NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Pickle Your Produce

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program (SNAP-Ed)/Family and Community Wellness


Pickle Your Produce

Gardening season is in full swing and you may be wondering what to do with all of your produce.  Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation and is still very popular today.  It is a great way to preserve your food, while adding an interesting twist to any meal.

As with anything, carefully following the instructions is sure to lead to a successful outcome.  While it is great use old family recipes for cooking and baking, be sure to use up to date recipes when canning.  Canning guidelines change every few years, and the newest version is the safest. 

If you are looking for a source of up to date canning recipes for pickling or otherwise, NDSU Extension has a wide array of options. 

Once you have your recipe picked out, here are some general tips for pickling produce:

  • Use 5% vinegar.  The level of acidity in pickled products is directly related to the overall food safety of the product as well as taste and texture.
  • Use canning or pickling salt.  There is non-caking material added to other salts that may cause the brine to be cloudy.  Reduced sodium salt is NOT recommended for pickling.
  • Choose white or brown sugar.  Brown sugar will give the pickled items a darker color and a unique flavor.
  • To increase the firmness of your pickles, you can process cucumbers for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Make sure that the temperature does not fall below 180 degrees.  A candy or jelly thermometer can be used to be sure this happens.

Below is a delicious summertime salad that you can use some of your pickles in.  Enjoy!

Quick and Cool Summer Salad



  • 14 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 can green beans (16 ounce, drained, or other vegetable)
  • 1 can tuna packed in water (6.5 ounces, drained and flaked)
  • 1 cup cheese (diced)
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickles (diced)
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced)
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, light
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions and drain.  Add vegetables, tuna, onions, cheese, and pickles.  Mix yogurt, salad dressing, lemon juice, salt and seasoned pepper.  Toss with macaroni mixture.  Chill before serving.  Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

Makes 8 servings.  Each serving contains 374 calories, 10 grams of fat, 541 mg sodium, 51 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, and 18 grams protein.


  • Making Pickling Products, NDSU Extension, November 2017
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