Preserving Cucumbers

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In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing all the different way to preserve natures bounty.  I’m still in the middle of preserving chaos, but I wanted to start as my pictures are mounting up on my desktop! Preserving vegetables and fruits does take time and energy, however, it’s an effort that you will truly appreciate in the middle of the winter. Now is the time to stock up on produce at your local farmers market or offer to unload a neighbor’s fruit tree :)

Below are recipes on how to preserve cucumbers.

A little bit of history from the Worlds Healthiest Foods

Cucumbers were thought to originate over 10,000 years ago in southern Asia. Early explorers and travelers introduced this vegetable to India and other parts of Asia. It was very popular in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome, whose people used it not only as a food but also for its beneficial skin healing properties. Greenhouse cultivation of cucumbers was originally invented during the time of Louis XIV, who greatly appreciated this delightful vegetable. The early colonists introduced cucumbers to the United States.

While it is unknown when the pickling process was developed, researchers speculate that the gherkin variety of cucumber was developed from a plant native to Africa. During ancient times, Spain was one of the countries that was pickling cucumbers since Roman emperors were said to have imported them from this Mediterranean country.

Crosscut Pickle Slices Sweetened with Honey


I found this recipe on Nourishing Days.  These are my favorite pickles that I have canned so far!  I enjoyed them so much that I ordered the book from which it came from, Stocking Up, The Classic Preserving Guide.  I ordered the newest addition which although still has great natural recipes, I really wish I would have ordered the original, Stocking Up, How to Preserve the Foods you Grow, Naturally which was printed in 1973.  That’s okay.  I’ll be reviewing this book in a later post :)

  • 4 quarts cucumbers, medium-size, sliced (about 6 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 quarts ice cubes or chips
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 3 cups raw apple cider vinegar
  1. Wash cucumbers thoroughly and scrub with a vegetable brush. Drain on rack. Slice unpeeled cucumbers into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices; discard ends. Add onions and garlic.
  2. Add salt and mix thoroughly, cover with crushed ice or ice cubes and let stand three hours. Drain thoroughly and remove garlic.
  3. Combine honey, spices (in a spice bag), and vinegar. Heat just until boiling. Add drained cucumber and onion slices and simmer for 5 minutes. DO NOT BOIL.
  4. Pack hot pickles loosely in clean, hot pint jars, leaving a half-inch head space. Seal. Process in boiling-water bath for 5 minutes, starting to count processing time as soon as the water in the canner returns to boiling. Remove jars and complete seals. Set jars upright on wire rack a few inches apart to cool.

Traditional Pickled Cucumbers (Brine Curing or Lacto-Fermentation)
-from Nourishing Traditions

Before the days of canning and hot water baths, foods were preserved through brine curing or lacto-fermentation.  Brined pickles are those that have been held in a salty solution anywhere from overnight to a number of weeks.
 By covering such foods with a brine and keeping them in a moderately warm room, you can create ideal conditions for the lactic acid forming bacteria existing on the food surface to feed upon the sugar naturally present in the food.  The lactic acid will continue to grow (or ferment) until enough has formed to kill any bacteria present that would otherwise cause the food to spoil.  Lactic acid, which aids in digestion and helps to kill harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, gives the brine food a slightly acid, tangy flavor.
These pickles definitely do not taste like dill pickles that we are used to.  However, though different, they taste good.  I really enjoyed the saltiness coupled with the tang that was created and I was pleased that my dills were crunchy!
  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons whey
  • 1 cup filtered water
  1. Wash cucumbers well and place in a quart-sized jar, wide-mouth mason jar.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.
  3. Cover tightly and keep at  room temperature for about 3 days to a week before transferring to cold storage.
Bread and Butter Pickles
This recipe was packed in organic brown sugar and was good!
  • 3 lbs pickling cucumbers (3 to 4 inch)
  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup canning and pickling salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups cider vinegar, at least 5% acidity
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  1. Prepare Ball brand or Kerr brand jars and closures according to instructions.
  2. Wash cucumbers and remove 1/16 inch from blossom end.
  3. Cut into 1/4 inch slices and measure 10 cups.
  4. Combine cucumber slices, onion slices, salt and water in a large bowl.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Cover and let stand for 2 hours.
  7. In a 6- to 8 quart saucepan, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients.
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  9. Drain vegetables; rinse; drain again.
  10. Add vegetables to vinegar mixture and return to a boil.
  11. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  12. Remove air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula.
  13. Wipe jar rim clean.
  14. Place new lids on jars with sealing compound next to glass.
  15. Screw bands down evenly and firmly just until a point of resistance is met- fingertip tight.
  16. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

18 Responses to "Preserving Cucumbers"
  1. Tien says:

    My cheese class went well so now back to reading fun blogs like yours. Thanks for sharing. -Tien

  2. Simply Life says:

    Wow, I am so impressed by this! Looks great!

  3. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The pickles look and sound amazing. I won't be able to do any preserving this year, but I'm saving all your recipes and will hopefully use them next year!

  4. Abby says:

    I have a copy of the old Stocking Up…found it at an antique store a couple years ago. Let me know if you want to borrow it to flip through sometime.

  5. girlichef says:

    Awesome! I sooooo want to preserve everything!!!

  6. Kathy Gori says:

    I love making pickles, I put them up all summer long. Great post!

  7. Divina Pe says:

    I need more of these kinds of food. What if you don't have whey or couldn't find it? Thanks for this post.

  8. My Little Space says:

    Wow, Diana, this is a good one! I love this and will try to make some too.

  9. Tasty Eats At Home says:

    Yum! Love pickles, and especially love bread and butter pickles! These look great.

  10. 5 Star Foodie says:

    I'm loving these different cucumber pickle recipes! Excellent!

  11. The Duo Dishes says:

    So many things to try…so many. Pickles are up there! Sweet ones for sure. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. Arabic Bites says:

    Another Great post :)
    amazing pictures ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Velva says:

    Oh, how I wish I would have seen great post like this one earlier in the season. I have been wanting to learn how to can. This recipe would have been a great first start. Summer harvests here in North Florida are pretty much gone (sigh)…. I have printed this post for next summer!

  14. {kiss my spatula} says:

    my other half would eat an entire jar of these in one sitting, i'm sure of it. gorgeous photos!

  15. Regina says:

    Hi Diana, I was just introduced to your blog and love this post. I have a 1977 copy of “Stocking Up” and use it every year. I remember making pickles outside with my grandmother when I was young. thank you for a great blog, I will be visiting often.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Do you think the honey sweetened pickles need to be processed in a water bath, or could I just make them as a refrigerator pickle recipe?

  17. Cindy says:

    I have searched so many sites and have yet to find a recipe for cucumber, tomato, and onion salad that can be canned and put on the shelf for the later. The one you posted will only last 2 months in the fridge. Is there a way to can the recipe for a longer life outside the refrigerator.

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