On the Calorie content of pickles.

According to my jars of pickles, each pickle has 15 Calories (on average). This seems rather low. Do cucumbers start out with so few Calories, or does the pickling process somehow take out Calories? If so, how?

Cukes are mostly water; they start out not having many calories to begin with.

The Sausage Creature has it right.

There are two important differences between cucumbers and pickles that you should take into consideration. First, there is a lot of sodium in pickles that got there because it takes a lot of salt to make pickles - any kind. Second, and I don’t understand the process, but pickling (whether it’s “pickles” or sauerkraut or whatever) produces vitamin C in vegetables (specifying because pickling meat - e.g., making corned beef or bacon - definitely doesn’t add vitamins, alas; it just preserves it against spoilage).

Just remember that sweet pickles are higher in calories than sour, but they can both make you retain water because of the salt (sweet’s about half that of sour).

Amazing what sticks from that nutrition class all those years ago.

I don’t think it produces Vitamin C but it may unlock the Vitamin C present in some vegtables so that they are more easily digestible.

Processing foods like carrots by cooking them frees up the Vitamin A as beta caratine, which is much more usefull to the body.
Pickling probably frees up the vitamin c, too.

(I should nto be guessing in GQ, I know)

Most non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories. Some examples:
1 Cup Shredded romaine lettuce = 8 calories
1 Cup cucumber = 15 calories
1 Cup summer squash = 15 calories
1 Cup celery = 19 calories
1 Cup broccoli =25 calories
1 Cup green beans = 34 calories
1 Cup tomato = 37 calories

Eat your veggies!!!

That is not my understanding, and that’s why I want someone who knows - an organic chemist whose field is food sciences, maybe? - to speak up. I do know that it’s the pickling that makes C in sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is what kept northern European peoples who ate it from getting scurvy in winter.

It was only after I learned about that, that I was able to accept that pickles have C, and cucumbers don’t (or at least not accessible, but I fail to see how that could be. It’s my impression that cucumbers and cabbage - and perhaps some other low-calorie veggies as well - have “C” precursors, which interact with the salt water to produce the “C”.).

It would be very nice if someone gave a shout to any appropriate experts!

This is a topic which seriously deserves explication, if for no other reason than that it may help some people improve their nutrient consumption.

Er, pickling may release more Vit C (I don’t know), but Cabbage is what makes C in Sauerkraut. A cup of shredded raw green cabbage contains 38% USRDA Vitamin C (~22mg). According to USDA, Sauerkraut actually contains slightly less vitamin C than raw cabbage, at 35% USRDA per cup.

As little as 40mg per day is needed to prevent scurvy, amounting to a mere 2 cups of cabbage per day, not to mention other sources of C that people don’t usually think of, such as raw or lightly cooked meat and potatoes (26% per 1 cup).

Upon further research, it does seem credible that certain processes commonly associated with pickling could produce Vitamin C. cite

Whether it happens or not is another thing. Interesting though.

Well, I’m a student who likes to* eat* food, and I’ve taken organic chemistry. Let me know if you want my opinion. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, I’ve learned something today. Thank you! :slight_smile:

So, the advantage of sauerkraut vis a vis cabbage is that it rarely spoils, or at least does so far less readily than cabbage. My reasoning was backward, from the historical knowledge that northern Europeans who ate sauerkraut did not get scurvy.

Prior to (a) the development of refrigeration, and (b) its economic availability to the general populace, all slaughtering was done in the fall (when the animals were in their best “condition”, i.e. fullest flesh with pre-winter fat reserves built up. Without refrigeration, there were only two ways to preserve meat, either you smoked it or you salted it (or both). It’s simply not possible to “lightly cook” something that’s been preserved. And potatoes having originated in the New World, they were not available to Europe (or other regions) until after Columbus’s discovery.

That exhausts whatever knowledge I have to contribute, unless this thread hijack continues. We still don’t know what makes pickles have useful levels of vitamin C to counterbalance the unfortunate amounts of salt (and sugar, in sweet pickles).

chaoticdonkey, no offense intended, but unless there’s a module in (college sophomore level) organic chem, that deals with vitamin content in food, and last I knew there wasn’t, it’s not the level of expertise I was hoping to elicit. Or are you saying you’re an organic chemist (i.e., many more credits in organic, and probably grad-level work) who has a background in chemistry of nutrition? If the latter, please do favor us with your knowledge.

No. But it was juuuuunior level organic.

Ooooops! :smack:

I beg your pardon. :o

It’s been a while (>20 years) since I read a course catalog.

Well. We still need an organic chemist, or a nutritionist with a good chem background. Somebody that can tell us about the vitamin C content of cucumbers, and how/if/why pickles have the C.