Pickling…Not just for Cucumbers

Pickled Cantaloupe

Dill, sweet, fresh-pack, fermented…there are many varieties of pickles to choose from. While these types of pickles are available on grocery shelves as well as in recipes, most of the pickles on the grocery shelves are made with cucumbers. What if you want to try a different type of fruit or vegetable as a pickled product? Then follow the links to tested recipes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation and add one or two of these fruit and vegetable pickle recipes to your home food preservation practice.

Interesting vegetable recipes include Bread and Butter Pickled Jicama, Pickled Sweet Green Tomatoes, and Pickled Horseradish Sauce.  (Note the horseradish sauce is to be kept in the refrigerator only; there is not a canning process to recommend.)  If you are keen on the flavor of fruit pickles (or interested in a taste adventure), then you might like to try Watermelon Rind Pickles, Spiced Crabapples, or even Cantaloupe Pickles (also available is a No-Sugar Added Cantaloupe Pickles recipe). Quite a few more fruit and vegetable pickle recipes are also available.

Pickled Pearl OnionsPickled Baby Carrots

Remember that the level of acidity is not just important for the taste and texture of your pickled products, but also for the safety of the product. For every tested recipe, the recommended amount of vinegar is necessary for a uniform acidity throughout the product to prevent the growth of botulinum bacteria. Do not alter the proportions of vinegar, water, or foods in tested recipes, and please, use tested recipes.

As for your produce, select fresh, firm fruits or vegetables that are free of spoilage or other damage, and wash them well.

Visit the NCHFP website for more information about Preparing and Canning Fermented and Pickled Foods.