Pickles are underrated.
They pack a powerhouse of probiotics and so few calories they aren’t even worth counting. One downside: most are high in sodium. Therefore, if you are salt-sensitive and your blood pressure rises easily, search for low-salt varieties, which unfortunately may have the good bacteria removed.
Pickles are made from “pickling” or brining with salt. Natural fermentation begins and the lactobacillus multiply. Many modern prep and packing remove these helpful bacteria, so your best bet may be to make your own or head to a small local market or farmer’s stand.
Research shows that many of the lactobacillus strains survive well in stomach acid and exhibit positive probiotic activity. Read one recent study in World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.
Types of cucumber pickles:
- gherkins (small).
- cornichon (small and tart with tarragon)
- kosher dill (garlic and dill)
- bread and butter (sugary)
Don’t let cucumbers get all the glory when pickling benefits will come from brining many vegetables. (The English word pickle comes from the Dutch pekel which means brine). Get creative: cabbage, beet, carrots, eggplants, beans and most others are the perfect base.
The video below which hails from The Food Channel will get you started.