Pickling Foods 101

Canned and pickled vegetables and fruit.
April 19, 2017

Can’t quite keep up with all the produce in your fridge? It’s time to give pickling a try!

Pickling vegetables is easy and extends food shelf life. Plus, fermented foods are chock full of vitamins, amino acids and healthy bacteria, and the sodium content hydrates the body and reduces muscle cramps after excessive sweating. Just remember to consume in moderation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the pickling process:

Makes two pint-sized jars

  • 1 pound fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, green beans, etc. Fun fact: tougher vegetables like cucumbers and eggplants do better during in the pickling process than more delicate vegetables like brussel sprouts, carrots, and beets.
  • 2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons whole spices, such black peppercorns, coriander, or mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs or ground spices
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)


  1. Wash two wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry.
  2. Wash vegetables thoroughly. Once clean, chop in any shape you want–thick or thin disks or vertical slices; whatever you choose bring fun to it!
  3. Divide the herbs, spices, and garlic into the jars.
  4. Pack the vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the vegetables. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing.
  5. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.
  6. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
  7. Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
  8. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open and they’ll be good for up to two months!

Looking for other ways to spice up your diet? Book a consultation with NYHRC’s nutritionist, Alanna Cabrero.

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