Tips for Health

Will. It. Pickle?

By on July 4, 2017 in Dieting, Health, Lifestyle with 0 Comments

In this age of both convenience and artisan revival, it’s easy to pick up any number of crunchy, acidic additions, but how much more impressive (and healthy!) to make your own? The best part is, it’s super easy and infinitely customizable, just follow these simple guidelines and get pickling!

  • While you can pickle just about any fruit or vegetable, keep in mind how the texture will be affected by pickling; the heat and acid of pickling will soften the pickle subject up, so if it’s soft already, it could become mushy (in which case, you may be better off making a relish or chutney, which will have a lot of the same flavour profiles, but will better suit the texture)
  • Think carefully about the natural acidity or sourness of the pickle subject: if something is already tart (like rhubarb) you’ll want to add extra sugar (or sugar substitute like maple syrup or honey) to balance it out
  • Don’t forget to season! A little salt will go a long way, and helps keep things preserved without chemicals. And there’s no reason to stop at salt, why not add other spices too? A cinnamon stick or star anise, as well as classic pickling spices like coriander, juniper, and dill seed are all great choices
  • Decide how long you want the pickles to last, if this is a quick pickle to be used soon, you can utilize the fridge method (explained below) if you’d like to keep them longer and store them in some kind of root cellar situation, then you’ll have to take more care by sterilizing the jars and lids in boiling water, and sealing them by placing the filled and lidded jars in a pot of boiling water (or a pressure cooker) for about 15 minutes until you can be sure that any bacteria is eliminated. This method is called processing and means you can keep the sealed jars at room temperature for several months
  • Once you’re ready to pickle, start by adding a teaspoon or so of salt to the jar, as well as any spices you’d like, then cram the jar as full as you can with your pickle pick, cut into whatever size you’d like to enjoy them at (eg: you can slice, cube or julienne, the smaller or thinner the size, the softer the pickle)
  • When your jars are full, bring equal parts water and vinegar to a boil. White vinegar is the most popular choice, but apple cider and champagne vinegars are good choices too. Remember, the vinegar choice will influence the pickle flavour. Balsamic vinegars are not recommended because of their strong colour and flavour, expense, and slightly thicker texture
  • CAREFULLY fill the jars with the hot water/vinegar, stopping about a centimeter below the rim. Seal the jars right away, once cooled, they can be refrigerated, or you can proceed with the processing method. Pickles with be ready to eat in a few days, but try to wait a week to really let the flavours develop

***Fridge pickles are just that, pickles you keep in the fridge! The only real difference is that since you haven’t processed

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