Healthy eating: The ideal time for pickles — flexible, tasty, perfect

(Courtesy photo)

The weather changed quickly this fall. My garden feels the changes and I have had to quickly harvest tomatoes, green beans, melons and cucumbers. I am allowing the onions, beets, carrots and kale to linger in the ground.

Now is the perfect opportunity for making pickles. Pickles are a healthy probiotic food that are good for your gut health.

Pickles are a great way to preserve your garden produce or market purchases. This version of pickles is a “quick pickle” with a mild taste. I pack my jars with cooked vegetables (beets, beans, carrots) or raw vegetables (cucumbers, onions, cabbage) and then fill the jars with the prepared brine.

You can add fresh herbs if you have them on hand — fennel, dill or thyme are nice additions. Use your imagination and enjoying creating fun combinations of vegetables and herbs. Allow the jars of veggies to pickle in the refrigerator.

Pickles don’t last long in our house. If you plan to make a large amount of pickles consider using a hot-water canning process so you don’t have to use up your refrigerator space. You will be able to enjoy your pickled creations for months to come.
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Basic pickle brine

This brine recipe is enough to fill two quart-sized jars.

Ingredients

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons peppercorns

1 teaspoon whole coriander

1 bay leaf
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Instructions

Combine all brine ingredients in a pot.

Simmer for 10 minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar.

Cool to room temperature before pouring over the vegetables. Store pickles in your refrigerator (unless you choose to hot-water can the jars.)

Note: You can substitute one tablespoon of a premixed “pickling spice” for the peppercorns, bay leaf and coriander.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

  1. Yum! I always enjoy reading this column by Deborah Binder. Not only does she have great recipes but the recipes are something that I can use my imagination to create even more dishes etc. Thank you, Deborah, Deborah.

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