Pickles are not only delicious, they’re healthy. According to experts, fermented pickles are full of good bacteria called probiotics , which aide in gut health. A healthy gut, equals healthy digestive functioning which strengthens the immune system, which in turn helps prevent disease. Pickling is also a great way to savor vegetables, but depending on your pickle preference, they can be pricey.
Although common pickle varieties average around $3.50 per jar, it is not unusual to see prices upwards of $7.50 for a jar of pickled asparagus or even $14.98 for a 12oz jar of Mama Lil’s Pickled Goat Horn Peppers (yet once you’ve had them, the price seems justified). If you prefer something other than the common gherkin, making your own pickles will save you some money. So why not give it a try? All you need is a jar with a tight-fitting lid, a few common spices, water and vinegar; that’s it, really. I’ve done all the testing for you!
Inspired by The Kitchen Garden Book 1956 recipe for pickled cauliflower
1 lb of fresh, cleaned vegetables: green beans (stems removed), cucumbers or carrots, sliced into 1/2” pieces, and cauliflower florets cut into 1-1/2” pieces) all work as well for this recipe. Don’t be afraid to mix your vegetables together!
1 cup of white balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large garlic cloves, cut in half
2 dried chili peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon of peppercorns
32 ounce mason jar or other jar with tight fitting lid
Photo courtesy of A Couple Cooks
In a small saucepan, add the water, white balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, dissolving the salt and sugar in the process. Remove from heat and cool. While the brine is cooling place your garlic cloves, dried chili peppers and peppercorns in the bottom of your jar. Place your raw vegetables into the jar, leaving a little room on the top, so that the vegetables are submerged in the brine. When the brine has cooled sufficiently, pour over the vegetables in your jar, and screw on the cap. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours for softer vegetables, and up to three days for firmer vegetables like carrots and cauliflower. The pickles will last in the refrigerator for up to one month.
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