Cleopatra believed pickles and their juices kept her young and beautiful, yet, centuries, the fate of the vinegar-soaked cucumbers fell just shy of pharaoh’s high praise. The sour snack ended up mostly as a garnish for burgers and sandwiches and less like a veggie-based Fountain of Youth.
With a little creativity, however, pickles and the greenish-yellow juice they float in can again reach the potential Cleopatra saw in them. So before you toss your pickle juice or pass a jar at the grocery store, take a look at these 19 uses for pickles and their juices, and you’ll see just how useful they can be…
1. Getting wiped out while working out? Drinking water always helps, but doesn’t that get boring? Cucumber water is supposed to be refreshing after all, and its cousin pickle juice is packed with electrolytes. Bottoms up!
2. But save a little pickle juice for later, athlete! You might cramp up, and if you do, take it easy, stretch your muscles, massage the area of the cramp, apply some heat or cold pressure, and have a sip of pickle juice. You’ll be good to run again.
3. For most dirty dishes, your run-of-the-mill dish soap will probably do the job. However, if you’re old-fashioned and use a lot of copper pots and pans, you might want to try cleaning them with a little old pickle juice to get those tough stains out and make everything look shiny and new.
4. When you’re done cleaning your pots and pans, you can dirty them up again with dinner preparations. To tenderize a steak, dip the cuts in a little pickle juice! The natural preservatives will help soften even the toughest pair of meat sneakers.
5. Think your plain, tenderized meat tastes a little too bland? No worries, you can add some pickle juice into your standard BBQ sauce for that extra kick of sour and tang. You can’t buy that level perfection in the store.
6. When you’re done eating all that tender meat with mind-blowing pickle sauce, you may get a little belly ache, but fret not, pickle owner! Pickle juice has got your back, and soothes your stomach, and (let’s be honest) your heart.
If your stomachache persists, you may be constipated (it’s not your fault that meat was just so tender and that BBQ sauce so elevated). If you want to ease up that tension and go number two, pickle juice is right for you.
7. Bad breath is no joke. It can make you feel self-conscious and insecure. Now, enter pickle juice! Pickle juice combats all the bad bacteria in your mouth, and leaves you with the fresh, crisp taste of pickles instead.
8. You can use pickle juice to prepare fish as well. Instead of poaching your salmon in a boring pan of water or vegetable stock, try poaching it in pickle juice to really elevate that expensive seafood dish.
9. You ate your fish too fast again, didn’t you? Now you have hiccups, and you can’t make it stop. Instead of trying to chug a gallon of water, hold your breath, or have somebody scare you, simply have a sip of delicious pickle juice and victory will be yours.
10. If you don’t get hiccups, you may suffer an even worse side effect of eating too fast: heartburn. Pains in your chest are uncomfortable and can be accompanied by acid reflux. Don’t waste your time looking for medications, just enjoy a little— you guessed it — pickle juice.
11. Need to cool down? Buy some ice pop molds and fill them with pickle juice. You can even get a little crazy with it and add shreds or slices of pickle into the mixture. Pour it, freeze it, lick it… now that’s cool.
12. Like most people, you probably want to enjoy your ice pop outside. Be careful, though: if you stay out too long you might get a sunburn. If you make that mistake and want some relief, pour pickle juice all over your body, or just where you’re burnt. It’s up to you.
13. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, we’ve got you covered. Try baking dill pickle bread, which is often made with tiny pieces of pickle. For an extra pickle-flavored pop, you can replace the water or milk with pickle juice. Yummmm…
14. A pickle is really just a cucumber soaked in vinegar or brine. This means that everything can become pickled. You don’t even need fresh vinegar; you can reuse the pickle juice to pickle whatever you want. Have fun with it, go nuts! (Although nuts might actually not be great for this experiment).
15. Tired of pickling anything you could find in your kitchen? In desperate need of a drink? For the rough riders among us, there are pickle backs: whiskey shots with a chaser of pickle juice. For a more elegant option, try a pickletini, with teeny pickles on top.
16. Those picklebacks and pickletinis may be a little too irresistible. You might wake up with a giant hangover and reach for some coffee or some tomato juice to make a Bloody Mary, but the award for ultimate hangover cure goes to pickle juice.
17. Pickle juice is not just helpful during the summer for your grilling and sunburn needs. All year round, pickle juice can be used to kill weeds and pesticides, without any harmful chemicals. Make sure to dilute it, though — too much pickle juice dries out soil.
18. Fall season is flu season, and you’ll be dying for some pickle juice when it hits you. Gargle up some pickle juice and ditch your warm water with salt. Its natural saltiness and vinegar will work its wonders, so you can get back to eating those crunchy pickles again.
19. Last but not least, keep your pickle juice around for the winter. It can melt ice on your sidewalk pretty swiftly, and you can use it to stop ice/snow from bonding with the ground if you splash it preemptively. It’s also better for the environment compared to salt, as it releases less chloride. Be kind to the environment. Choose pickles.
Now that you know how to use this superior snack’s leftover juice, you may never go back to conventional ways to treat ailments, prepare food, or care for your surroundings ever again. If you ever run out, remember: pickles are only a deli away.
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