Tips on Pickling & Canning Produce
Pickling and canning produce have become much more popular in the last couple of years as many people took the time to plant vegetables and fruits in backyard gardens as a pandemic hobby. As the harvest season winds down, pickling and canning is a great way to preserve home grown treasures for many months to come.
So, what’s the difference between pickling and canning?
- Pickling is the act of preserving food in a salt, sugar or vinegar solution. Pickled vegetables are not shelf stable and generally need to be kept in the refrigerator and used somewhat quickly, up to 2 months.
- Canning is a method of preserving food in jars at high temperatures and then sealed with heat. The vacuum sealed lid acts to keep bacteria out. Canned vegetables can have shelf life from 1-5 years.
Here are a few of our best tips if you’re trying your hand at pickling or canning vegetables or other delicious food items at home:
- The best foods for canning are seasonal fruits or vegetables. Our favourites include: green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, stone fruits like peaches or berries.
- Pick ripe, fresh produce at the peak of their season; that way their flavour is locked in when canned AND it wil be more delicious when you dive in to enjoy months or years later.
- Especially when pickling vegetables, choose vegetables that are more firm. They stand up better and stay more crisp to the bite when brined in the pickling liquid.
- You can pickle almost anything and pickled items are increasingly used as snacks on their own vs as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches. (Kimchee is a great example of this!)
- Like to think out of the box? Strawberries, beets, watermelon rind, jalapenos, asparagus, mangos or eggs are some unique foods that are being pickled! Try a tangy, pickled strawberry to top a salad to spark up the taste buds.