Pickling was originally a way to preserve foods before refrigerators were invented. Now, pickling is used not only as a great way to preserve foods for longer periods of time, but to add new and interesting flavors and textures.
What kind of foods can you pickle? Pretty much any type of fruit or vegetable, as well as other types of foods. Avocadoes, orange peels, walnuts, leafy green stems, blueberries, radishes, garlic, eggs, watermelon, tomatoes, beets, onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, raw potatoes… the list is nearly endless!! Oh, and of course, cucumbers!
All you'll need is water, vinegar, sea salt, and your favorite spices.
The vinegar you must have at least 5% acidity (it will say this on the label). Less acidity will not work properly, even 4%. Distilled white vinegar is used most often, but other types of vinegar will work as well, such as apple cider vinegar (mellower taste with a slight apple note), malt vinegar (caramel type flavor, often used for pickling onions), and wine vinegar (more acidic bite with a flavor that mirrors the type of wine).
Combine equal parts water and vinegar, add in 2 teaspoons of sea salt, your favorite spices to taste, and bring to a boil. Wait about a minute before pouring over the food that you want to pickle. Let this mixture refrigerate overnight in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. You can store the mix in a mason jar for preservation, which will keep your pickled fruits or vegetables preserved for about 6 months.
Experiment with different types of produce and vinegar for something truly unique that you can eat as is or add to dishes.