3 Ways To Cook With Pickles

Pickles are undoubtedly one of America's most-beloved condiments. Whether the cucumbers are the fermented deli style pickles with fresh garlic cloves and dill or the sweet and slightly spicy bread and butter pickles, they are a nice accompaniment to burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches. Of course, they're also great just on their own.

Pickles are also good for you. They contain the normal vitamins and minerals present in most vegetables, but they are a good source of probiotics. The natural fermentation process creates friendly gut bacteria that aids in digestion when eaten. Vinegar is also said to lower blood sugar, making pickles a good choice for diabetics. Pickles can be used for more than just an occasional condiment or snack, though. Here are three ways you can prepare pickles and get even more of their briny goodness in your diet.

Deep Fried Pickles

For an easy beer batter, whisk one can of beer with an egg, 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, and a teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder. Let it rest while you prepare the pickles and heat the oil. Dredge your pickle spears or slices in flour or cornmeal. Then dip each piece into the thick beer batter and slowly add to the hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, remove and let drain on paper towels. Serve with a ranch dressing or a spicy buffalo mayonnaise.

Salad Dressing

Most salad dressing contains vinegar and an oil, so why not use up some of the leftover pickle juice to create a yummy dressing? Add 1 ½ cups pickle juice to ½ cup good quality olive oil in your blender. Peel and remove the pit from an avocado. Add the avocado along with fresh chopped parsley, tarragon, and garlic for a healthier version of green goddess salad dressing. The avocado replaces the mayonnaise and sour cream found in most traditional recipes.

Stuffed Pickles

Cut lengthwise whole kosher dill pickles. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the seeds from each half. In a bowl, mix one 8-ounce package of softened Neufchâtel or cream cheese with a 4-ounce jar of pimentos, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, and ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Use a mixer to combine everything thoroughly. Spread the pimento spread on each half and put each pickle back together. Use a sharp knife to slice them into bite-sized coins for a quick and easy appetizer.