Do you know...
- American households on average purchase pickles every 53 days;
- More than 67 percent of all households eat pickles;
- Americans consume more than nine pounds of pickles per person annually?
That's a whole lot of pickles…and pickle JUICE! But what to do with the juice once the pickles are gone? Most individuals just pour it down the drain! *GASP* I bet you won't be doing that once you learn how many different ways there are to "recycle" pickle juice! SO...OKAY, what are the benefits of pickle juice?
Pickle juice contains sodium and vinegar—both necessary in aiding athletes and those who sweat heavily to avoid or overcome cramps (aka Charlie Horses). Researchers credit the vinegar for this benefit; others say it's the magnesium. Whichever ingredient is credited, it works!
Use Pickle Juice To Pickle Cucumbers
When there's no more pickles in the pickle jar, possibly the most interesting use is pickling veggies that are beginning to pass their prime in your fridge.
Empty whatever leftovers you have in your vegetable drawer into a jar of leftover pickle juice. Let them sit for a few days and you have NEW PICKLES! Place shredded or cut carrots into a jar of pickle juice for a tangy snack. Slice some red onion very thinly and throw it in the pickle juice for perfect pickled onions!
Transforming pickle juice into pickled cucumbers To make refrigerator dill pickles, mix sliced cucumbers into the pickle vinegar. You can add additional dill, garlic and onion to taste. Keep them in a jar with a tight lid. Shake the jar a couple of times a day for five days. The pickles will be ready to eat in a week to ten days.
Meat and Poultry Tenderizer/Marinade
- The acid in pickle juice acts as a tenderizer, resulting in super-succulent meats. Use it as a marinade for pork chops or steak. It will add abundant flavor to your meats, without the extra calories in heavy sauces or marinades. Recipe: Pickle juice, garlic, salt/pepper, grainy mustard and mix to a thin paste, brush on meat. Leave for an hour, up to overnight. BBQ, or broil. Works well for tougher cuts or wild game meat.
- You can also use pickle juice as a delicious marinade for chicken. Soak the chicken overnight in a resealable plastic bag and then cook on the grill. If the marinade seems a little too strong, try adding a little coconut milk to the marinade. Discard pickle juice when done.
- Add garlic and your favorite spices to the pickle juice and use it to baste ribs on the grill.
- Add pickle juice to a pot of boiled white sweet potatoes or parsnips (NOT Nightshades) to give them a nice little zing. The flavors absorb so perfectly you won't feel the need to add as much salt, butter, sour cream, etc.
- Soak sweet potatoes or parsnips in brine for 12 to 24 hours before you make French fries, etc. The flavor is mouth watering!
- Pickle liquid mixed in with mayonnaise can give a new twist to your favorite potato salad recipe.
Other Uses for Pickle Juice Food Enhancers:
- Use pickle juice to perk-up boring poached, baked or broiled fish! You'll be amazed.
- Try adding pickle juice to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
- Brine hard-boiled eggs with onions and garlic alone or add any other soft veggie.
- Use it in place of plain vinegar in gazpacho.
- Elevate ho-hum hummus to a punchy dip with a few dashes.
- Brine is an easy and flavorful way to poach fish.
- Marinate soft white cheese in it, like cream cheese or chèvre.
- Mixed with a little beef broth it makes a great broth for Korean style cold noodles.
- If you are a juicer, add a bit of brine to your vegetable juice.
- Throw some pickle juice into your meatloaf, mix along with all the other condiments.
- Try making pickled watermelon rind. Take off the skin, then drop the pieces into some pickle juice.
- Like martinis? Try using some pickle juice.
A close friend used to make Jewish Deli Bread, which quickly became a favorite of mine. Use brine as the liquid portion of your bread to fortify the dough. It also makes a great soaking agent.
Combine pickle brine, heavy cream, finely sliced carrots and diced pickles. Blend well and serve with a pickle slice for garnish. Surprisingly easy, unique and delicious!
- Bartenders claim pickle juice (referred to as a "pickle-back shot") is the perfect complement to whiskey, instantly soothing the taste buds and aftershock of a rough liquor.
- Stir 1/8 cup dill pickle liquid into 12 ounces of your favorite beer and garnish with a pickle spear or baby dill; even better with a "red beer."
- Pickle juice is also a known folk remedy for hangovers; it replenishes your depleted sodium levels and helps to assist in rehydration.
- Make blackened copper pans sparkle by cleaning them with pickle juice. It also works well as a grill cleaner, making those charred bits much easier to scrape off in the garden.
- The high vinegar and salt content of pickle juice makes it a great weed killer. Dump it on dandelions, thistle, pretty much any weeds that crop up around your home. Bonus, it's pet-friendly!
- Some plants, such as hydrangeas and rhododendrons, need an acidic soil in order to thrive; pickle juice helps acidify the soil. Pour the juice into the soil around the plants, or pour into a compost pile. Pouring it directly on the plants could damage them. Add to the soil around acid-loving plants at least once per season.
Pickle Juice In The Medicine Cabinet
- Post-Workout Drink—In a 2010 study, pickle juice halted post-workout muscle cramps in 85 seconds. It is an effective way to replace lost electrolytes and sodium, which can cause serious cramping and dehydration.
- PMS Remedy—For the same reasons above, pickle juice is a helpful remedy for menstrual pain and cramping.
- Heartburn Cure—When heartburn strikes, try taking a few sips of pickle juice. Like apple cider vinegar, the juice helps balance the pH in the stomach, calming acid reflux. If heartburn comes back after a while, try drinking a little more.
- Laxative—Drink a glass of pickle juice as an all-natural laxative.
- Upset Stomach—Treat digestive troubles with pickle juice; it helps by aiding the digestive process. Save some pickle juice in a small container for "medicinal" purposes. You'll be happy you did!
- Hiccup Stopper—Many people claim that the number-one cure for hiccups is a small glass of pickle juice.
Disclaimer: The information references in this article are intended solely for general information for the reader. The contents of this article, or its author, are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.
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Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD
Dr. Gloria Gilbère (CDP, DA Hom, ND, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Certified HTMA Practitioner) is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.
Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.
NEWS FLASH: Ready to learn more about simple recipes that can give you what I call the Anti-Inflammation Advantage? Download your free 40+ page cookbook The Anti-Inflammation Recipe Sampler at drgloriaskitchen.com/totalhealth/