Kathleen’s Post: Pickling to Save on Food Waste

pickled cranberriesFrom stems to be discarded to whole veggies starting to turn brown around the edges, I have always struggled with tossing out what could be perfectly good food, even if it does end up in the compost. I have always wanted to learn to can properly but my daily schedule of running around from school to work to family to finding time to sleep (and repeat) has kept me rather busy. I finally took the time to look up ways to preserve items by pickling them without going through the entire canning process. And as it turns out, the recipe uses items that one probably already has kicking around their cabinets. It takes less than twenty minutes and as long as you have a can with a cover, vinegar, water, seasoning, and an item to pickle (or better yet, an item to save from browning their way to the compost bin), you are all set to go.

And now I pickle everything.

I base my measurements off of using 32oz Mason Jars so if you are using a smaller or larger jar, double or divide the recipe to the size of your jar. I always use the same base to pickle concoctions and then get creative from there depending on what I am pickling.

Base:

  • 1 cup vinegar (white, rice, apple cider, etc.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch of salt

Here are some of my own recipes that I hope you can enjoy at your home!

Spiced Pickled Cranberries

  • 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar (I use raw)
  • About two to three thick orange peels
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of all spice
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 bag of cranberries (preferably the ones left over from the holidays!)

Pickled Red Onion (perfect for taco night!)

  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • A pinch or two of salt
  • 1 thinly sliced red onion

Shake both jars to dissolve some of the spices and mix the liquids. Let stand in the fridge for about 1 hour before consuming.

These can usually last up to over two weeks!

So the next time you think about throwing out your kale stems or the asparagus that is starting to brown at the tips, cut off the bad ends and throw together a delicious and easy pickled vegetable jar that you can use for sides, toppings, on sandwiches and snacks!

Cheers!

Kathleen

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