When it comes to pickles, cucumbers don’t always have to be your main squeeze. You can make almost any veggie into that juicy, crunchy bite you crave. And the best part is you can easily make the vinegar-set snack right at home. In fact, long before it was a trend, pickling was common practice for stopping foods (and not just cucumbers) from spoiling.
To start the pickling process, just toss any produce — we’re talking leftover celery, a half-eaten bag of carrots or whatever you have on hand — into a brine (aka salt and water). Let it sit overnight and it creates that crunchiness you know and love. In some cases, the food also ferments, meaning good bacteria forms. That’s the same process that occurs in buzzy foods like kombucha and kimchi, which offer a whole slew of health benefits, from providing probiotics and healthy enzymes to improving digestion and increasing energy.
So pick your favorite produce, stock up on some apple cider vinegar and pop open a mason jar to store your healthy snack, made right at home. Just follow these six recipes for tasty, crunchy combos.
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Healthy Pickle Recipes with Veggies
1. Quick Pickled Vegetables
No matter what veggie you choose — carrots, beets, green beans, you name it — this is a good recipe to jumpstart your pickling practice. It really only requires five main ingredients, plus water and the option for adding some dill and spices (which we do recommend!). Bring the liquid items to a boil, then pour over your produce. You can munch on them as soon as the next day. Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn
2. Spiced Pickled Vegetables
If you’re still a little suspicious of the whole pickling trend, you’re not alone. Teighan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest notes on her blog she saw no reason to stray from baking, roasting or sautéing her vegetables until she realized just how easy it is create a flavorful jar of pickled vegetables, customized to your taste. In this recipe, she offers herbs and spices to add to your mix — plus the option to toss in red pepper flakes or chiles for a kick of heat. Photo and recipe: Teighan Gerard / Half-Baked Harvest
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3. Pickled Green Tomatoes
Next time your tomatoes become less than ripe, slice them up for this tasty recipe. Toss in a salad, or add as the finishing touch atop a goat cheese crostini or homemade pizza. Pair them with sundried tomatoes for an extra bold flavor. Photo and recipe: Carla Azevdo Cooking
4. Vietnamese Quick Pickles
These pickles are a match made in banh mi (the signature Vietnamese bread) heaven. But the combination of carrots, cucumbers and daikons also make a great side for any grain bowl or even as a simple snack. Photo and recipe: Liz Ingraham / Pumpkin & Peanut Butter
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5. Mediterranean Cauliflower Pickles
Featuring cauliflower, plus flavoring from lemons, basil, peppercorns and chili flakes, this brine perfectly encapsulates Mediterranean tastes. It has a nice strong kick to finish it off, too. Photo and recipe: Danielle / Fermented Food Lab
6. Pickled Red Onions
Whether it’s atop a salad, sandwich or tacos, everyone can agree pickled red onions make anything better. Whip these up at home to make taco night feel like you’re dining out. Photo and recipe: Beth Moncel / Budget Bytes
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