July is National Pickle Month! Who Knew?!?

pickles   In the United States a pickled cucumber, most often just called a pickle, is one popular food. Traditionally served with a sandwich or on a burger, the pickle is gaining popularity as a condiment and side dish. Pickles are typically pickled in a brine, vinegar or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time. The type of pickle created is determined by the variety of cucumber used and the particular ingredients of the pickling solution. July is National Pickle Month. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy celebrate in a healthy way:

• Pickles can be a great food for snacking — they are crunchy, sweet and salty. Look for lower-sodium versions of your favorites, as pickles can be high in sodium.

• Pickles can be a great appetizer. Place some pickle spears or chips in a small bowl for everyone to taste.

• Try making your own. Experiment with flavors by searching for recipes online or in cookbooks. A mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices are used for all pickles, the different proportions create different flavors. Place sliced cucumbers and pickling mixture in an air-tight container in your refrigerator to make easy pickles. Flavors will be well blended after a few days.