5 Unusual Things To Pickle


We generally think of the classic choices when it comes to pickling, such as cucumbers and peppers. But there’s a whole world of pickling available that most people wouldn’t even consider covering foods – have you ever thought about pickling watermelon, strawberries, corn or even pork?

All of those things can be pickled, and many more. The art of pickling has been around for centuries, because it not only preserves and extends food’s shelf life, but also has the potential to take its flavor to a completely new and fascinating location. The general rule is that it will possibly be pickled if it is edible and fits into a jar.

Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting pickling ingredients, and then later in the article I’ll get to a pickled pumpkin recipe.

Interesting Foods You Can Pickle

New pickling patterns go a long way beyond pickles. Some of these foods have been pickled for decades, but the method ‘s popularity is growing dramatically as people pursue ways to preserve and improve different foods.

Take meat for instance. You can pickle pork with a basic base of salt, or add different ingredients to change the flavor a little – or a lot. Sugar, garlic, onion, thyme, allspice, berries, peppers and much more are some suggestions for added flavor. The best thing about pickling is you can tailor the flavor to your tastes, instead of buying someone else off the shelf.

Related: How To Pickle Meat

Watermelon is another food which is becoming a common preservative option. We are not talking about the melon meat we usually eat; it is the white portion of the rind that is pickled.

When pickled it is often eaten as a treat on its own, or used as a delicious complement to other foods such as turkey, stuffing, or turnip greens.

Pickling corn is a perfect way to enjoy summer corn fresh flavor throughout the year. It can be pickled with a basic base of salt, or you can add other herbs and seasonings for flavor change. Instead of opening a store-bought corn can, open your own, made with your own custom flavor profile.

And then there are apples in there. The abundance of apples in the fall will give you plenty of pickling raw material-and the results can be very good! For the first time, the best thing about pickling apples is you can do a small batch and see if you like the recipe, and then make a bigger batch later when you find the right ingredient combination.

Some interesting food items to pickling that you may not have known include:

  • Garlic
  • Oysters
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Prunes
  • Mushrooms
  • Shrimp
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs

As you can see from that list, the general rule really is if it fits in a jar, it can be pickled. Now for pumpkin, a tasty fall treat that can be enjoyed all year, thanks to pickling.

Pickling Pumpkin

Who doesn’t want a jar of spiced pumpkin available all year long to snack on? You can tailor the recipe to your particular likes and dislikes. For example, in the following recipe I used cinnamon because we are a family that really enjoys cinnamon, but cloves could easily be used instead of cinnamon – or just as well.

So let’s look at how easy it is to have tasty spiced pumpkin jars on hand, particularly during the winter months …

Supplies Needed for Pickled Pumpkin

In addition to needing quart canning jars, a large pot, a saucepan, a wooden spoon, a sharp knife, and funnel, you will also need the following ingredients:

  • Pumpkin, cubed into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar (can also use white wine vinegar)
  • 1 ⅔ cup water
  • Ginger – two fresh walnut size pieces, unpeeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks (cloves could also be used)
  • 14 whole black peppercorns

5 Unusual Things To Pickle

Directions for Pickling Pumpkin

The instructions for this project are fairly simple but some important steps are needed. As mentioned above, as long as it has a vinegar base and the overall instructions are followed through to the end, there is wiggle room for play with the spices.

#1. Cut the pumpkin into ¾ inch cubes, and put aside.

#2. The number of jars will vary, depending on the batch size you choose to make. The jars must be washed and sanitized thoroughly, including the cap and seals. You can do this by placing the jars, caps, and seals into boiling water for 10 minutes.

5 Unusual Things To Pickle

#3. After the jars cool off enough to touch, place the cubed pumpkin into the jars, filling them.

#4. Pour the apple cider vinegar (or, white wine vinegar), cinnamon, black peppercorn, and remaining ingredients into a saucepan.

5 Unusual Things To Pickle5 Unusual Things To Pickle5 Unusual Things To Pickle

#5. Stir the mixture under low heat until the sugar dissolve, while stirring with a wooden spoon.

5 Unusual Things To Pickle

#6. Bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5 Unusual Things To Pickle#7. Pour the hot mixture into the jar with the pumpkin, making sure it’s all covered.5 Unusual Things To Pickle#8. Immediately place the cap and seal on the filled jar.

5 Unusual Things To Pickle

#9. When the jar cools down to room temperature, place it in the refrigerator for 1 week before opening.

If the container has been unsealed, if placed in the refrigerator it will remain good for up to 3 weeks. It will hold an unsealed container for more than 2 years.

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