The Paleo List Answers:ARE GHERKINS PALEO?

Let’s kick off the week with another reader request, gherkins.  Prior to beginning this article I had never heard the word gherkin, and consequently wondered what I was getting myself into.  Turns out that they are incredibly common, particularly in the U.K.
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What Are Gherkins?

We know gherkins (Cucumis sativus) as small pickles found in jars in every grocery store. Sometimes sweet, sometimes dill, they’re simply another kind of pickle. If you’re an athlete, you know pickle juice as the more effective form of Gatorade since the sodium-filled liquid is great for hydrating your muscles, preventing cramps, curing a Charlie’s horse and refilling your electrolytes. The bigger question: are these crunchy, salty, savory, pickled cucumbers Paleo?
Are Gherkins Paleo?

Are Gherkins Paleo?

Gherkins are simply a type of cucumber. This crisp and refreshing vegetable is Paleo, so it’s looking good.  There are three main types of pickled Gherkins: plain, sweet, and dill. When it comes to “sweet” you can expect sugar or high fructose corn syrup. You’ll also notice strange flavors out there, like bread and butter, which should definitely be avoided.  As for dill, if the brand uses fresh dill to flavor the pickles, then you’re okay.

The ingredients for pickling things are vinegar, water, and salt.  So regular Gherkins are Paleo as are all other pickled vegetables. The problem comes in the packaging.  Many brands add sugar, high fructose corn syrup, “natural flavors” and “spices” which are decidedly  un-Paleo.

Make sure you scrutinize the ingredients label before you buy and proceed to load up your burgers and hot dogs with jarred Gherkins.  Want to make your own?  Follow the simple recipe  below:

  • 1.5 cups vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt


  • Bring these ingredients to a boil, and then pour the liquid into two mason jars.
  • Fill each with as many gherkins as you can, making sure they’re all submerged.
  • Cover tightly and leave them out to brine for three days.
  • Serve or refrigerate right away!

Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo?  Do you need help planning some Paleo meals?  Check out this great Paleo cookbook:
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