Easy, Small-Batch Pickling Projects for Health and Gorgeous Flavour
Picture a crowded kitchen filled bushel baskets of tomatoes, mounds of green and yellow beans and quart baskets of peaches and pears. I recall in late summer, my mom would be pickling, canning and preserving food for the winter -- it's embedded in my childhood memory.
The tomatoes made spaghetti sauce, beans were blanched and frozen and peaches and pears to peel filled up many a Mason jar. Our cellar was chock full of food to eat over the winter. I have no idea where my mom learned how to do all of that, but it’s not something that, until recently, I'd been drawn to do. It just seemed like so much process and work.
It seemed to take her hours to do it all; sterilizing the jars, boiling tomatoes and peaches to quickly de-skin and then preparing it all for jarring. The result seemed endless, and my mid winter, I was ready for something different.
Although put off by my mom’s efforts, I came across a fast pickle recipe in a food blog that I subscribe to, Food52. The “Small Batch Summer Pickling” caught my eye as my daughters love pickles. It looked like I didn’t need the massive pot, a mountain of jars and lids and it sounded like it was something I could whip up with my girls in under an hour.
As with any recipe, I like to revise it a bit to my way. The original called for sugar, so I swapped it for honey. We chopped more veggies than needed and with more apple cider vinegar on hand, we made a couple of extra jars. I also used raw apple cider vinegar. It touts many health benefits as it retains nutrients unlike pasteurized.
Potassium: A mineral important for bone health and helps hair loss.
Pectin: Helps regulate blood pressure and may reduce high cholesterol.
Malic acid: Offers anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
It is also known to slow down the glucose release from foods after a meal, helping to regulate blood sugar balance which is especially important for diabetics. It also has an alkalizing effect on the body.
Mixed Up Vegetable Fridge Pickles
3 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into quarters
2 celery sticks, washed and halved
1/4 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
4 mini cucumbers, halved
Handful green or yellow beans, trimmed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 teaspoon whole coriander
3 teaspoons fennel seed
3 teaspoons mustard seed
½ teaspoon chili flakes
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cup water
4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
In a saucepan combine all ingredients except the vegetables. Stir. Bring to a simmer, and then turn off heat.
Prepare the veggies and fill clean* jars with the vegetables (I used old pasta sauce and olive jars). You’ll likely need four to six depending on the size. Pour over vinegar mixture and seal jars. Refrigerate for 24 hours, then serve with snacks, dinner or pack in the kids lunch. Keep or up to one month.
*clean jars and lids with hot soapy water or put through a hot dishwasher cycle.
Other ideas to try - broccoli, beets, peaches, parsnips, onions. Note: The cauliflower was AMAZING.
What will you try?