If you head to your local farmers market every weekend or have a garden of your own, you know that fall offers a wide variety of delicious in-season vegetables. With so many options it can be hard to pick, but luckily you don’t have to! Pickling provides a delicious alternative to keeping those garden vegetables fresh for the winter months to come.
Apples, beets, cranberries, cabbage, rutabaga, cauliflower, onions and squash are all in season and perfect for pickling. Before you begin the process, make sure you have pint-size (2-cup) canning jars or similar-size tempered-glass jars with lids equal to the amount you’d like to pickle.
Step 1: Prepare Fruit or Vegetables
Wash and chop your veggies into whatever shape you’d like them to be pickled in (thin disks work well if you’re unsure ). Cabbage is easiest when shredded.
Step 2: Divide Vegetables
Divide the vegetables among the pint-size (2-cup) canning or other glass jars. Place them inside the jars and leave some room.
Step 3: Add Flavorings
Add fresh or dry flavorings, if desired. Don’t be afraid to mix and match a little! Some of the best dry flavorings to start with are peppercorns, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds and caraway. Use between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of these dried spices per jar.
Step 4: Make Brine
Make either sweet or sour brine using these recipes:
Sour Brine Recipe
Makes: 6 cups. Combine 3 cups distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar), 3 cups water, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sea salt and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Sweet Brine Recipe
Makes: 6 cups. Combine 3 cups distilled white vinegar (or cider vinegar), 3 cups water, 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
If canning apples try this recipe, and for cranberries try this recipe.
Step 5: Fill Jars with Brine
Carefully fill jars (or containers) with brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the fruit or vegetables completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place the lids on the jars (or containers) and push to the back of the refrigerator. Let them sit back there for at least a week while the flavors soak up. Keep jars in the fridge for up to 6 months.
If you grow other vegetables in your garden, try canning them this fall and perfect your recipe. These jars make great hostess or holiday gift ideas.
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