Looking for a fermented bread and butter pickle? These honey garlic pickles are sweet, sour, and deliciously spiced. Perfect for sandwiches, barbecues, or snacking.
There are some vegetables that are just MADE for fermentation, and cucumbers are one of those vegetables. They naturally ferment, which is why traditional pickles always involve fermentation (even if you can them afterwards).
However, sliced honey garlic pickles don’t follow this traditional method. Instead, they use raw honey to provide the culture for a quick, sweet ferment. Finished within 3-5 days, these are more like a fermented refrigerator pickle.
They are a simple and delicious alternative for anyone who prefers a sweet pickle.
Fermenting with Honey
Raw honey is full of yeasts and bacteria that come from the bees’ microbiome. However, in its raw state, honey is actually antimicrobial. That’s because the sugars are so thick, that nothing can grow in it. As soon as those sugars are diluted the honey will naturally start to ferment! This is the basis of mead and other honey ferments.
I love fermenting with honey. It is so reliable. Perfect for beginners or anyone who struggles with wild fermentation. And if you’ve never fermented with honey, then you’re in for a surprise. All the sugars are quickly fermented for a resulting pickle that is not nearly as sweet as you would expect.
The key to fermenting with honey is to use unadulterated honey. Here’s how you can tell if your honey will work for you:
- Look for raw or unpasteurized on the label.
- Try a small, local producer. It might be more expensive, but that’s because it’s the real thing.
- You can also find raw honey online.
Honey Garlic Pickles
These probiotic bread and butter pickles use raw honey to provide the culture for a quick ferment. The result is a deliciously sweet and flavorful pickle that is ideal for picnics and barbecues.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 lb pickling cucumbers (about 6 to 8)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp pickling spice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp of non-iodized salt
- 2 Tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 1 1/2 cups of water (chlorine-free, enough to cover)
- 1/2 cup of cider vinegar (optional)
- Wash the cucumbers and trim off the blossom ends. Cut them into circles or sticks, depending on your preference. Pack the cucumber slices into a clean 1-quart jar. Add garlic and spices to the jar.
- Combine the water, honey, and salt to make a brine. Pour the brine over the cucumbers. Use a weight to keep the cucumbers submerged. If needed, top with a little more water to make sure the cucumbers are under the brine.
- Allow to ferment somewhere cool and dark for 2 -5 days. A closet or kitchen cupboard is perfect. The ferment will bubble vigorously, so be sure to use a lid that will release the excess carbon dioxide.
- After fermenting, taste a pickle slice and adjust the flavors to suit your taste. To make them more sour, drain away 1/2 cup of brine and replace it with 1/2 cup of cider vinegar. To make them sweeter, stir in 2 Tbsp of white sugar.
- Store in the refrigerator and enjoy within 1 month.
- The brine can be reused to make subsequent batches of pickles. After finishing the pickles, stir in another 1 Tbsp of honey, then fill the jar with cucumber slices and ferment again. Usually, I make 2-4 batches of pickles with my brine.
- I do not recommend this recipe for storage pickles. It is meant to be eaten fresh.