A Guide To Pickling Anything
Don’t know what to do with that odd piece of veg left in your fridge? Adopt our moto,“there’s little you can’t pickle!”
What Is Pickling All About?
Pickling is a process of preserving food by soaking it in vinegar or brine (a mixture of salt and water). It can be used to preserve any kind of vegetable, a lot of fruits but also meats, and other foods like eggs. Use pickles in your lunch time sarnie, to inject more flavour to your dinner to just as a late night snack straight from the jar. Essentially, pickling elongates the life of any perishable item as the acidic solution prevents the growth of harmful bacteria which is what contributes to the characteristic sour and tangy taste of the delicious pickle.
A Jar Of History
Wise old folk began pickling more than 4,000 years ago in India when cucumbers were soaked in acidic brine as a way to preserve them. Pickling was originally used as a way to preserve food for long periods of time, especially during the winter months when fresh produce was not available The method of preservation spread to the Middle East, Europe and eventually America and stuck!
To Reduce Waste
By preserving fresh produce and meats, pickling extends their shelf life and allows you to enjoy them even when they're no longer in season. Pickling can also be a creative solution for using up produce that may not be at its prime, such as overripe fruits and vegetables. By pickling them, you can still enjoy their flavour and get the most out of your food. You can also reuse any old jars you've collected which are far more suitable than single-use containers.
Four Reasons You Should Get Into A Pickle
- Probiotics: Pickling can provide beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, which can improve gut health.
- Antioxidants: Some pickled foods, such as pickled vegetables, can be rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against cellular damage.
- Sodium: Pickling can be a good source of sodium, which is important for maintaining fluid balance and electrolyte balance in the body.
- Flavour: Pickling can add flavour to foods and reduce the need for high-calorie condiments and sauces.
How to Pickle
This simple pickle recipe can be used to pickle any fruit or vegetable just add some extra herbs or spices to change it up if you feel like getting creative.
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons salt
3 bay leaves
2 star anise
You can experiment with different spices, herbs, and sweeteners to create your own unique pickling blend.
It is essential to use clean pickling jars. Scrub clean with hot soapy water, rinse and boil the jars in a large deep pot for 10 minutes allow to cool.
Yield 600ml pickling liquid:
In a pot add the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, Bay leaves and star anise. Bring to the boil.
Simple add your vegetables or fruit to a jar and pour over the hot pickling liquid, fill right to the top. Close the lid while still hot.
Our Favourite Combinations
Cucumber, Mustard Seeds, and Dill
Capsicum, Garlic, and Chilli
Red Onion and Lay leaf
Eggplant, Chilli and Garlic
Strawberry, Cinnamon & Star Anise
Plum Pickle (Umeboshi) with mint or basil