Fermented Foods | Spicy Garlic Pickle Spirals Recipe
I never liked pickles growing up. Occasionally I would find a pickle recipe that I enjoyed, but the taste of pickled cucumbers wasn't my favorite. To this day I don't really eat pickled cucumbers. But when it comes to fermented foods, probiotic pickles and especially this pickle recipe... those have my heart.
One of the beautiful things about fermented foods:
You get the same preservation benefits as pickling, but a more smooth flavor with way more health benefits!
I never truly enjoyed preserved vegetables until I started making fermented foods at home. I'm one of the few lucky people whose only ever eaten real, properly fermented sauerkraut. I meet people all the time who "hate" sauerkraut, then try ours and realize what they knew as "gross" sauerkraut was actually pickled cabbage polluted with preservatives. True sauerkraut is a fermented food. You just can't beat the flavors of true wild fermentation.
Our Venture into Pickle Recipe Development:
When we first started to explore fermenting cucumbers in our kitchen, I hated it. They always came out soggy and I just couldn't get the flavors right. Fermenting with spices is vastly different than pickling with spices. Finally I was able to grow accustomed to using spices in fermentation and I learned what did and didn't work. I also learned a lot about how to keep vegetables like cucumbers nice and crunchy.
We get caught up in fermenting our products in huge barrels (which I absolutely love to do), and sometimes I forget how much I love to dabble with flavors and fermenting in my home kitchen. I adore going on an adventure in the kitchen, chopping things in fun ways, throwing spices I now know taste well into a jar with different veggies... I am just filled with awe and satisfaction. There is a beautiful microbial universe all around us, and I am grateful everyday to know what I know about microbiology and to be able to create delicious foods... where science meets art and flavor.
This is our most recent fermentation creation and the flavors came out beautiful. When we decided to use our spiralizer to cut the cucumbers, I was a little worried about how the texture would come out... but wow... these turned out wonderfully crunchy, thanks to bay leaves. So far we've eaten these pickle spirals in a vermicelli bowl and it was perfect! I'm sure these would be great on sandwiches and veggie burgers and as a part of a snack board (or cheese board). Hope you enjoy!
Mastering Fermented Foods
If you're going to master fermentation you'll need to use weight measurements for your fermentation ingredients. That means you need a kitchen scale. In order to select for the best probiotic bacteria (the ones that are actually beneficial) in your ferments, you must weigh salt to create a specific salt concentration. Weighing salt is the only way to create a salt concentration that will select for only probiotic microbes to thrive. You can read more about why you must weigh your salt here.
We recommend either one of these scales:
Supplies You Need to Start Making Spicy Garlic Pickle Spirals:
- 16 oz Mason Jar or 16 oz Wide Mouth Mason Jar
- Fermentation Weight to fit your mason jar
- Standard Metal Mason Jar Lid
- (optional) Silicone Fermentation Airlock Lid
- Metal mason jar screw band or Rust Free Plastic Screw Band
- Cultured Guru Fermentation Salt
- Mixing Bowl
If you're new to fermentation, we offer fermentation supply starter kits on our shop page that includes everything you need to start fermenting some veggies at home, you just need to have a scale, salt, and fresh veggies.
Fermented Foods | Spicy Garlic Pickle Spirals Recipe
- 200 Grams of Pickling Cucumbers (about 1-2 pickling cucumbers)
- 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Kelp Granules
- 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
- 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Large Bay Leaves
- 200 Grams Filtered Water
- 10 Grams Cultured Guru Fermentation Salt Or Unrefined Sea Salt
- Wash all of your fermentation equipment (jar, weight and lid)
- Wash your pickling cucumbers in cool water. Using a spiralizer, spiralize the cucumbers.
- Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
- Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale. Note: Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
- Add the spiralized cucumber into the bowl on your scale until the scale reads 200 grams.
- Remove the bowl from your scale and set aside. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 200 grams of filtered water to your mason jar.
- Add the 200 grams of spiralized cucumber from your bowl, into the mason jar with water.
- Place a small bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. weigh out 10 grams of salt. Then add the 10 grams of salt to the jar of cucumber and water.
- Place your standard mason jar lid on the jar, and secure. shake the jar vigorously for 2 minutes.
- Remove the silver standard mason jar lid. Place your fermentation weight in the jar making sure to submerge the cucumber pieces and weight fully in the liquid.
- Secure the standard mason jar lid, or your airlock lid to the mason jar.
Care Guide for Fermented Foods
Pickle Recipe Tips
During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes Jars will become very full with liquid, and this liquid can seep out.
- If using a standard mason jar lid: remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a gloved hand, tamper or spoon. Make sure everything is still submerged below the brine.
- If using a silicone airlock lid: If liquid comes out of the top of the lid, you can remove the lid and tamper everything back down, or you can leave the lid on and just rinse the top off in the sink.
Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented cucumbers should smell pleasantly sour and more smooth than a vinegar pickle. Never eat anything that smells repulsive.
Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem.
Taste test at two weeks: If you prefer the pickles to be more tart and sour, let them ferment for another week.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Fermented Foods At?
Keep your fermenting pickle spirals at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight
How Long Should I Ferment Pickles For?
After 2-4 weeks, remove the fermentation weight and smell and taste test. Your fermented pickles should smell pleasantly sour. They should taste tart like a smooth pickle.
Do I Need to Refrigerate My Fermented Pickles?
After fermenting for at least two weeks, place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits
Pickle Recipe Fermentation Timeline
We tracked our Pickle Spirals throughout the fermentation process. By checking the progress of microbial stages under the microscope we have provided you with this handy timeline! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline for Wild Fermented Pickle Spirals should approximately match ours!
24 - 72 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time there are still Gram negative bacteria and possible pathogens present.
72 hours - 7 days: After 72 hours you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is the stage in which you will burp the jar. This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive and produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Gram negative organisms die off.
7 - 12 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease, as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The mixture will become cloudy and start to develop a pleasant sour and garlic smell. Lactobacillus species are most abundant during this time period.
12 - 14 days: Lactobacillus make up majority or all of the microbial population. They produce copious amounts of lactic acid, and make the ferment smell even more pleasantly sour. This is the time in which the vegetable mixture becomes preserved. This is when you want to smell and taste test.