Don’t toss that leftover pickle juice after you finish your pickles. Use it with summer herbs to make pickle juice salad dressing. When using fermented pickle juice, you are adding more beneficial bacteria, enzymes and nutrients into this pickle juice salad dressing that’s both delicious and refreshing.
Did you know that drinking pickle juice is a thing? Some people love the taste of pickle juice. Others drink pickle juice for the electrolyte, anti-oxidants and nutrients, because pickle juice is believed to have health benefits. The downside of chugging pickle juice straight is the high sodium level. But the problem is solved if you use pickle juice in salad dressings and marinades.
There are 2 kinds of pickle juice, as there are 2 ways to make pickles. The first one is the vinegar-based pickle juice most people are familiar with. Vinegar pickle is made by preserving cucumbers in a vinegar solution. The acidity of vinegar prevents bacteria growth and preserves the cucumbers. The majority of the grocery store pickles are vinegar pickles.
The second kind of pickle juice is from fermented pickles, most commonly known as the Jewish kosher pickles. Fermented pickles are made by lacto-fermentation of the cucumbers in a salt brine. Salt helps to prevent the harmful bacteria from growing while allowing the beneficial lactic bacteria to develop and produce lactic acid. Then the lactic acid will preserve the cucumbers. You see during this process, we are also getting plenty of lactic bacteria in the pickle juice. The traditionally fermented pickles are considered probiotic because lactic bacteria is a friendly kind that also populates our digestive track.
How can you tell apart the pickles in the grocery stores?
- Vinegar pickles are located on the non-refrigerated shelves, while fermented pickles are located in the fridge section.
- Vinegar pickles contain vinegar as an ingredient, while fermented pickles don’t contain vinegar.
- The juice of vinegar pickle is clear, while the juice of fermented pickle is cloudy.
- If you want live lactic bacteria in your fermented pickles, you will need to make sure the pickles aren’t pasteurized after fermentation. So words like “fermented”, “probiotic”, “unpasteurized”, “raw”, “live” etc. are usually good indications.
I use the juice from my fermented pickles for this pickle juice salad dressing recipe. There is no need to add more salt because the pickle juice is already salty. When I make my own fermented pickles, I also add garlic, herbs, and spices for flavouring. The herbs and garlics are fermented along the way with the cucumbers. Oh I love the fermented garlic from my pickle jars! I would eat them straight or use them in the recipes where I use my pickle juice. I do discard the used herbs and spices, as I feel the flavours are already dissipated into the pickles and brine.
You can use this pickle juice salad dressing on a simple coleslaw. But my favourite has to be this smoked salmon potato salad! If you give it a try, let me know how you like it.
Pickle Juice Salad Dressing /w Summer Herbs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup fermented pickle juice
- 1 clove garlic (you can use either garlic preserved in the pickle juice or fresh garlic)
- 1 tbsp dill
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- Finely chop the dill and parsley. Mince the garlic.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well together.
- Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge, to be used at anytime.
- calorie calculation is based on the full recipe.
- you can also add other herbs of your choice.