One of the things I try to do is reuse things. It keeps us from having to buy new stuff, and reduces the amount of waste we produce. Sure, recycling is great, but I like it best when i can recycle within my own home. Pickle juice is just one of those things I reuse, but most of my friends NEVER do so and are amazed at what it’s good for. After all, it’s just a green liquid left over in the jar when you’re finished eating pickles, right? Not so! Here are my four favorite uses for pickle juice.
1. First of all, the obvious. It can be used to flavor food. Why spend money on fresh spices and salt to flavor your foods when you can take a cup of juice from the jar of pickles in your fridge to do the same thing?
–Making dilled roasted potatoes? Soak the potatoes in dill pickle juice first, then roast them. Dilled salmon? Boil down some pickle juice and use it as a drizzle. Mashed potatoes taste great when the boiling is done in part water part pickle juice.
–Bread and butter pickle juice is supposed to be great mixed with olive oil as a bread dip.
–It’s a traditional addition to devilled eggs and tuna salad.
–Marinate onion slices in the juice for use on sandwiches.
–Soak carrot and celery slices in the juice for an extra kick when eating your veggies.
Check out http://mommyfrog.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/my-leftover-pickle-juice-secret/ for an easy way to get some kids to eat their veggies using pickle juice!
2 . You might already know that vinegar and baking soda is a good replacement for Drano when you have a slow drain. Did you know that pickle juice can be used as a substitute for the vinegar? Smells better, too, in my opinion.
–Pour 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda into the drain, and immediately pour 1 cup of pickle juice (or vinegar) on top of it, and plug the drain. Using a plunger works great. Leave for 30 minutes, then flush with hot water.
3. You can drink pickle juice straight, or diluted with water. It contains many of the same ingredients as those expensive sports drinks. Don’t overdo it because it contains a lot of salt, but when you’re cramping up or heading toward heat exhaustion it can really help.
4. You can use it in your yard. Pickling has long been a way to preserve food because the high acid content of the vinegar keeps things like bacteria and mold from growing. Use that to your advantage and use pickle juice as a natural weed killer. It’s best used in largish quantities for this. Just pour it on weeds or moss to kill them without bothering pets or beneficial insects. (The salt won’t be good for slugs or snails, so that helps too.) This is probably my favorite use for pickle juice, at least in the quantities we have! We’re pickle lovers at my house.
So the next time you have pickle juice left over at your house, see if you can use it for something rather than just pouring it down the drain. You might find you like using it better than the store-bought stuff, and save money at the same time.