I hate going to the regular store and reading the ingredients listed on the back of pickles which always has things I would prefer not feed my family. Things like; FD&C yellow dye no. 5, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, Polysorbate 80 (what the heck is that!?) and natural flavors (which could mean anything!). Then if you want to buy pickles without all of that junk at a natural store you are going to pay twice or three times as much as you would for the regular kind, UGH.
This time of year is the time most people harvest all their garden goodies and then share with the friend and family what they can’t eat alone. I love sharing but why not stockpile what you have to cut down on your grocery bill, start a long term food storage for when the zombies come 😉 or have something to give as Christmas gifts?
In my house pickles of any kind can go quickly since they are so snackable so making our own for the year makes so much more sense and it can cost pennies after the initial investment of the jars. Yes, it will take a few hours but it is once a year, don’t be lazy!! 🙂
I combined the best of many recipes to come up with my own personal one that is made with a more natural sugar (apple juice concentrate) and no dye or any crap so you can feel like you are eating something that won’t cause harm.
8 cups cucumbers, sliced
3 medium white onions, sliced thin
2 bell peppers (I used red, yellow & orange),chopped
1/2 cup canning salt (DON’T use table salt!)
2 cups vinegar
2 cups apple juice concentrate
2 cups water
1 teaspoon mustard seed
2 Tablespoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Clean your cucumbers and cut off any blemishes then slice thinly. Mix the cucumbers, onions, green peppers and salt together in a large bowl and let stand for 2-3 hours.
Rinse and drain the cucumber mixture and put back into the bowl.
Boil the 2 cups of water in a large pot and then add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again. Add the cucumber mixture to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
Pack your pickles into freshly sterilized jars leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe off the rim of the jar with a paper towel and add your prepared metal lids (read lid instructions) and then hand tighten the screw bands down (not too tight).
Once you have packed all the pickles (you may have a bit of liquid left over) cook the jars in your canning pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Carefully remove and place on the counter keeping several inches of space between each hot jar until well cooled.
After well cooled check that the lids have sealed down by pressing your finger on the center to ensure it does not pop back up then hand tighten the screw band again. Refridgerate any jars that did not seal well and use in a timely manner. Store the sealed jars in a dark cool area for a year or so. ENJOY!