It’s cucumber season! As a family of serious pickle-lovers, mid-July is pickle mania in our household and we usually most of our July weekends picking, pickling and canning. Our pickles aren’t just for the adults though – we’ve discovered they make PERFECT toddler teethers! These crisp, chilly dills are great for gumming, healthier than store-bought, and only take about 10 minutes to throw together! Name brand pickles are often heavily salted and contain preservatives or sugars you don’t want to expose new teeth and growing bodies too, so I thought I’d share our favorite classic dill recipe, made into “teething pickles” with a couple small modifications specifically for toddlers. Added bonuses? DIY’ing your pickles is less expensive, way more eco-friendly, and supports your local growers.
- 1 Lb. (about 4 Pickling Cucmbers or 6 Mini Cucumbers)
- 2-4 Partly-Crushed Garlic Cloves
- 6 Sprigs of Fresh Dill (Use the whole sprig!)
- 2 tsp of Pickling Spice (Optional)
- 2 tsp Mustard Seed
- 1/8 tsp Pickle Crisper per jar
For the Brine:
- 1 c. Water
- 7/8 c. Distilled White Vinegar (you could also use champagne or white wine vinegar)
- 1/4 Tbsp Kosher Salt
Roughly 2 pint jars
You can reuse pint jars you have around, or pick some up (we’re big fans of our locally-owned Ace Hardware!).
Pickling cucumbers are just younger cucumbers that are flooding most farmers markets right now. And for anyone who wants to do a little experimenting, carrots and green beans also make excellent pickling yummies.
1. Sterilize your jars, and thoroughly scrub your cucumbers. You can use them whole (I still like to nip off the ends) or slice them into quarters. I’ve found bigger pickles make better teethers, but you may want to slice some up for yourself!
2. If you want your pickles to have extra flavor and crispness, throw them into an ice bath with a toss of salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse. I recommend this, but it’s not necessary!
3. Prep your jars by filling each with 1-2 garlic cloves, 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, 1 tsp mustard seed, 1 tsp pickling spice and crisper.
4. Combine the water, vinegar and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.
5. Lid, refrigerate and start enjoying after 2-3 days! You should store these pickles in your fridge and can safely eat for up to 1 month.
To make the spicier “adult ” version of these, follow the same process, but add 1 bay leaf, an extra 1 or 2 garlic cloves, and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (onions and red peppers are great to throw into to the mix as well) per jar. Also add an extra 3/4 Tbsp of salt to the brine.