Quick Homemade Pickles Recipe

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Sometimes you just want a pickle, without the canning hassle… or perhaps you're like me and would love and eat pickles more if you had access to some that weren't quite so… pickle-y.

Lets face it… I could easily eat my weight in cucumbers (#noshame), especially when its warm outside. And there are no refuting the benefits of consuming some vinegar now and again, which helps enhance the cucumbers so your pickles are even healthier… providing there are no nasty additives invading your jar.

What??? There are harmful ingredients found in store-bought pickles????… yeah… that is actually a thing! Next time you're at the store, check out the labels. Polysorbate-80, “natural flavors,” and yellow 5 really do not need to be in your jar of pickles. In fact, the only thing that should be in there is salt, vinegar, dill, and cucumbers!

  • Polysorbate 80 – a synthetic yellow water-soluble liquid made from chemical compounds derived from the dehydration of sugar alcohol and oleic acid, a fatty acid found in animal and vegetable fats. It is used as an emulsifier… so the ingredients don't separate while the pickle jar sits on the store shelf.
    • The Material Safety Data Sheet for polysorbate 80 (also known as TWEEN 80) says
      • Slightly flammable to flammable in presence of heat
      • Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
      • May cause adverse reproductive effects based on animal test data. No human data found.
      • A separate study suggested that Polysorbate 80 could be a causative agent of a pregnant woman going into anaphylactic shock.
      • 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 .
      • This study published in the American Academy of Cancer Research found that a diet including regular consumption of emulsifiers experienced exacerbated tumor development and chronic low-level inflammation. This chronic inflammation was also associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and is observed in colorectal cancers.
      • This 2015 study also linked polysorbate 80 to gut inflammation, negatively altered gut bacteria (we now know that a healthy gut biome is necessary for immune function), obesity and metabolic syndromes.
    • “Natural Flavors” is one ingredient that irritates me to no end. It tells us nothing. Its the FDA/USDA loophole for companies to include anywhere from two to thousands to hundreds of thousands of ingredients into a “proprietary blend” – because profits are more important than health. “Natural Flavors” doesn't mean flavor from what you think… it could be from ANYTHING found in nature… from glands of animals to rocks to plants… you never know… and it often contains hidden gluten.
    • Yellow 5. This really has no business being anywhere, let alone in food. Yellow 5 is also known as tartrazine. This chemical is banned in Austria and Norway… and other European countries have issued warnings about their possible side effects. It is still freely and extensively used in the US (infuriating). Side effects of consuming Yellow 5 include: hyperactivity, allergic reactions, asthma, intolerance to psychotropic drugs, cancer, blurred vision, migraines, fatigue and anxiety. It may also cause damage to your body's chromosomes (which is still being studied). And we wonder why kids have such a hard time!

And in case you didn't know… the health benefits to vinegar include: blood sugar control, weight management, reduced cholesterol and antimicrobial properties.

So why have those harmful ingredients in pickles if it's not necessary?? Well, my best guess: prolonging items being shelf-stable so they look pretty at the store. It's really not needed. You don't need to sacrifice your health, especially when reaching for a food item that should be healthy.

The good news: Pickles are SUPER easy to make… and you don't even need canning experience or knowledge to do it!

Did you know?? Most store-bought pickles contain harmful ingredients in the liquid they use! Super easy DIY Pickle recipe featuring lemon vitality essential oil that doesn't require canning!

We have canned our own pickles, which my husband absolutely LOVES, but I'm a wimp and they're often just too much for me. I love making my own pickle chips, though. No canning involved, and doesn't take much effort or time to make.

My recipe for homemade pickle chips

What you'll need:

  • 1 part vinegar (apple cider and/or white vinegar – either works just fine, and if you want to blend them, go ahead!)
  • 4 parts water
  • Cucumber, sliced (one large)
  • Dill Weed
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
  • pyrex or glass jar

** PLEASE NOTE ** Don't be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Make sure you're not wasting your money on fake or altered essential oils (even if they're labeled as “pure essential oil”). Don't miss our explosive report outlining the dirty little secrets of the essential oil industry to ensure you're not wasting your money on brands of oils that legally mislead you through deceitful marketing practices.


Slice up a large cucumber. Layer the slices in a glass or pyrex jar – I use snap ware pyrex dishes (we use these instead of plastic at home.

I add one layer of cucumbers at a time, sprinkling dill weed, salt, a few drops of Lemon Vitality essential oil, and a pinch of minced garlic over them before adding another layer. Then top off the top layer the same way.

Side Note: You can use lemon juice in lieu of Lemon Vitality, but I tend to like the softer flavor of Lemon Vitality essential oil… and I get my oils from a high quality source I trust and know there are no additives, pesticides, preservatives… etc. Plus, we move a lot, and I don't get to keep on hand a lot of normal kitchen staples (moving oils is a bit easier).

When the whole cucumber has been added, I add a ratio of 1:4 vinegar:water poured in the corner of the square dish we always use. Then pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Personally, I feel like it tastes the best after letting it all soak together 3-5 hours. It ends up with that lightly pickled flavoring that is delicious. My husband typically likes it the next morning, when the cucumbers taste more like pickles.

Then… enjoy!!


Want to change it up a bit?

Instead of using Lemon Vitality Essential Oil… try using Citrus Fresh Vitality Essential Oil. Citrus Fresh is an oil blend of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and spearmint vitality essential oils that brings a slightly different (and super fun) flavor to pickles!

Another idea to change-up your pickle indulgence… lightly break the pickle chips, and pop them into an air fryer (or fry them up on the stove). One thing we loved about living in Virginia for a few years was indulging in some fried pickles on our family nights out.

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