most other veggies and the blanching trick does not work on cucumbers like it does on other veggies. Freezing cucumbers is kinda tricky and then in the end, still may not be that great. Most will probably advise you to not freeze them. However, we will tell you how you can!

The way to freeze them successfully is by brining them. That means that when you go to use them, they will have more of the vinegar/pickle taste, but still resemble more of a cucumber than a pickle. This is really the only way to freeze them .

To brine the cucumbers for freezing, you will mix 8 cups of sliced cucumbers with 2 TBSP of salt and sliced onion (optional). Let this sit for a couple of hours and then rinse with cold water and pat dry. Then mix 2/3 cup of oil, 2/3 cup white distilled vinegar, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of celery seed. Mix well and pour over cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate overnight to soak in. Then transfer into a ziploc or plastic container for freezing in the brine for at least a week before using.

What do you plan to do with your cucumbers?

Keep watching for more ideas on using your garden veggies as we have many more veggies recipes and ideas to share this summer with you as you make the most of your garden and farmer’s market finds!

For actual garden ideas, we wanted to remind you that we have been sharing so many gardening ideas on our Garden Gallery of Ideas HERE, Pinterest HERE and Facebook HERE that we hope you are seeing some incredible results with your homegrown food supply. And, as always, we will continue to share gardening tips and ideas on all our site.



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