It sounds a bit ridiculous to me, but recently I’ve come across references to dill pickle juice being a health tonic. Here are a few of the supposed health benefits – just keep in mind that this is all anecdotal and I have no idea if any of this is true.
#1: Some folks claim that pickle juice fights colds and flu. If so, would it help for COVID? Maybe. I’m certainly not claiming this is the magic bullet for the damn corona virus, but it might provide a bit of resistance.
#2: It might help with an upset stomach. When I occasionally have some stomach pain, I will either drink some apple cider vinegar (ACV) or use activated charcoal. The next time it happens – which I hope is NEVER – I will try some pickle juice and report back on my results.
#3: It might help regulate blood sugar. I know that ACV can often help with blood sugar and since pickle juice is vinegar based, there’s no reason it might not do the same.
#4: Some claim that pickle juice helps relieve the g-h-a-s-t-l-y symptoms of a hangover. I haven’t had any alcoholic anything in decades, so I wouldn’t know. But in my wild youth I was known to have a hangover or two and would have drunk – almost – anything for relief.
Pickles DO contain probiotics, which are healthy organisms, yeasts and bacteria, that are superb for health, digestion and fighting illnesses. Sauerkraut and yogurt are foods that naturally contain probiotics. Lots of folks swallow probiotics capsules with every meal and getting them naturally from pickles sounds like a better idea to me.
Two Homemade Dill Pickle Recipes
If you love dill pickles like I do, the thought of making your own may have occurred to you. Or not. I know I’ve never thought about it, but I got curious and decided to meander around and see if I could find some interesting – and SIMPLE – ways to make my own. So I found the two below and will get the ingredients on my next foray to the grocery store. I’m going to start with the first one and then, if I like those, try the spicier one next.
3 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 cups cucumber spears
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 heads fresh dill
Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and sea salt together in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely.
Combine cucumber spears, garlic cloves, and fresh dill in a large glass or plastic container. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.
Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles (image at top)
12, 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
2 cups water
1 ¾ cups white vinegar
1 ½ cups chopped fresh dill weed
½ cup white sugar
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 ½ teaspoons dill seed
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 sprigs fresh dill weed
In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, water, vinegar, chopped dill, sugar, garlic, salt, pickling spice, dill seed, and red pepper flakes. Stir, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Remove the cucumbers to three 1 1/2 pint wide mouth jars, placing 4 cucumbers into each jar. Ladle in the liquid from the bowl to cover. Place a sprig of fresh dill into each jar, and seal with lids. Refrigerate for 10 days before eating. Use within 1 month.