How to Pickle Vegetables and Avoid Food Waste

Pickling is a great way to preserve vegetables and keep space in the freezer for ready- made meals. Peel root vegetables like carrots. Chop cucumbers and carrots into batons and thinly slice or grate veg like onions.

You will need to mix a brine of half water, half vinegar to preserve your vegetables in. Any vinegar is fine, such as white, malt, apple cider or rice. However, avoid balsamic or an aged vinegar. The final two ingredients are salt and sugar, the vinegar kills and bacteria and the salt is a preservative.

You can add things like garlic, chilli flakes and herbs and spices to your pickling mix to make it fancier.

A Zero Waste Life. Pickling


  • Chopping board

  • Knife

  • Jam jars

  • Pan

  • Jug


  • Root vegetable, courgette, cucumber which you want to pickle

  • Tbsp. salt

  • Tbsp. Sugar

  • 500ml water

  • 500ml vinegar

  • Additional herbs or spices, as desired

A Zero Waste Life. Pickling


1. Prepare your jars by cleaning them and their lids. Wash thoroughly and heat jar and lids in an oven to sterilise and fully dry. Make sure inside of lids are clean and mould free if you are reusing jars.

2. Prepare your vegetables by chopping them as desired

3. Tightly pack the veg into the jar, leaving about 2 cm room at the top of the jar

4. Make the pickling liquid by heating the vinegar and water on a high heat in a pan. Add any herbs or spices at this point

5. Pour the brine over the veg. You may be left with spare, so this can be used to create another batch

6. Tap on the side of the jar to remove air bubbles

7. Screw on the lid, as tightly as possible

8. Allow to cool and refrigerate. These improve taste with age, so leave them at least 48 hours before eating them

These store in the fridge for up to two months.

Did you follow these instructions?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #azerowastelife!

A Zero Waste Life. Pickling

This article links in with a weeklong Zero Waste food challenge, which aims to produce Zero Food Waste, which you can partake in whenever you like.