How to Make Pickles
Think of crunchy, tangy and hassle free pickles as a preserve favourite. Homemade pickles are delicious and when prepared perfectly, they become a fermented food that is rich in probiotics and fantastic for our health. Take a look at our quick tips and tricks before getting started on your afternoon pickle project.
The difference between pickled and fermented:
Pickled food are preserved in an acidic liquid, such as vinegar. The liquid is boiled with a blend of herbs and spices and then poured over the vegetable of your choice.
Fermented foods make use of salt mixed with water, known as brine. The sugar in the brine reacts with the enzymes in the veggies, creating that tangy flavour we all love. A blend of spices and vinegars are also used in the brine.
There are so many vegetables that taste great when pickled but there are a few things to consider beforehand.
Choose vegetables that have a crunch and are naturally firm. As vegetables age, they lose water and become softer. Chose fresh vegetables that will stay crispy when ready to eat after pickling.
TIP: Trim off stems and ends of your chosen vegetable. Leaving the stems and ends on will lead to mushy pickles.
Pickling your chosen produce whole isn’t a bad thing, but keep in mind that smaller pieces will absorb the brine a lot quicker. We suggest you chop your vegetables into smaller pieces to allow for quicker picking and enjoyment.
SEE ALSO: The Deviled Egg Twists To Try
Do you want to try something a bit more creative than pickling baby cucumbers? Why not try carrots, onion, green beans and beetroot.
Making your brine:
Without your brine your veggies will never become pickled. A good brine has a ratio of vinegar, salt, sugar and water. Add spices to give your pickles that extra kick!
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons spices (peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds)
2 cups water
Bring all the above ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Place your chosen veg into a glass jar. Pour your brine over the vegetables and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 3 days. Once youre happy with your pickles, transfer the jar to the fridge.
TIP: Make sure your vegetables stay covered in the brine or else mould may develop.
If you’re a big fan of garlic, then pile those little cloves in! Sometimes garlic does turn green or even turquoise. Don’t panic! The enzymes in garlic cause this colour reaction when it comes into contact with acidic ingredients. If this freaks you out, use older and more aged bulbs which have lower enzyme levels.