Gut in a pickle? Here’s how to improve gut health with quick pickling
12/24/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

Pickles give sandwiches a satisfying crunch and a hint of acidity that complements various flavors. But it takes a long time to pickle something. Fortunately, there is a method called quick pickling.

To meet your cravings for crunchy, sweet and tart veggies that also boost your gut health, try this simple food preparation method.

What is quick pickling?

According to chef and best-selling author Samin Nosrat, great food contains acid, fat and salt. Home cooks who want to level up their dishes can try chef Nosrat's simple formula for flavorful foods.

Quick pickling allows you to add acid to any dish. Chefs often use this method to give dishes with different flavors a sense of cohesion.

If done properly, quick pickling will produce food that's good for your digestive health. Usually, chefs quick pickle by tossing vegetables in a boiled mix of vinegar, spices and water.

However, if you skip the boiling step and use apple cider vinegar, you can enjoy all the benefits of a tart and tangy rockstar among superfoods. Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar is good for digestive health and that it can help you absorb more nutrients from foods that you pair with it. Those looking to eat healthier can pair apple cider vinegar with different kinds of nutritious veggies.

There's more to pickling than just cucumbers. If you're unsure where to start, use almost any hearty vegetable that you can safely eat raw, such as:

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Radishes
  • Red onion
  • Sliced ginger


Quick pickling preserves the original flavor of vegetables, but the resulting product has a more acidic, fresher and brighter taste. Consider this when using quick-pickled veggies in your dishes.

You can let the vegetables sit in the pickle mixture overnight.

If you're in a hurry, you can slice the veggies as thin as possible to expose more surface area to the pickle mixture. When you're ready to cook, put the vegetables in a bowl then toss them with some apple cider vinegar until they're well-coated.

For sweeter pickled veggies, add a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. The sweetness will help balance the acidity of the vinegar and bring out the natural sugars of the vegetables. Set the mixture and veggies aside until you're ready to serve them. (Related: How to quickly pickle a variety of veggies.)

Alternatively, you can store quick pickles in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for at least one week. Refrigerated quick pickles can be used to give certain dishes a flavor boost.

  • Garnish a savory quiche with pickled red onions.
  • To make a tasty summer salad, add pickled shaved asparagus to leafy greens, fresh berries and cracked black peppercorns.
  • Upgrade a simple pan-fried rice dish by adding shredded pickled ginger.

Quick pickling is also best for extending the life of produce that's been sitting around in your fridge. You're not just reducing your food waste, you're also making yummy pickled veggies that give salads and sandwiches that exciting combination of crunchy, sweet and tangy taste.

Recipe for homemade quick pickles

Below is a simple recipe for quick pickles that should be done after a couple of hours.


  • 2 cups vegetables (e.g., 1 cup sliced carrots and 1 cup green beans)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Place the vegetables in a clean 20-ounce glass jar. Use a jar made from thick glass that can withstand near-boiling water.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Let the mixture cool slightly, then pour it over the vegetables.
  4. Cover the jar. Refrigerate for six hours or overnight.

Enjoy the gut-healing benefits of apple cider vinegar and serve tastier dishes with quick-pickled veggies.

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