The Pickle Craze



Food crazes come and go. A few years ago, it was bacon everything.  Including bacon and chocolate (a combination that is baffling!).  Lately – much to the delight of pickle enthusiasts – it’s all about pickles.

Fried pickle chips have been around for a while, but fried pickle poppers are taking things to a new level.  Pickle dip is a great addition at a party, and dill pickle soup is awesomeness in a bowl. And just as bacon infiltrated the dessert market, so have pickles with pickle cupcake recipes for those who are up for the challenge.

The pickle craze isn’t just about the flavor (though it can’t be denied that it’s a great bonus). Pickles are good for you and bring with them many health benefits.

Antioxidants.  Pickles are full of them!  These antioxidants are preserved in the pickling process and can help the body fight against free radicals.

Digestion.  The pickling process is a great way to promote healthy bacteria in our digestive tracts.  Plus, the vinegar in pickles can protect the stomach lining from damaging acids.

Cures Morning Sickness.  The human body is amazing.  Scientists have discovered why pregnant women and pickle cravings so often go hand-in-hand!  Sour foods can help reduce nausea and the urge to vomit.

Helps with Weight Loss.  Because pickles are low in calories, plus they are a vegetable, they are a healthy option for those who are trying to lose weight.  Plus their high water content helps fuel hydration. Just be careful to monitor the sodium!

Promotes Liver Health.  Pickles can help remove toxins from the blood, which in turns, helps out the liver.

Good for Diabetics.  Science has shown that pickles can help control blood sugar in diabetics, thanks to the low glycemic-index.

Almost Instant Relief from Cramping.  Get leg cramps?  Get pickle juice.  A 2013 study showed that drinking pickle juice could help cramps dissipate 45% faster.

Reduce the Risk of Yeast Infections.  Pickles can help keep probiotic bacteria at a good level and therefore, keep yeast under control.

Helps Manage Stress.  Huh? Yep – the same stress that causes stomach upset and nausea may benefit from a pickle.  The relief of a calm stomach may help reduce stress in of itself.

Reduce Constipation.  Pickles are high in fiber and have a high water content.  Those factors, along with the probiotics that accompany pickles, may help eliminate constipation (pun intended).

Consuming pickles may not be ideal for everyone, especially those who need to closely monitor their sodium intake.  However, the benefits of pickles shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

SIDEBAR

Dill Pickle Soup Recipe

It may be summer, but pickle soup is delicious.  Crank up the air conditioner and try a bowl!

Ingredients:

  • 5-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (smaller dice)
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles (smaller dice ~ about 3 large whole dills)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice*
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot, combine broth, potatoes, carrots, and butter. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Add pickles and continue to boil.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sour cream and water, making a paste. Vigorously whisk sour cream mixture (2 Tablespoons at a time) into soup. (This will also break up some of your potatoes which is okay. You might see some initial little balls of flour form, but between the whisking and boiling, all will disappear. Don’t panic.)
  • Add pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (*see below), pepper and cayenne. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

*All pickle juice is not created equal. Some is saltier than others. Taste your soup after adding the pickle juice and final seasonings. It’s possible you will not need any salt or would prefer more or less.

Recipe source: NoblePig.com


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