Do you enjoy the taste and crunch of a pickle?
According to me, pickles are a food group … they are one of our favourite, satisfying snacks on their own … we also love them on a burger, sandwich, and hummus, sliced as a side dish, chopped in Chickpea Tu-Not, and served on a “vegcuterie” board. Made from cucumbers, pickles are generally a low-calorie, low-fat food, that offer the added benefits of vitamins and minerals. And, like all fruits and veggies, they have antioxidants. But…
Not All Pickles Are Created Equal
So what’s so good about pickles?
What makes for a good pickle?
Is there such thing as a bad pickle?
As usual, the answer is … it depends … on you and what you want to eat/support!
When I state that “all pickles are not created equal”, I want to make sure that it’s clear that pickles made to be left on store shelves are typically made with vinegar, which kills most of their gut-healthy benefits. They are also processed, often including preservatives and extra sodium (all salt is not created equal!) so they last longer.
If your pickles were not made with organically grown cucumbers, they are also full of the chemicals, fungicides, and pesticides that are used to grow them. If you really want to reap the nutritional benefits of pickles, the key is to buy certified organic pickles that are fermented (must be refrigerated … so you won’t find them on store shelves!). Other things to avoid … plastic containers (for endless reasons!), sodium benzoate, colours (fluorescent green of relish or many jarred pickles on shelf!) … and vinegar … because if there is vinegar, they are not naturally fermented. And, the fermented pickles are the ones you are after!
One of my favourite pickle makers, TWIC member, Rebekka Hutton of Alchemy Pickle Company explains why her pickles are so good!
Our cukes are sourced directly from a local organic family farm partner, grown by incredible people who love to feed folks incredible food. It’s very tough to grow certified organic pickling cukes in large quantities so we make all that we can get. Every cucumber is scrubbed, brined, fermented and packed into jars by hand. We don’t add anything that doesn’t need to be in the jar – no vinegar, no calcium chloride, no colours or preservatives. These pickles have limited availability, as all seasonal items should. Enjoy them while they are available, and celebrate with us when they are back next summer.