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How to Naturally Pickle Vegetables

Lactofermentation is one of the most-ancient forms of food preservation. The resulting pickles are pleasantly tangy.

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How to Pickle at Home

This brine and technique can be used to pickle a wide variety of vegetables, such as radishes, turnips, Brussels sprouts, garlic and, of course, cucumbers; this is the way to make the classic deli-style dill pickle. In this case, we are making spicy dill carrot sticks.

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Basic Brine

Make a basic brine by thoroughly dissolving 6 tablespoons kosher or sea salt in 8 cups filtered or distilled water. Do not use table salt, which is iodized and can give pickles an off flavor and color.

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Sterilize the Jars

Thoroughly clean and sterilize a wide-mouth quart-size Mason jar. This can be done by filling it with 180 degrees F water for at least 10 minutes. You can also run it through a dishwasher. 

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Prep the Vegetables

Scrub your carrots, or peel them if desired. Cut the carrots into lengths that will fit into your jar (for a quart jar, 5 1/2 inches is optimal), and then quarter them. If you do not have a cutting board with measurements on it, measure out the desired lengths and use blue tape or masking tape to create guides. The goal here is twofold: to create even lengths that will pack neatly into the jar, and to create consistently sized pieces that will pickle at the same rate. 

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