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.