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How to Pickle Vegetables?

By 6 September 2019 1864 Views No comments

Pickling vegetables is a fantastic way to keep food long term, minimise the amount of food you throw away while harnessing the benefits of fermented foods. Pickling food has been a method of preserving foods for the winter for thousands of years, and recent studies  have shown how fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are loaded with probiotics  to support healthy gut bacteria. Check out the post all about the health benefits of eating fermented foods here. In this post, you will learn about how to pickle any vegetable, in 4 quick and easy steps.

Best pickled vegetables

While pickles are the first image that pops into most people’s minds when considering pickling, the world of pickling is much broader and more colourful.

You can pickle almost any vegetable.

Why not try carrots, okra, beets, peppers, turnips, avocado, radishes, red onions, asparagus, cauliflower, green beans, jalapenos, eggplant, or cabbage!

So whichever vegetable you have too much of, whether its from your veggie garden, or from your local farmer, or seasonal market, you can pickle it!

Top Pickling Tips

For your basic pickling brine, the three main ingredients you will need are equal parts water, vinegar, and high quality dash of salt.

Water: For optimum pickling, you should use purified water. While most water can work for pickling; however hard water can interfere with the pickling process.

Vinegar: Here you can choose your personal favourite vinegar for refrigerated pickling. If you want to can your pickled vegetables instead, you need to make sure the vinegar has a minimum of 5% acetic acid.

Salt: For pickling, you want to use sea salt without any additives or preservatives. In supermarkets, you will find salt labelled “canning” or “pickling” salt.

1. Prepare your vegetables

Before popping your vegetables in the jars, you will want to wash them and chop them into smaller pieces. Thin disks are a great place to start, however, you can get creative with the shapes. Then you can divide your vegetables into the designated jars. You can purchase specific jars, or upcycle jars from pasta sauces, or similar. Ideally, use tempered-glass or heatproof plastic containers with lids.

2. Add Flavour to your jars

Rather than just a basic pickled vegetable, you can boost the flavour in your jar by using a combination of dry spices or fresh herbs.

IF you prefer dry spices, why not combine some of the following spices? Half a teaspoon of celery seeds, ground ginger, allspice, bay leaf, cinnamon dried chilli peppers, dill seeds, mustard seeds, pickling spice, and turmeric? You can adjust your ratios depending on personal taste.

If you have some fresh herbs from your garden, pickling is a great way to use them! You can add some garlic cloves, chopped jalapenos, several sprigs of dill, finely diced horseradish, or some sliced shallot! You can always throw in mini onions, some chilli, or other flavour boosters to create a unique and delicious pickled experience.

3. Make the Brine

Now the question is, do you prefer a sour pickle brine or a sweet pickle brine? The recipe for both is extremely simple.

If you prefer a sour pickle brine, then you will need to combine:

  • 3 cups of white vinegar
  • 3 cups of distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

Then you will combine them in a pot, and boil until the salt is dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool before adding them to your jars.

For the sweet pickle brine, you will need to combine:

  • 3 cups of white vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt

Combine them in a pot and boil once again until the sugar and salt are both dissolved.

Now you are ready to add your brine to your sliced vegetables in the jars. Make sure to cover all the vegetables in brine, but leave 2 cm of space from the top of the jar.

4. Ready to eat!

Once your pickled jars have been in the fridge for at least 24 hours, the vegetables are ready to be eaten. Some vegetables such as okra might need a few extra days.

Your pickled creations will happily keep for up to one month in your refrigerator.

Now that you know how simple pickling is, you are ready to have a fermented treat any day! Next time you are making yourself a burger, cheese plate, or meat spread, whip out your homemade pickles to impress your family and guests.

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Posted in: Different Foods

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