How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables
I love vinegar and vinegary foods.
Pickling carrots and parsnips is how I’ve been getting my vinegar groove on lately.
If you’ve never pickled anything, this method is so fast and easy, and you have nothing to fear.
It’s a 10-minute project, and a perfect way to bottle up summmertime. Or any time you have extra vegetables.
To make the brine, I simply combined equal parts white vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, brought them just to a boil, and poured the syrup over raw carrot and raw parsnip spears that were waiting in jars.
To each jar, I added a few tablespoons of dry yellow mustard grains and some Salt-Free Citrus Pepper Blend, a blend of lime, orange, and lemon rinds paired with black peppercorns.
Most people add salt to pickle vegetables, but I avoid cooking with or adding salt to our food as much as possible for health reasons. With the right blend of other seasonings, there’s plenty of flavor and a bit of a kick from the mustard grains and peppercorns. No salt needed.
Plus, parsnips naturally have a peppery kick, and the spice blend enhanced it.
Think outside the box and try Jerk seasoning, chipotle seasoning, mesquite grill seasoning, or Indian spices like curry or garam masala. Pickling doesn’t just have to mean Kosher dills.
The vegetables become tenderized and softened after a few hours, but the full effect and flavor of the pickling sets in a day or two later as the flavors marry.
I used carrots and parsnips because they’re quite firm to begin with and I wanted the finished veggies to be firmer and not mushy. They retain plenty of texture, crispiness, and crunch. Cauliflower, rutabaga, beets, and turnips are next.
The vinegar brine is tangy and sweetish, with a gentle kick from the mustard and peppercorn. Sweet with heat, of sorts.
And vinegar has plenty of health benefits. I’ll consider myself super healthy then with all that I’ve been consuming lately.
How to Make Easy Pickled Vegetables (vegan, gluten-free, salt-free)
Even if you’ve never pickled vegetables, this quick and easy method will leave you feeling like an old pro. It takes just a few minutes to prep the vegetables and place them in jars before dousing them with an easy vinegar-sugar syrup. The veggies are softened yet retain crunchy texture and some crispness. You won’t miss one bit of flavor in this salt-free recipe that’s a bit sweet, very tangy, with a slight kick from the yellow mustard grains and black peppercorns. They’ll keep for many weeks in the fridge.
1 or 2 extra large raw carrots, peeled and sliced into 4-inch by 1/2-inch spears
1 or 2 large raw parsnips, peeled and sliced into 4-inch by 1/2-inch spears (I did not ‘core’ the parsnip, I used the whole thing)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups white distilled vinegar
4 tablespoons Salt-Free Citrus Pepper Blend (or a favorite all-purpose or grill seasoning blend), divided – or see optional suggestions below
2 tablespoons dry yellow mustard grains, divided
salt, optional and to taste
- Place trimmed and sliced carrot spears in one glass jar and parsnips in another glass jar (or mingle them, if preferred); set jars aside. My jars were very well-packed and very stuffed; I couldn’t fit in any more spears.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and vinegar and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a boil and then shut the heat off.
- Pour the mixture over the vegetables, divided equally, or until the liquid comes up to nearly to the top of the jar. I find it’s easiest to pour the vinegar-sugar mixture into a heat-safe, large, glass measuring cup rather than trying to pour from a saucepan directly over the vegetables since more seems to spill onto the counter than get into the jars.
- Add 2 tablespoons citrus pepper blend and 1 tablespoon mustard to each jar. If adding salt, add it to each jar, to taste.
- Seal jars and shake gently to disperse spices.
- Allow jars to cool on counter before transferring to the refrigerator. Do not put hot glass jars into a cold refrigerator, they could crack. Vegetables will be ‘ready’ after about 2 hours, but the full effect of the pickling will set in about 48 hours later. Vegetables will keep refrigerated in jars for many weeks; let common sense and your tastebuds be your guide.
Optional tips and suggestions – Try using other vegetables such as cauliflower, beets, turnips, rutabagas, cucumber, or firmer vegetables. Think outside the box and add spices and seasoning blends like Jerk seasoning, chipotle seasoning, mesquite grill seasoning, or Indian spices, garlic or onions; add fresh herbs like dill or thyme to the jars. If desired, add salt to the brine, to taste.
Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
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Have you ever pickled anything? Favorite recipes or items you like to pickle? Vinegar fan?