Pickling--How to Preserve Fresh Foods
Veggies are a great addition to a healthy diet, and if you’ve been enjoying delicious produce all summer, you can preserve that produce to enjoy during the fall and winter. Pickling offers a great to preserve fall veggies, and you can easily pickle veggies at home. Whether you have your own marinade or pickling recipe or you go with a pre-packaged pickling option, it’s simple and fast to pickle your favorite selection of fresh veggies.
Start by Sterilizing
The first step in the pickling process is to make sure you sterilize everything. Sealing lids and jars should be sterilized in boiling water for around 15 minutes. Make sure you use tongs to remove the lids and jars from the boiling water. Everything you use must be sterilize, including towels and hands. Sterilizing the veggies is important as well, and you can refer to USDA guidelines for helpful sterilization instructions for fresh veggies.
Get started by dicing or slicing up the veggies you plan to use into pieces that are about ½ inch thick. If you’re doing petite onions, mushrooms, or cucumbers, you can go with whole or slices. Begin your pickling liquid on the stove until it’s boiling. After it boils, add the veggies to the liquid and let them boil for three minutes, continuing to push them down using a wooden spoon when they rise to the top of the pot. After three minutes, remove from the heat, placing in a clean glass bowl. Using a slotted spoon, place the veggies in your sterilized jars, covering with some of the pickling liquid. Add two-piece lids that vacuum seal naturally. Tighten the lids and allow the pickled veggies to cool. Label the jars and place in a dark, cool place.
Your pickled produce won’t be ready right away. You’ll need to give them two weeks after pickling before you eat them. They should last for two to three months if you keep them stored in a dark, cool place.
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