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Pickled Veggies Recipe

Yesterday I attended the second iteration of Picklepalooza and had a blast!  Conceived mainly by Tweeters Jen aka @blathering and Anita aka @tshumbie, Picklepalooza is a girls’ day of pickling, chatting and snacking. To me, it’s pretty much the perfect way to spend a long leisurely fall day.

Since all things old are new again, pickling has come back into fashion in modern cuisine.  The thing about pickling is that you need the right equipment and know-how to do it properly.  Picklepalooza allowed us more inexperienced picklers to learn from more seasoned vets such as @blathering and @tshumbie.

Picklepalooza! This is about half of the finished products.

Picklepalooza! This is about half of the finished products.

Canning – a Quick Overview:
I did a couple hour’s worth of research yesterday morning and discovered that there’s so much to pickling and canning that I never knew mattered.  Food not properly processed is susceptible to botulism, a potentially deadly bacteria. The pH of the food you are trying to pickling dictates whether you process the jars via a hot water bath or in a pressure cooker.

High pH (less acidic) foods need to be canned with pressure to be safe to eat.  Lower pH (higher acidity) foods can be processed via a hot water bath because the acid in the food helps kill bacteria. Pickled items can be done using the hot water bath processing method because of the high acidity (low pH) of the vinegar.

The raw ingredients for my pickled veggies.

The raw ingredients for my pickled veggies.

Pickling vs. Canning:

There’s a difference between pickling and canning.  You can do one and not be doing the other.  Pickling is the process by which you use brine and acid (typically some type of vinegar) to preserve foods.  Canning simply refers to the method by which you process sealed jars for storage.

Of course pickles are commonly canned, but you can also just make pickles/pickled items to consume immediately or in the short term. This does require refrigeration, though.   Canning the pickles just ensures that you can keep them shelf stable over a longer period of time.

My veggies – packed, lids on and just waiting to be processed.

My veggies – packed, lids on and just waiting to be processed.

Researching Recipes:

In my preparation for Picklepalooza, I looked at many recipes.  I didn’t have my own recipe for pickled veggies so I decided to take to the web to see what type of commonalities I could unearth for proper recipe development.  I learned that vinegar to water ratio matters, and to be safest, you should really only use tested recipes.

I found this handy pdf from the Colorado State University Extension service that helped explain the ingredient types needed to pickle properly.  I also used their vinegar to water ratio, although I used fewer veggies than they did.  This meant I had a higher vinegar to water ratio over my veggies, so I felt safe doing that.

Heat processing set up – pot on back left burner is the boiling water canning pot we used. To the left is pickled cauliflower & beets made by one of the ladies.

Heat processing set up – pot on back left burner is the boiling water canning pot we used. To the left is pickled cauliflower & beets made by one of the ladies.

Special Canning Equipment:
Besides your normal kitchen equipment (knife, cutting board, peeler), you will need the following special tools to can these pickles.  While you could can without them (except the jars), it is not recommended.  This special equipment is the safest and most effective to use:

  • Canning jars – special glass jars with metal lids and rings.  These jars are able to be sealed for long term storage.  While you can reuse jars and rings, the metal lids need to be replaced each time you re-seal the jars.
  • Boiling-water canner pot – has a special rack attachment that is used for holding the jars. It has handles which allow for easy loading and then lowering of tray for processing.  This rack ensures the jars aren’t sitting on the bottom of the pot.
  • Canning tongs – specially made to grip the tops of jars.  Safest for lowering cans in and pulling cans out of the hot water.
  • Canning funnel – safely allows for the addition of hot liquid to the jars. It is a wide-mouthed funnel that fits most jar mouths perfectly.  It is also helpful for loading ingredients cleanly into jars.
All done! Canned Pickled Veggies – one of my jars broke during the water processing so I only had 7 in the end.

All done! Canned Pickled Veggies – one of my jars broke during the water processing so I only had 7 in the end.

Yield: 8 pint jars

Pickled Veggies Recipe

A recipe for pickled veggies along with some information about canning, pickling and the equipment you should have to do both.



  • 3 cups (1 pound) parsnips or carrots: washed, peeled and sliced on a bias
  • 2 cups (2 small) onions, peeled: peeled, cut in half and sliced
  • 5 cups (6 each) Anaheim peppers:  washed, thinly sliced and de-seeded
  • 1 cup garlic cloves: peeled and left whole
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets


  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 7 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups water


Canning Method:

  1. Prep all veggies and keep them separated in bowls or measuring cups – I prefer to layer my ingredients in the jar but if you like you can just mix everything at once.  I like to ensure there’s an even amount of everything in each jar.
  2. Sterilize jars in a near-simmering water bath in a boiling-water canner pot for about 5 minutes. Once done, set the jars on the workspace where you are going to do the jar packing.
  3. Pack all ingredients into the hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space at the top of the jar.  Leave jars as is for now.
  4. Combine all the ingredients for the brine in a soup-sized pot and bring to a boil on the stove.  Once a boil is achieved, you can turn the heat off.  (You can have this on the stove and heating while you’re packing veggies into the jars).
  5. Using a canning funnel, pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch for head space.  Be sure to stir the contents of the jar gently to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape.
  6. While you’re putting the liquid into the jars, it’s a good idea to have your lids already soaking in a simmering water bath so that the seals can be softened prior to placing lids on the jars.  Not only does the soaking soften the seals, it also sanitizes the inside of the jar lids.
  7. Top each jar with a lid and ring.  Be sure to not touch the inside of the lid – use a pair of tongs.  Make sure each lid is centered on the jar and tighten rings.
  8. Using canning tongs, lower the jars into the water-boiling canner pot and simmer in the pot for 10 minutes.
  9. Pull jars out and allow to cool.  Make sure that the top of the jar “pops,” ensuring that the jar is sealed.  This could take up to 24 hours.  Yesterday it took almost three hours for mine to “pop.”
  10. Store for a week before attempting to try these delectable treats.  I suggest refrigerating before consuming because I like cold pickles.  Can be eaten as a salad or a side and/or condiment for a sandwich.

Alternate Non-Canning Method:
While I made these veggies specifically for canning, you could make them and not store them.

  1. Prep all veggies as originally described above and place in a large bowl.
  2. Heat brine on the stove and then pour over the veggies.  Mix well.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool for about 3o minutes to an hour then cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before eating.  Stir occasionally during the first 30 minutes to help with cooling.
  4. Will store in the fridge for up to a week in an air tight container.
  5. Note – you may want to cut down the recipe to 1/4 of the original proportions so that you have a reasonable amount of ingredients to work with.  It will still yield four cups of veggies.

Total:1 hour

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