Dill Pickle Soup with Smoked Ham

January 9, 2017

This Polish dill pickle soup with smoked ham is a hearty, savory, creamy, and comforting dish. A big pot of it can be on your table in only 45 minutes!

It’s not very often that I get excited by soup, but here we are. I’ve wanted to make my own version of the classic dish (zupa ogorkowa) for a while now. My mom makes pickle soup and so does our Polish friend, so it’s something that I enjoy periodically.

I can’t say I’ve ever had a pickle soup that didn’t hit the spot, and this version definitely left me wanting more (my husband finished most of it). 😛

I get that dill pickle soup would sound very weird if you hadn’t heard of it before. Obviously you won’t like it if you don’t like pickles.

If you do like pickles, give it a chance! I promise it’s delicious.

The smoked ham adds a special little something extra to this creamy pickle soup and also makes it more filling.

Perfect winter comfort food. Or anytime comfort food, really.

This comforting dill pickle soup recipe isn’t complicated, and the soup doesn’t take ages to cook, which is nice for busy weeknights.

Obviously I don’t mind spending time in the kitchen, but I think we can all appreciate quick meals that taste just as amazing the next day.

How to make pickle soup

Sauté the onions and carrots in a large soup pot; add the pickles, potatoes, chicken broth, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, dill, and ham to the pot.

Bring to a boil and then simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Mix the flour into the sour cream until smooth, then add it to the soup. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with extra salt & pepper and more fresh dill if desired.

So. Dill pickle soup – yay or nay?

Will you be making this easy pickle soup recipe?

A delicious tangy and comforting dill pickle soup recipe with smoked ham.

  • Course Soup
  • Cuisine Polish
  • Keyword dill pickle soup recipe
  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 25 minutes
  • Total Time 45 minutes
  • Servings 6
  • Author Salt & Lavender


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 3 large red potatoes (skins on) diced
  • 2 (10 fluid ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Handful fresh dill chopped
  • 3/4 pound piece smoked ham diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot once the oil is hot. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the sour cream and flour. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Mix the flour into the sour cream until you have a smooth mixture. Stir it into the soup and cook the soup for another 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with extra fresh dill if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • This soup can turn out a bit salty for some people (depending on the salt in the pickle juice) so I suggest using low-sodium chicken broth if that’s a concern for you. 
  • Serves 4-6

Originally Published:

Pickles and Pickle Juice: Healthy or Horrible?

Written by Team Legion | not dated

If you hang out in nutrition and fitness circles like I do, you’ll come across all sorts of interesting recommendations.

Practically everyone has their own personal miracle drug or perfect natural supplement to make their workouts easier.

One of these I keep coming across is pickle juice.

People just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. And if you follow their logic, you too should be drinking it before and after every workout.

But something about this whole pickle craze hasn’t seemed right to me all along.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the taste of pickles – but should you really drink the juice too?

Today we’re going to find out whether pickles and pickle juice are great for you, or if they’re part of yet another ridiculous trend.

What Are Pickles and Pickle Juice?

Your everyday pickle starts life as a raw cucumber, and then it’s submerged into a concoction of vinegar, salt, and spices, and is fermented. After its fermentation, it becomes a pickle – a vegetable with a different flavor and nutritional value than the original cucumber.

Pickling is an ancient method of food preservation. Before human beings could refrigerate or store foods long-term, pickling was the only way to preserve foods for future consumption.

Cucumbers are fermented by Lactobacillus bacteria, which normally cover the cucumber’s skin.

During commercial processing, these beneficial probiotic bacteria are usually removed once vinegar is added. The liquid remaining after the cucumber has changed into a pickle is its juice.

But when it comes to pickle juice, it’s not really a juice after all. Pickle juice should actually be called pickle brine. Brine is the salt solution meant to preserve food. Anything else added to brine is purely for flavor purposes.

Nutritional Value of Cucumbers and Pickles

A lot of the claims about pickles and pickle juice revolve around the fact that they’re the byproduct of a vegetable – and vegetables are great for you, right?

Let’s take a look at the nutrient content of cucumbers before they become pickles. Your average, unpeeled cucumber contains:

  • 45 calories
  • 4 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 21 micrograms of folic acid
  • 1 milligram of sodium
  • 76 milligrams of potassium

So, let’s compare. Here’s the nutritional breakdown of a serving of pickles:

  • 17 calories
  • 1 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 4 micrograms of folic acid
  • 1251 milligrams of sodium
  • 132 milligrams of potassium

That’s right. The sodium content in pickles is an increase of 1250 milligrams from regular cucumbers. Your biggest positive increase here is in potassium – as a result of the sodium increase.

Pickle Juice: The Claims

Some claim that athletes who experience muscle cramping during their workout sessions should drink pickle juice to replace their electrolytes and reduce cramping. This is based on the idea that vinegar sends signals to your nerves which disrupts the cramping caused during workout sessions.

Would any other brine work just as well? Olive brine or pepper brine for instance? All of these have high levels of sodium and borrow nutrient content from the vegetables in them.

What Does Science Say About Pickles and Pickle Juice?

The real truth is that science has come nowhere close to proving most of these claims.

In fact, if you search PubMed –a website I use constantly to look up scientific studies, you’ll only find a mere 16 results.

The studies that have been performed are underwhelming at best. One study found that drinking pickle juice after exercise was not highly effective at replenishing electrolytes.

Another study found that pickle juice “does not relieve cramps via a metabolic mechanism.”

And yet another study suggested that actually swallowing pickle juice could relieve cramps – something that involves no metabolic processes whatsoever.

The rest of the studies seem to indicate pickle juice is nothing more than a weak water, carbohydrate, and electrolyte replenishing solution. There seem to be no fantastic health benefits here.

But, several of the same studies have shown that the sensation of vinegar and salt on your tongue can help relieve muscle cramps. It’s not clear if this would last long-term, or in everyone, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing special about salt water that once contained floating cucumbers, or pickles themselves for that matter.

I’m sorry, but those are the facts, folks. There’s no evidence for any exclusive advantage you can gain from drinking pickle juice or eating the fermented cucumber, except perhaps a slight ability to ameliorate muscle cramps.

Pickle juice may help with your cramps – and it may not.

If you like the way pickles taste, great! Eat them and drink their juice in safe amounts and you shouldn’t run into any serious health issues.

Just don’t expect any miracles.

Originally Published:

Is Pickle Juice Good for You? The idea of a sugar-free sports drink sounds great—but first, let’s look at the science.

By: Sam Silverman | May 17, 2019

Pickles are a household staple and can be found in the depths of many refrigerators. The juicy spears typically accompany your burger and fries to add some salty zest to your meal. But you may have never wondered about the nutritional benefits of this crunchy snack—or the salty juice it’s cured in.

Recently, though, pickle juice has been touted as a nutritional superfood and a low-calorie sports drink. You can even buy it by the bottle—sans pickles. Nutritional information varies by brand and recipe, but most pickle juice contains less than 20 calories (and zero grams of fat) per 3.5-ounce serving.

However, pickle juice is also high in sodium: A 3.5-ounce serving can contain roughly 500 mg of sodium, if not more. That’s a large slice of the recommended daily intake (2300 mg) for the mineral.

Sodium can be a benefit to some people and in some circumstances, but it can also contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. For that reason, it should be consumed in moderation, Megan Roosevelt, RDN and founder of, tells Health. “You may want skip pickle juice if you’re following a low sodium diet, have a history of gout, or previous negative experience drinking pickle juice,” she says.

Besides being a salty and savory treat, pickle juice may also have health benefits. Here are five reasons it just might be good for you.

Athletic performance

Pickle juice has been called a natural Gatorade, and it’s been utilized by athletes looking to cut down on sugary sports drinks. It is true that athletes might benefit from pickle juice because of its high sodium content, Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor, tells Health.

When you sweat, you lose fluid and electrolytes—including sodium. “Pickle juice can be a very good source of sodium, and some athletes like the taste,” Sass says. But the flavor can be intense, she adds, and since people will probably drink a small amount of pickle juice at a time, it should not be your only method of hydration to replace electrolytes.

Muscle cramps

A 2010 study from North Dakota State University found that muscle cramps could be resolved in a minute and a half with 1.5 oz of pickle juice for every 100 pounds of body weight. The researchers couldn’t say for sure why pickle juice had this effect on cramping, but they hypothesized that it triggered a reflex in the mouth that sent a signal to the nerves.

It’s also not clear what component of pickle juice is responsible for this potential benefit. “Some research supports the idea that the vinegar in pickle juice may help with cramping, rather than its sodium content,” Sass says, “but it hasn’t been well studied.”


Pickles are very high in sodium, which can be great for increasing hydration before and after a workout. According to Sass, water is attracted to sodium—so when you replace the sodium lost via sweat, you retain more water as a result.

Relief from stomach aches

Pickle juice could be a natural remedy for stomach pain. “The vinegar in pickle juice may be beneficial for reducing bloating and boosting levels of good bacteria in the digestive tract,” Sass says. This is because some stomach pain is caused by low acidity, which the addition of vinegar can restore.

Hangover helper

Pickle juice might also be the answer to your hangover needs. “The main component of pickle juice that may support a hangover is the water and sodium, which help restore electrolytes and bring your body back to balance,” says Roosevelt.

Of course, not over-indulging in the first place is always the best way to avoid feeling sick the next morning. But if you do find yourself under the weather after a night of too many drinks, a sip from the pickle jar may help you feel better faster.

Originally Published:

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

6 Health Reasons You Need to Be Drinking Pickle Juice

By: Alexa Erickson | Updated: Oct. 01, 2019

If you’re pouring your leftover pickle juice down the drain, you could be missing out on the brine’s healthy benefits—says science.

Pickles and other fermented foods boast some pretty impressive health benefits. But you have to use some caution: If you have high blood pressure or are sodium-sensitive, salt can drive up your blood pressure levels, and pickles and pickle brine are loaded with sodium that could do more harm than good.

First, a primer. There are two types of pickles: naturally fermented pickles and the ones that are preserved in vinegar. Both versions convey benefits, but they do differ.

Pickle juice’s high sodium content—in both the fermented and vinegar versions—may be beneficial for helping the body retain fluids. This is important when you’re working out for longer periods of time—an hour or more—since losing fluids through sweating can cause dehydration and leave your muscles cramping.

A study from Brigham Young University found that pickle juice was more beneficial for alleviating muscle cramping in male participants than plain H2O. For the study, male participants rode bikes for 30-minute sessions, with 5 minutes of rest between. When the researchers could document that the men’s fluids were depleted by 3 percent—which qualifies as mild dehydration—they electrically stimulated a nerve in the ankle to provoke a foot cramp. The researchers found that pickle juice could relieve the cramp about 37 percent faster than the men who drank water.

With gut issues on the rise in recent years, fermented foods have garnered a lot of attention for their probiotic potential. If you can find fermented pickles (they’ll be in the refrigerated section, unlike the vinegar-cured pickles on the shelf), drinking the juice might be helpful for alleviating digestive issues. The probiotics in pickle juice may support the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora that keep your gut healthy, according to a 2018 study in the journal Foods. One note: You can get the same benefit from other fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.

According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, pickle juice may help aid in your weight loss goals thanks to the main component in vinegar—which is acetic acid. The researchers found that the acid seems to interfere with the body’s ability to digest starch. This interference results in less starch being broken down into calories in the bloodstream.

Having high blood sugar levels can lead to type 2 diabetes, along with a variety of other chronic diseases. Vinegar has been found to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels by improving the body’s response to insulin and dramatically reducing blood sugar levels after meals.

One study, published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that drinking a small serving of vinegar before a meal works to stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels after eating for people with type 2 diabetes.

This one falls under the old wives’ tale thanks to the lack of scientific evidence, but some people swear by drinking a small glass of pickle juice as a fail-safe cure for hiccups.

You can try the remedy out next time you have hiccups by gulping down half a teaspoon of salty pickle juice every few seconds until the hiccups subside.

In the same way that the juice may help ease muscle cramps from exercise, some women say that it can help with menstrual cramps. While the theory makes sense, it hasn’t been effectively studied (and it’s just one of several unusual tricks for dealing with menstrual pain).

Want to give it a try? Some women swear by drinking a half of a cup of dill pickle juice to ease cramps.

Medically reviewed by Maureen Namkoong, MS, RD, on August 18, 2019

Originally Published:

Pickle Juice: 4 Health Benefits Of Drinking The Green Juice

Apr 25, 2014 | By Sabrina Bachai

Pickle juice — it’s often the forgotten counterpart when enjoying delicious pickles, and fortunately it actually does more than just add flavor to your favorite side dish. There are also many health benefits associated with the leftover juice. 

According to the New York Food Museum, the history of cucumbers dates back to 2030 B.C. when cucumbers were first brought over from India to the Tigris Valley, and people needed a way to preserve them. Cleopatra even claimed that her diet of pickles helped maintain her beauty. In modern times, pickles are used in many ways: drinks, foods, and beauty remedies, to name a few. However, pickle juice also has amazing health benefits like curing a hangover and soothing heartburn. We’ve listed some helpful ways you can incorporate pickle juice into your life:

1.       Hangover Cure:

One of the main reasons people feel so terrible when they’ve spent a night drinking is because alcohol is a diuretic, leaving you feeling dehydrated. Drinking pickle juice helps to replenish your depleted sodium levels.

2.     Post-Workout Cure:

Many athletes swear by it because it helps to rebuild electrolytes post-workout. Pickle juice contains sodium and vinegar — both necessary in aiding athletes and those who sweat heavily. Some researchers also credit vinegar to help relieve the cramps; others say it’s the magnesium. This might also be useful pre-workout, too. The National Institutes of Health found that ingesting high-sodium drinks pre-exercise can improve thermoregulation and performance.  

3.       PMS Remedy:

It works the same way as it would for a post-workout cure because it helps to hydrate the body and alleviate cramping. It also will help to curb the salt cravings that many women have when they are menstruating.

4.       Heartburn Relief:

This might sound like it would cause the exact opposite effect, since vinegar triggers heartburn for some, but the vinegar in pickle juice actually helps some people soothe heartburn, according to Yahoo Shine.

Originally Published:

Sandy Eller

The Biggest Treasure Hunt Of All

By Sandy Eller – 5 Kislev 5780 – December 2, 2019

Ahhhh, Kosherfest.

While it is no doubt a show about the business of kosher food, the fact remains that since it focuses on all things yummy, Kosherfest definitely has an element of fun and has been dubbed by some as “the biggest kiddush of the year.” Some people eat their way through, starting with the dairy and working their way to meats, I confess that I come home starving from the show every year. For me, Kosherfest is one giant treasure hunt and for the past six years I have roamed the aisles looking for items that stand out from the crowd, which means I usually don’t have time to eat more than a nibble or two.

I got to the Meadowlands Exposition Center armed with a list of intriguing products and Zamaze, a plant protein based meat substitute, was at the top of my list. Made out of shiitake mushrooms, it comes in five varieties mimicking beef, chicken, hamburgers and bacon and while it definitely tasted more like mushrooms than like anything you would have to wait six hours after eating, I thought it was fabulous.

“You get the experience of meat and not a cheap imitation,” said Meatless Nation CEO Dan Berlin. “You won’t even miss the meat and you can have a cup of coffee with it too.”

Java’s seared and sliced frozen sushi grade tuna has been available to the food service business for two years and should be in Shop Rite stores by the time you read these words. The flavor and texture were both perfect and it is a great option for a brown bag lunch or as reprieve from tuna and peanut butter when traveling to places where kosher food is scarce. Also appealing to travelers, both business and vacationer, was Elli Kriel of Elli’s Kosher Kitchen in Dubai, offering dairy and pareve food for anyone in the Persian Gulf, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – the first openly Jewish establishment in the region.

Numerous snacks for those committed to cleaner eating debuted this year. Protein laden, vegan and gluten free MetaBalls Energy Bites were developed by a mom with allergic kids and are a great choice for adults looking for a filling, low-sugar treat and for kids, allergic or not, who attend schools that only allow nut-free snacks. B’Cuz granola bites were another tasty mom-grown product, created by Channie Metchik in response to her fruitless supermarket search for tasty, wholesome and chewy granola. There were multiple healthy cookie booths, including low calorie and high fiber Weighless Cookies, a surprisingly filling and Weight Watchers approved way to just say no to the endless munchies that can totally torpedo your diet. And while Dr. Moringa’s flourless cookies aren’t actually cookies nor are they low calorie, they are packed with natural ingredients including nuts, seeds, and oats, with some flavors approved for Pesach.

Nutritious choices were also the focus at Betterine, a coconut oil-based baking spread that can replace margarine in any recipe and is made with only four natural ingredients. While I didn’t taste the gorgeous looking Betterine-based baked goods on display, I think everyone else did – by the time I got to their booth there were just crumbs left. With the demand for natural products growing annually, Kosherfest veteran De La Rosa Vineyards is really having its moment in the sun. Their raspberry vinegar took this year’s best new product award in the spices, oil and vinegar category and their ever-growing list of products includes a three ingredient balsamic glaze and soon to be released oils made from chia seeds and Styrian pumpkin seeds, not that I have any idea what Styrian pumpkins actually are. Also riding the natural product wave was the Israel-based Bikurim whose sugar free, high protein flax bread has an eight-month long shelf life and could have a huge impact on the diabetic world when it crosses the Atlantic and hits our stores. Bikurim’s Isaac Weisz told me that someone he had given a loaf of bread to the previous day called him in tears because his blood sugar levels hadn’t gone up after eating it and he couldn’t believe that he had found bread that he could actually eat.

Root Valley Farms had a huge display of Honduran-grown veggie chips in 11 flavors, all of which are picked, processed and packaged within 24 hours. With the Central American seasons allowing for year round planting, the sugars in their assorted chips maintain their sweetness and both their mango-habanero and maple-bacon sweet potato chips were awesome. Also hailing from below the equator was Yarbae sparkling water, a lightly sweetened beverage with a natural caffeine boost from the South American yarbae mate tea leaf, great for coffee haters like me who sometimes need that extra jump start to make mornings happen. And coming all the way from Kyrgyzstan was Arashan raw white spreadable honey, which Zholodosh Beishembek described as an effective immune system booster that also makes a great facial mask.

“It’s really in style to be healthy and everybody wants to do it,” Nutrition by Tanya’s Tanya Rosen told us. With offices in just about every Jewish community in the greater New York area as well as in Florida and Israel, Rosen was at the show with new cookies, cake pops and rugelach and is releasing her first cookbook before Chanukah.

Of course, there was plenty to see that had nothing to do with organic, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan fare. The Meal Mart food truck had a steady line of people enjoying food that was anything but dietician approved and crowds gathered around Emes Charcuterie’s table, oohing and aahing over their gorgeous meats which had been aged anywhere from six weeks to six months. While I saw almost no chocolate on display at the show, Coco Jolie’s stunning hand painted chocolates were literal works of art that looked almost too good to eat, especially when packed up in treasure chests for gift-giving. After indulging in a gold-flecked domed blue square filled with chocolate ganache, I can happily tell you that they tasted as good as they looked.

Convenience was the name of the game with Ungar’s new bottled, frozen potato kugel and latke batter, a great way to minimize prep time with Chanukah just weeks away. Quick and easy was also the theme at D’Onions, pre-sautéed frozen sliced and diced onions, a business born when Paulie Shamah and her three sisters realized that while they enjoyed cooking, they all disliked caramelizing onions.

“Nobody wants to stand over the stove frying onions and we have found it to be a real marriage saver, with husbands calling and telling us that their wives’ early morning cooking had them going to work smelling like onions, which they hated,” said Shamah.

Pickles are always part of Kosherfest and after making my annual stop at Guss’ for a half sour, I visited their neighbor in the pickle juice business. Get Pikl’ed evolved when two Florida friends ran out of brine while drinking picklebacks, shots of whiskey with pickle juice chasers. The idea for marketing sediment free pickle juice began marinating in their heads and after hearing that George Steinbrenner used to buy weekly gallons of brine from Guss’ to keep his Yankee players fortified, the two decided to market their product as a sports beverage for athletes, as well as those who enjoy it in other ways.

There was plenty of buzz in the air and not all of it was business related. “Liquid paradise” is how Al-Chemy described its premium syrups, orange wine-based schnapps substitutes and their frozen margaritas, which were super popular among show goers and have been dubbed best in Miami by the Miami Herald. I skipped the wines, liquors and liqueurs and Fruits By Pesha’s enticing fresh cocktails made with their all new line of juices in deference to my diet, but did indulge in a tiny taste of a blueberry, pomegranate and tequila flavored Buzz Pop, frozen push pops made with authentic Italian sorbet and a full shot of premium liquor. These guys, which are pareve but made on dairy equipment, have a serious kick so don’t serve them to the kids. Also intriguing was Exodus hopped cider, a brand new Pesach-friendly beer-like beverage, which wasn’t quite ready yet, but will hopefully make it to the market soon.

Last but not least, I was truly blown away by Nathalie Glazier of Au Bon Cake, a professional cake designer who grew increasingly frustrated by her inability to find well designed Jewish-themed cookie cutters and similar items. Turning to her computer scientist husband, the two created a full line of 3D and resin printed items whose intricate details produce stunning baked goods. Au Bon Cake’s hamsa mold was filled with traditional lines and squiggles and their bar mitzvah boy molds come in two versions: one with a hat and another wearing a yarmulke. The Glaziers also created alef bais and English letters in different sizes and fonts, as well as stunning cake toppers, so that even home bakers can put together yummies that look truly professional.

From fresh to frozen, from the traditional to the unconventional, there is always something for everyone at Kosherfest. Hopefully, we can all look forward to seeing unique and innovative products on store shelves in the months and weeks ahead!

Originally Published:

Get Pikl'ed

Pickle juice is a big dill for athletes. Here’s why they’re chugging it


Runners at the Palm Beaches marathon next weekend will be greeted at the finish line with packets of pickle juice. St. Thomas Aquinas High School football players are handed pickle juice pouches when they come out of a game, to help them prepare to go back in.

But the question is: Is the pungent green liquid really a magic elixir?

Long touted as a natural, low-calorie alternative, to sugary sports drinks, pickle juice received recent endorsements from athletes such as professional hockey player Blake Coleman and American tennis player Frances Tiafoe, creating a buzz with claims that it stops muscles from cramping.

Michael Kahn, a Fort Lauderdale financial adviser and marathon runner, drinks a pouch of pickle juice before he sets out on his daily run. “This is such a high concentration of sodium that it gives me what I need for the next few hours of running,” he said.

The dill-flavored liquid that most pickle lovers toss out contains sodium and potassium, and people drink it to replace electrolytes lost when sweating. The strong smell and taste of pickle juice makes gulping it hard for some people to tolerate. But the appeal is that pickle juice is thought to hydrate the body faster and keep it that way longer than plain water.

Researchers have found another health benefit, too. Pickle juice may trigger a reflex in the mouth that sends a signal to the nerves to stop muscles from cramping. This reaction is why athletes are drinking pickle juice at the onset of a cramp.

“Pickle juice is sour, pungent, bitter, and those things may trigger a reflex that signals to relax the muscle,” says Marilyn Gordon, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and associate professor at Nova Southeastern University Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. “That is a different way of looking at the ideology of muscle cramping. Rather than hydration, they are looking at it from a nervous system perspective.”

“Compared with Gatorade or other sports drinks, there’s little that supports pickle juice as any better,” Gordon says, “but if you talk to people subjectively, they will say it helps them.”

At the same time, pickle juice — in larger quantities — could actually be unhealthy for some people. The high sodium level could be dangerous for people with high blood pressure or on sodium-restrictive diets.

Kevin Miller, a professor in Central Michigan University’s Department of Athletic Training, has been studying the health benefits of pickle juice for more than a decade. Miller has completed nine research studies and still has questions he wants to explore about the effects of pickle juice on the body.

Miller’s studies found 2 to 3 shot glasses of pickle juice will make a cramp go away faster, but it won’t necessarily replace electrolytes quickly.

“What we still don’t know is whether it is an ingredient in pickle juice such as vinegar that triggers the reflex,” he said.

While research continues, Kahn, the runner, swears by the brine. A running back coach for the St. Thomas Aquinas football team, he has given pickle juice pouches to the trainers to help players with cramping.

“Some kids would cramp and they wouldn’t be able to go back in the game,” Kahn said. “This is one of the choices to give them and it works. There are powders or pills, but this seems more natural and gets to their muscles much quicker than other things.”

In South Florida, Jay Churba’s Get Pikl’ed brand is tapping into the trend, selling kosher dill pickle juice in soft pouches — just unscrew the plastic cap and sip. Churba says the pouches also can be frozen and eaten like a popsicle.

“It is a bit of an acquired taste,” Churba admits. But because people are increasingly concerned about what goes into their bodies, Churba believes his option to sugary sports drinks is gaining fans. “Gatorade is engineered; ours is made in a pickle factory, and we sift out the pickles and sediment.”

The secret ingredient, he says, is Bronx water. The cucumber is never added.

Claims about the benefit of pickle juice go beyond athletes. The vinegary liquid contains antioxidants and vitamins C and E. In addition, the vinegar found in pickle juice can help lower blood sugar levels and relieve stomach aches. Fermented pickles that soak up the brine have health benefits, too.

Churba launched Get Pikl’ed in December 2018 after seeing the rise in health and, of course, social uses.

In bars, an increasingly favored drink is a pickleback — a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle brine. “By selling pouches, bartenders don’t have to kill a jar of pickles to get the same amount of juice,” Churba says.

The internet is full of recipes for how pickle brine can be used as a chaser with whiskey, in cocktails such as martinis, or to help alcohol-induced hangovers. Along with pouches, pickle juice now comes in cans, bottles and jugs.

And buying the whole jar is an option, too, pickles included.

Cindy Krischer Goodman can be reached at, 954-356-4661, Twitter and Instagram @cindykgoodman

Originally Published:

Pickle-Brined Turkey

From: TODAY | Nov. 14, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Cook time:4 hours | Prep time:60 minutes

Change up your usual Thanksgiving turkey routine. Using pickle juice in brine adds loads of flavor and guarantees a tender and juicy turkey.

Swap options: The weight of kosher salt varies by brand. If you prefer to use iodized table salt or fine sea salt, reduce the salt by half to about 2 ⅛ ounces by weight.

For a spicy version add 1 roughly chopped jalapeño, Fresno, habanero or Thai chile pepper to the brine when simmering (depending on your preferred level of heat), and use the brine from 2 jars of zesty or spicy pickles instead of dill pickles.

For a bread and butter brined version, omit the garlic from the brine, add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to the brine when simmering. Then use the brine from 2 jars of bread and butter pickles instead of dill pickles.


  • 1 gallon of water plus 3 quarts water, divided
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
  • 2 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 3 cups dill pickle brine (from two 24-ounce jars of pickles)
  • One 10- to 15-pound turkey


To BRINE the turkey: Buy Get Pikl’ed

1. Add 4 quarts (or 1 gallon) of the water, along with the salt, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, celery seed and dill seed, to a large stockpot. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until the brine is no longer steaming. Transfer the brine to the refrigerator until the liquid is cool.

3. Remove brine from fridge and pour in remaining 3 quarts water and pickle brine.

4. Place the brining bag in a large roasting pan or baking pan to support the bottom of the bag. Add the turkey to the brining bag. Pour the brine over the turkey into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out as much excess air as possible.

5. Return to the refrigerator. Use a Dutch oven lid, cast iron pan or heavy casserole dish to weigh the turkey down so it remains submerged. Brine overnight or for up to 12 hours.

To roast the turkey:

1. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Place the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan.

2. Pat the turkey skin and cavity dry with paper towels and let sit for an hour at room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

4. Roast the turkey for 45 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue to roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted into both the thickest part of the thigh and the breast registers 165°F (this can take between 2½ to 4 more hours, depending on the weight of the turkey). If the skin starts to burn before the turkey is done, loosely tent the turkey with foil.

5. Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or serving platter. If uncovered, loosely tent with foil now. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes to redistribute the bird’s juices before carving.

Originally Published:

Ghazalle Badiozamani

Dill Pickle Chicken – The Easy Chicken of Summer

by Kelli Foster May 1, 2019

I used to have this feeling of remorse anytime I poured perfectly good pickle juice down the drain. I knew there was something I could and should be doing with it, I just didn’t know what. Sound familiar? Well, this is it — the best ever reason to hang on to that leftover brine in the bottom of the jar. Spicy and tangy, it’s the one-ingredient brine that makes the most tender and delicious chicken you will eat all summer.

Gather Your Pickle Juice

In case you needed more convincing, this is why you should always save your leftover pickle juice: It will last for quite a while in the fridge, and even longer in the freezer. If you don’t have immediate plans for dill pickle chicken, stash the juice in the freezer just like you do veggie scraps. Stockpile it and combine brines from different jars until you’re ready to get cooking.

The Easy Chicken of Summer

Consider dill pickle chicken your starting point for so many meals. Serve it as your main, paired with corn on the cob and a fresh summer salad, and you won’t be disappointed. Or pack it up and eat it cold on your next picnic or beach day. It can be the shining star of a simple chicken sandwich, or just chop it up for a creamy chicken salad or grain bowl. Ready to give Taco Tuesday a fresh spin? Whether you stuff it into tacos, a burrito, quesadillas, or nachos, this punchy chicken fits the bill. So, what I’m really trying to tell you is that there’s nothing this tangy, brined chicken can’t do.

Dill Pickle Chicken

Serves 4


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)
  • 2 cups pickle brine (from a 32-ounce jar or larger)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced pickles (about 2 pickles, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (optional)


  1. Place the chicken in a shallow dish or container and pour the brine over the top. If necessary, rearrange the chicken so each piece is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.
  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Drain the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
  3. Roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 20 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil, and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped pickles and fresh dill, and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Originally Published: