Picture strolling down the pickle aisle; you spot your go-to pickle brand and toss the jar in the cart. Have you ever stopped and taken the time to read the nutrition label on that jar? Finding a jar of pickles without preservatives and color dyes is like finding an energy drink named “6am Toddler”.
“Natural” Pickles Are Hiding in Plain Sight
If you’re like me, you may think that since pickles are simply just cucumbers mixed with vinegar and spices, they count as being vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. However, most pickle brands fail to explain two tricky little words on the ingredient list: “Natural Flavors”. Those pickles could’ve been made with products derived from either plants or animals. So unless explicitly stated, they may not actually be vegan or vegetarian. For the gluten side of it, malt vinegar is sometimes used in pickling which is not gluten-free.
Ingredients to Look For:
Pretty much every article about pickles lists a long list of benefits followed by the one disclaimer. Pickles are great, but they have a lot of salt. Fortunately there are craft pickle companies working to solve this. Great Lakes Pickling focuses on farm fresh natural taste without tons of salt so you actually taste the fresh ingredients. Plus you get that amazing crunch without all the salt.
Would you like some pickle with your salt?
Sodium: There can be up to 560 mg of sodium. That’s more than ¼ of your recommended daily intake in just one serving.
Benzo the clown?!
Sodium Benzoate: Used as a food preservative and protects against yeasts, molds, and certain types of bacteria. Health Risks: People suffering from asthma, aspirin sensitivity, or urticaria may have allergic reactions and/or find that their symptoms become worse after eating.
Don’t let its fancy name fool you, it’s not delicious Italian sorbet.
Polysorbate 80: Used as an emulsifier or defoamer in foods, vitamins, medicines, and vaccines. Health Risks: Polysorbate 80 has been causally linked with an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and of tumor growth or recurrence in patients with certain types of cancer. It can be considered a concern to accept vaccines which contain the ingredient.
And why do we need yellow pickles?
Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine): A synthetic lemon-yellow azo dye primarily used as a food coloring. Health Risks: Because of estimated 1 in 10,000 people have allergy and intolerance US manufacturers are required to declare the use of atrazine on ingredient labels. Individuals with asthma or aspirin interference may also have an intolerance. The European Union requires a special warning label.
This is Next Level Pickles
You’ve probably realized how hard it is to eat healthy for a long period of time. Eventually, you get sick of eating the same things. Most people have tried a low-carb, Keto, low-sodium, or vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free eating style. On top of that, when you eat healthily you buy more produce that often goes to waste. I mean, who did you think you were shopping for, a small pony?
Let me tell you the best part of this whole pickle thing, Vodka. Great Lakes Pickling Company makes a line of pickle pouches that are the cure for food boredom and food waste. Imagine making pickles at home with no prep or cleanup, in three minutes. All you do is slice veggies and pour 1/3 cup vinegar right into the pickle pouch (no jar needed). Then just fill the rest of the pouch with water. Shake it up and refrigerate for three days!
Let me tell you, drinking straight vinegar is not my thing but I do want the gut health benefits Adding in vodka makes a flavor infused amazing pickles! Yes, I know we’re talking health benefits but let’s be real. It’s about being a well-balanced human. They have some impressive flavors that take pickles to a whole new level! Some of my favorites are Smoked Habanero, Bloody Mary, Smoked Garlic and Dill, and Texas Tornado. Yes, they have a Bloody Mary pickle! OMG!
Each serving has 0g of fat, 1g of carbs, and 130 mg of sodium, that’s about 65% less than most brand so that vodka kind of gets canceled out in my personal opinion!
Take Back Your Health
The Great Lakes Pickling Company designed their craft pickle line for those seeking a healthy snack that fits their lifestyle in mind. If this sounds like you, check out the Great Lakes Pickling Company at https://greatlakespickling.com/ or on Amazon.