Preserve your favourite fresh Ontario produce with pickling. This long-forgotten tradition originated in India, but has found roots globally. Before refrigeration was possible in Canada, most people pickled and canned their produce to ensure that nothing went to waste.
Now that we have freezers and refrigerators and virtually any food you want can be purchased at the grocery store, this practice has gone by the wayside. But perhaps it should be revived.
While store-bought pickles will do in a pinch, the homemade version is even better. In addition to using local farm fresh produce, you can also control the ingredients, making a healthier version without extra salt, sugar or preservatives. That makes this one guilt-free, low fat, low-calorie snack.
Pickling cucumbers are a favourite fresh Ontario crop, and for good reason. They are refreshing and cool to eat during the summer months. But when paired with dill and vinegar, the cucumber is transformed into a crunchy, salty, delicious addition to your pantry or refrigerator.
Pickled Fresh Ontario Produce is Good for You
Thanks to pickling, the goodness of your food is preserved. You can still get essential vitamins, as well as electrolytes. In fact, pickle juice is touted as the perfect post-marathon drink for runners, as it quickly replaces salt and minerals lost in sweat, reduces muscle cramping and speeds recovery.
How to Make Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Refrigerated dill pickles will last several weeks in your fridge, and because they aren’t processed in a hot water bath, they won’t lose their crunch. You can experiment with flavours, although traditionally dill pickles are flavoured with garlic, dill, and salt.
- Bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a pot until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Cool completely.
- In a large glass container, add cucumber spears, garlic cloves, and fresh dill, and pour over the vinegar mixture.
- Seal the container, refrigerate for a minimum of 3 days, and then enjoy!
Your dill pickles should last about 4-6 weeks in the fridge.
You can find the full recipe here.
Once you discover how easy it is to make pickles, you can experiment with other veggies, including beans, carrots, pearl onions, beets, asparagus. You can also try making pickles from around the world, like spicy Korean Kimchi, which is made of cabbage.
Whether you love the salty tang of pickles or not… there’s one thing you can love about the process of preserving Ontario’s fresh produce. That’s the experience you get from eating farm to table: buying from local farms in Barrie and preparing healthy and delicious food with your family at home.