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Your Guide to Homemade Pickled Vegetables

It is easy and fun to create your own spice blends for pickling any kind of vegetable you like! Begin with a basic, multifunctional seasoning blend for the basic brine, then experiment with additional spices to find flavors you enjoy!

Step 1: Choose Your Veggies

  • Many vegetables pickle well, but the best and most common are carrots, onions, garlic, jalapeno, cucumbers, beets, cauliflower, bell peppers, summer squash, zucchini, turnips

Step 2: Build Your Basic Brine

  • Water, salt, sugar, plus spices make your basic brine.
  • Salt: draws out moisture from the vegetables so that it can be replaced by flavors from the seasoned brine.
  • Sugar: helps counterbalance the sour taste of the vinegar.
  • Turmeric: adds earthy flavors and creates the yellow color of the brine.
  • Chili flakes and peppercorns: adds heat

Step 3: Experiment With Additional Spices

  • You can add any combination of these spices in different quantities.  Start with ½-2 teaspoons of the spices you would like, experiment until you find the balance of flavors you like.
  • Allspice, cinnamon, mustard seed, coriander seed, bay leaf, ginger, fennel seed, curry powder, star anise, whole cinnamon sticks, chipotle pepper, cardamom

Basic Brine Recipe


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 ¾ cups vinegar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons pickling spice blend
  • About 4 pounds vegetables


  • Pack veggies in sterile glass jars.
  • In a large saucepan, combine pickling spice blend and brine ingredients. Heat and stir until salt is dissolved.
  • Pour brine over pickles. Store in the refrigerator.

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