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Pickling stuff is not only a great way to make things taste super delicious and ensure you always have sides and condiments on hand, but it is also a fundamental trick to know in preserving food.

Pickling is all about preserving produce in an acidic or saline solution. Pickling is usually done in vinegar or salt brine. Pickling has been practiced for centuries and centuries and is still going strong.

It is a great practice to have under your belt when you have an overwhelming bounty from your garden or if you have overbought at the farmer’s market.

There are the classic pickles that we all know and love, from pickled beet, onions, and gherkins to cabbage, beans, and peppers. These are true classics and should not be messed with.

That said, other things taste amazing when pickled. Check out these fun ideas for foods to pickle that are a little out of the ordinary.

1. Pickled Eggplant

Source: Middle Eats/YouTube

Pickled eggplant is a classic Italian recipe known as Melanzane sotto aceto. When pickling eggplants, choose ones that are not too ripe and are medium in size. This will mean that they will have fewer seeds and are less bitter.

In this recipe, after soaking the cut pieces of eggplant in salt, you will bring the eggplant to boil in a vinegar and salt solution. After cooling, you will pack the eggplant, some of the solution, and olive oil in clean jars with a medley of herbs and spices.

Leave the pickles to marinade in a sealed jar for at least 24 hours before enjoying them.

2. Pickled Watermelon Rind

Watermelons are huge, and provide us with so much food in one fruit. But, did you know that you can eat the rind as well? One great way to get extra mileage out of the watermelon you bought or grew is to hang on to the rind and pickle it.

OGP has a great recipe for Watermelon Rind and Jalapeño Pickles. Pickled watermelon rind is reminiscent of pickled cucumbers. You have that same crisp, juicy crunch, and they hold the flavor of the pickling solution well.

For this recipe, you will first prepare the pickling solution, then pour it over the watermelon rinds and sliced jalapeños that have been layered in a clean mason jar.

3. Pickled Avocado

Source: Delish/YouTube

The window to the perfect avocado is slim, we all know that. Buying an unripe avocado and having to wait for it to be ready can be torturous. Though it is usually very much worth the wait, if you are impatient, you could always pickle your underripe avocados!

For these pickles, you are looking for avocadoes that are not ready for your favorite guacamole, but still have a little bit of give.

You will cut your avocadoes into slices first, and pack them into a jar. You can add other herbs and spices to the jar, too, such as garlic, chili flakes, and cilantro.

Next, you will make a pickling solution by heating vinegar, salt, and sugar in a pot. Once it has cooled pour the solution into your avocado jar.

4. Pickled Sweet Corn

We all know that sweetcorn relish is a tasty thing, so we are ready for the acidic and sweet combo of pickled sweet corn.

Rather than pickling sweetcorn that comes from a can, what we are looking for here is fresh sweetcorn kernels cut straight from the cob.

This is only a go-to recipe if you have had your fill of munching corn on the cob. That is a hard place to get to but may be needed if you have had a bumper harvest.

In this recipe, the sweetcorn kernels are boiled in the pickling solution before being poured into sterilized jars. Keep them in the fridge for up to two months.

5. Pickled Blueberries

Source: Allrecipes/YouTube

Pickled blueberries are a revolution. If you have blueberry bushes at home, you know the monster harvest that can come from them. Pickling them is an unusual and fun way to make the most of your bounty.

Here, you will boil together vinegar and a medley of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. You will then still the fresh blueberries in the mixture and let it simmer for about five minutes.

Resist the temptation to stir the blueberries as we are not trying to make jam here.  We want the berries as intact as possible. Let the berries sit in the cooling mixture for several hours. Overnight, if possible. Then, fill jars with the mixture, leaving the liquid in the pot.

Return the liquid to the heat and add sugar. Let this dissolve before pouring the liquid over the berries. Once cooled, enjoy these with crackers and vegan cheese.

This article is to give ideas for foods you can pickle only. Preserving food can come with complications if done incorrectly or without sterilized equipment. Research best pickling practices before pickling and consuming anything. Learn how to check for mold or discoloration in your jarred pickles before eating them. 

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