How to Pickle Vegetables for Storage
Pickling is an ancient technique used to preserve food for long-term storage. Pickling can add unique, enjoyable flavors to many vegetables, and is a popular way of extending their shelf life. Here’s how to safely pickle vegetables at home – so that you can enjoy their delicious pickled crunch all year round!
Step 1:Choose your vegetables. You can pickle many vegetables, including cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, peppers, beets, and carrots. Make sure to choose firm, fresh vegetables that have been grown in the right conditions.
Step 2:Prepare the vegetables for pickling. You need to slice or chop your chosen vegetables into small pieces, allowing them to absorb the pickling solution quicker. Depending on the vegetable, you may need to blanch, boil, or steam the vegetables before you pickle them.
Step 3:Make the pickling solution. When pickling vegetables, the most important ingredient is a brine, which is simply a mix of water and vinegar. Depending on your preference, there is a wide range of vinegars to choose from, the most popular being white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
Decide What Else to Put in Your Pickling Solution:
- Salt – depending on the size of your batch, use up to 3 tablespoons
- Herbs and spices – mix and match, to your taste!
- Garlic and onions – for an extra ‘pickled’ flavor
- Sugar – to balance the pickled flavor, and add sweetness
Step 4:Sterilize your jar. Before you can store and preserve your pickled vegetables, you need to make sure that the jar is properly sterilized. Make sure to rinse out the jar with boiling water and then dry with a clean cloth before adding the vegetables.
Step 5:Pack the vegetables into the jar. Once your vegetables are pre-prepared, pop them into the jar. If you want extra flavor, add your herbs, garlic, and onions at this stage. Make sure the jar is filled, leaving around ½ inch at the top.
Step 6:Cover the vegetables with the pickling liquid. Now, pour your pickling solution over the vegetables, ensuring that they are fully covered. Put a lid on the jar, and give it a few shakes to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed.
Step 7:Store the jar. Find the coolest spot in your kitchen, and store the jar away in a cool, dark place. Make sure to leave your jar for 7 to 10 days for the pickling process to work.
Step 8:Enjoy your pickled vegetables. Test the taste of the vegetables after around 6 to 7 days, and enjoy them when they reach your desired flavor. Store the jar in the fridge when it’s opened, and it should keep for up to a couple of months, if kept in sealed, sterilized jars.
Follow these steps, and you’ll never run out of crunchy, delicious pickles all year round!