How to make easy homemade pickles

How to make easy homemade pickles

They can last for up to a month chilled, though the longer they sit, the less crisp they become.

It's the rare person who doesn't love pickles.

Besides giving hamburgers a crunchy, vinegary finish, pickles are packed with the good bacteria called probiotics, which makes them terrific for gut health.

You might like pickles even more if you knew how easy they are to make with just a few simple ingredients you might already have in your pantry.

If you go with the refrigerator version, all you have to do it slice a few cucumbers and boil a mixture of water, vinegar, sugar and spices. Fridge pickles are exactly as billed: a type of fresh pickle that goes right into the refrigerator instead of being preserved in a hot water bath and put up. They can last for up to a month chilled, though the longer they sit, the less crisp they become.

All are easy, and just as tangy and flavorful as canned pickles. Be sure to wash the produce

Easy refrigerator dill pickles

This makes a bit more brine than you'll need for 4 pint-sized jars, but I hate it when I come up short. Fresh dill, which you can find in bunches at farmers markets, is essential.

12 pickling cucumbers

4 large garlic cloves, halved

3 teaspoons mustard seeds

3 teaspoons peppercorns

1 bunch dill sprigs

4 cups water

4 cups distilled white vinegar

1/2 cup cane sugar

4 tablespoons sea salt

Slice cucumbers lengthwise into quarters, or eighths, depending on how fat the cucumber is and how fat you want your pickles. To make dill pickle chips, thinly slice them horizontally.

Divide sliced cucumbers among 4 8-ounce glass jars. Divide garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns among the jars, and add a couple of dill sprigs to each jar.

Bring water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve, about 1-2 minutes. Let cool slightly and pour over cucumbers. Set jars aside to cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator.

How to make easy homemade pickles
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Pickles will get more flavorful the longer they sit in the fridge. They can be stored for several weeks.

Quick pickled peaches

Pickling fruit brings out its natural sweetness, with a bit of zip. This recipe for pickled peaches makes an excellent topping for a variety of desserts, including vanilla ice cream. "Very different taste, but good with pound cake," my sister told me after sampling the jar I gifted her.

Be sure to pick peaches that are ripe but still firm or you will end up with mushy fruit. I used Gochugaru, the Korean version of red pepper flakes, for some extra kick.

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces

4 large, slightly firm peeled peaches

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Cut each peach into 12 wedges. Add peaches to vinegar mixture and let stand 20 minutes. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon.

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