Quick Pickle Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Snack
It's a great way to use up produce and make it last longer. And it's easy.
The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available in summer into early fall makes this an ideal time to preserve what you can with the quick pickling technique. This is an easier, speedier version of pickling, a word that “refers to foods that have been marinated in a brine, usually made of vinegar, salt, and sugar,” says Melanie Betz, RD, dietitian at the University of Chicago Medicine. The brine imparts a tangy flavor and helps to preserve the food. And compared with store-bought pickled veggies, homemade quick pickles can be lower in sodium and sugar.
Cucumbers are synonymous with pickles, but you can quick pickle almost any veggie, from peppers to tomatoes to carrots, and even fruit such as berries, cherries, and watermelon. It’s a great technique to use when you have too much produce from the garden or market—quick pickles will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
How to Pickle
The technique can take as little as 10 minutes; all you need are a small saucepan, Mason jars, fresh vegetables or fruits, vinegar, water, and salt. Herbs, spices, and sugar are optional, but they do add flavor. A few good pairing suggestions are: cucumbers with dill and mustard seeds; string beans with red pepper flakes and garlic; and peaches or pears with cloves and cinnamon sticks. But you can use any combo you like.