Refrigerated pickled spring vegetables

Refrigerated spring vegetables are easy to make and will last two weeks in your refrigerator.

Spring is in the air, bringing warmer weather and spring produce. Consider making a batch of refrigerator spring pickles. Your batch of spring pickles will last about two weeks in the refrigerator, because once created, it’s left to brine in the fridge. No processing, not a lot of work, a lot of room for creativity – and you never pull out the canner.

Begin by deciding what vegetables you would like to incorporate into your recipe, consider trying asparagus, parsnips, radishes or peapods, some of spring’s first vegetables. You can also add baby carrots, small flowerets of cauliflower or broccoli, sliced peppers and sliced cucumbers.

Begin by cleaning your work area; cutting boards and utensils, thoroughly wash two or three pint sized canning jars or other heat-resistant containers with tight fitting lids. Once you have decided on a combination of vegetables, thoroughly wash all produce in clean, running water, then chop into desired shapes that you would like to fit into the jars. Since most of these vegetables are small and tender, no cooking is required.

When selecting flavors you can get creative with fresh or dry spices; try mixing and matching fresh or dried herbs and spices together. Add up to two tablespoons per jar. University of Maine Cooperative Extension suggests ideas for dry herbs, including: bay leaves, celery seed, dill seed, mustard seed and pickling. Some ideas for fresh flavor include: jalapeno or habanero pepper, garlic, oregano or horseradish.


  1. Pack your cleaned and cut vegetables snugly into the clean containers you have selected.
  2. Prepare the brine. You may choose either a sweet or sour recipe:

Sour Brine

Sweet Brine

3 cups white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

3 cups white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

3 cups water

3 cups water

3 Tablespoons canning/pickling salt

2 Tablespoons canning/pickling salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups sugar

    3. Bring brine to a boil and let boil for two minutes. Remove from heat.

Finally, fill the jars with the brine to within a half-inch from the top. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator, date and label container. Allow flavor to develop one to two days before sampling. Product will be good for one to two weeks.

Michigan State University Extension recommends following the guidelines recommended for this process, not extending the suggested shelf life in the refrigerator, and not trying to process a product designed for the refrigerator. Enjoy the treats of spring in a new and different way!

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