How to Pickle and Can…So Easy You Will Wonder Why You Waited So Long To Start!
First off. Pickling your produce is one of the best ways to preserve. No chemicals. All natural. It’s the way we were meant to store food.
I’ve often wondered why we have ventured away from this type of food storage. We eat processed crap all the time instead of looking to the ways of the past to guide us. Our grandparents or great grandparents gardened and used that food to bake and cook and can and pickle. And it worked! Yet so many of us in this generation have no idea how to do these things.
None of it is difficult to do and it is so much better for you than the standard processed North American diet. Not to mention that homemade anything tastes 100% better than store bought.
As for pickling, all you need is jars with sealable lids (super cheap and available at most grocery stores) veggies or fruit, water, vinegar, salt and then whatever spices or extras you want to make your own unique taste.
WHAT IS PICKLING?
In pickling, the process is about adding acid (vinegar or lemon juice) to a low-acid food to lower its pH to 4.6 or lower. I usually opt for vinegar when using veggies and lemon for fruits.
Here is the ratio:
It’s just equal parts vinegar and water and four times the sugar to salt (start with two tablespoons salt and a half cup of sugar and scale up as needed.) Or just salt if you don’t want sweet. From there you can add whatever you like to create your favourite taste!
Use canning or pickling salt (not table salt!). Pickling salt has no additives while table salt makes the brine cloudy and may change the color and texture of the vegetables as well as possibly leave sediment at the bottom of the jars.
Choose the most fresh produce possible to yield best results; garden or farmers market is optimal.
Always. Always. Sterilize your jars. It’s so easy and prevents bacteria. I usually do it while my liquid is simmering and cooling and then I keep them on parchment in the oven until I’m ready. Just wash jars in hot suds and rinse as usual. Put jars and lids in a large pot and add kettle boiled water until covered completely. Continue to boil, covered, for 15-20 min. Turn off heat and let jars stand in hot water or put in oven. Make sure to use tongs or oven mitts when handling because they will be hot.
For the best results, use white distilled or cider vinegar with 5 percent acidity (you can easily Google this if you don’t know the acidity of your vinegar). Use white vinegar when light color is desirable.
For crisper results you can put the sliced vegetables into a bowl and spread a layer of pickling salt on top. Cover and let sit overnight in a cool place. Discard the liquid, then rinse and dry the vegetables before pickling or canning as usual. The salt helps to pull the moisture out of the vegetables and makes them crisper.
This is what I used for the pickled asparagus that I bought at the market but really the only part you need to follow is equal parts water and vinegar and adding salt. The rest, spices and extras, are all up to you!
This turned out soooo well!!!
I just brought vinegar, water, peppercorns, mustard seeds, salt, chilli flakes and garlic to a boil and then simmered 20min. In the meantime sterilized some mason jars and lids.
After mixture had simmered I let it cool for another 20 min. and filled my sterile jars with cut peppers and asparagus. Once the mixture had cooled I poured it in the jars until each was a little over half full, sealed and refrigerated. Super easy and yummy?
I truly love doing stuff like this… making jam and canning and pickling… pretty sure I’m single because my list of interests makes me sound like a Grandma but whatever… it’s such a great way to make use of fresh produce anddd so freaking healthy and is the way food is meant to be “processed.”