According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 9 out of 10 Americans eat more sodium (salt) than they need. While you do need sodium to survive (it helps control your body's fluid balance and helps send nerve impulses), too much sodium in your diet can increase blood pressure, and increase the chances of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease. The best way to consume less sodium is to cook at home, especially when it comes to food that is notorious for being heavy with salt like french fries, pickles and frozen pizza. Making your own low-sodium pickles is a fun and fast project that'll get you in the kitchen and away from the salt.
What Are Low-Sodium Pickles?
Low-sodium dill pickles are a great way to enjoy kosher dill spears without the worry of an enormous amount of salt. While there are sodium-free pickles available in the grocery store, cooking and preparing your own food is key when it comes to leading a healthy low-salt lifestyle.
What is a Low-Sodium Diet?
While sodium is found in most foods you eat, bigger amounts are concentrated in processed foods. According to Healthline, healthcare professions typically recommend a low-sodium diet to treat conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease. When on these diets, sodium is usually kept under 2-3 grams (2,000-3,000 mg) per day. To put it into retrospect, a large McDonald's fry contains 420mg of sodium, which is about 21% of your daily sodium intake on a low-sodium diet.
How to Make Low-Sodium Pickles
This refrigerator pickle recipe tends to be on the sour and tangier side with a great dill flavor, making them great as condiments on a sandwich, for topping Dill Pickle Pizza, or eating straight out of the mason jar.
To begin, wash four pickling cucumbers under cold water. While making our pickles we decided to go with a jar of pickle slices and two jars of pickle spears. It's completely up to you on how you want to cut them.
To mason jars (we used three), add 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, 1-2 whole garlic cloves, and a few slices of sweet onion. Add in the cucumber spears or sliced cucumber and pack tightly.
In a medium saucepan combine 3 cups white vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp mixed pickling spice (make sure it is salt-free) and a few sprigs of fresh dill. The pickling spice contains cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chilies, cloves, black peppercorns, and mace, making it the perfect seasoning blend to add to these no-salt pickles. Bring to a boil over high heat then remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Pour the brine mixture into the jars and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for 24 hours before consuming. Since these are refrigerator pickles they must be chilled and cannot last as long as their canned counterparts.
Low Sodium Pickles
Some processed pickles pack a ton of sodium. While on a low-sodium diet, make your own low-sodium pickles and crunch away.
- 4 pickling cucumbers
- 9 sprigs fresh dill
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp mixed pickling spice
- Wash four pickling cucumbers under cold water. Cut pickles into spears or slices.
- To mason jars add 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, 1-2 whole garlic cloves, and a few slices of sweet onion. Add in the cucumber spears or sliced cucumber and pack tightly.
- In a medium saucepan combine 3 cups white vinegar, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp mixed pickling spice and a few sprigs of fresh dill. Bring to a boil over high heat then remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour the brine mixture into the jars and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for 24 hours before consuming.
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