Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe

Add this fermented sweet pickle relish to your condiment shelf to spice up flavor and aid digestion.

From "Back to Butter"
June 2014

  • Fermented condiments, like this sweet pickle relish recipe, provide valuable probiotics to aid in digestion while also enhancing flavor.
    Photo by John Chester
  • Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost bring back the simple foods that nourished us for years, before modern food processing turned health upside down, in “Back to Butter.”
    Cover courtesy Fair Winds Press

Yield: 2 cups (490 g)

A traditional foods diet is usually where those who have tried others with little success or health improvement land in the end. Back to Butter (Fair Winds Press, 2014) offers traditional food dieters a much needed resource without sacrificing their favorite foods. Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost teach how to stock a traditional foods pantry, provide step-by-step kitchen techniques and showcase over 75 mouthwatering recipes. The following excerpt from “Fermented Fixin’s” focuses on making homemade condiments like this sweet pickle relish.

Purchase this book from the Capper’s Farmer store: Back to Butter.

Traditionally, the purpose of serving condiments with meals was to aid digestions. Offering fermented condiments not only enhances taste but also provides probiotic cultures, produced during the fermentation process, which help us digest our food. Not only does our modern diet lack fermented condiments, but also many store-bought fixin’s contain refined cane sugar, which is known to disrupt, rather than aid, digestion.

Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish Recipe


• 1/2 cup (80 g) medium diced sweet onion
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 2-1/2 cups (300 g) seeded and large diced English cucumber
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon celery seed
• 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
• 3 tablespoons (60 g) raw honey
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) traditionally fermented green cabbage sauerkraut juice (see below)
• 8 teaspoons (40 ml) apple cider vinegar, divided


1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the onion and garlic. Process until finely minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cucumber, sea salt, celery seed, and mustard seed, and pulse until the desired relish texture is reached (about 10 quick pulses), scraping down as needed.

2. Pour the mixture into a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to drain. After resting, discard the liquid and scoop the mixture into the now empty bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together the honey and sauerkraut juice. Pour over the cucumber mixture and toss with a spatula to combine.

3. Scoop the mixture evenly into two 1-cup (235 ml) Mason jars, leaving 3/4 inch (2 cm) of empty space at the top. Scoop the pulp of the relish into the jar first, then pour the juice over the top. Using the back of a spoon, push the relish down, so that the juice rises above it. Wipe down the sides and screw on the jar lid. Place in a shady spot at room temperature for 3 days, then refrigerate.

4. When ready to consume, fully stir 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of apple cider vinegar into each jar to arrest further fermentation.

More from Back to Butter:

Picnic Potato Salad Recipe
Simply Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
How to Make Cream Cheese and Whey
Continuous Brew Kombucha Recipe
How to Soak and Cook Beans
Homemade Hummus Recipe
Raw Chopped Salad Recipe

Fermented Green Cabbage Sauerkraut Resources

Farmhouse Culture
Goldmine Natural Food Co.

This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Back to Butter: A Traditional Foods Cookbook—Nourishing Recipes Inspired by Our Ancestors by Molly Chester and Sandy Schrecengost and published by Fair Winds Press, 2014. Purchase this book from our store: Back to Butter.

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