Pickling is a great way to preserve fruits, vegetables, and even seeds such as those from the nasturtium plant. Nasturtium seeds are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and pickling them can add flavor and texture to various dishes. In this article, we will discuss how to pickle nasturtium seeds step-by-step.
What You’ll Need
Before we start pickling, let’s gather the necessary tools and ingredients:
- Fresh nasturtium seeds
- Vinegar (white or apple cider)
- Salt (preferably pickling salt)
- Sugar (optional)
- Spices (optional)
- Mason jars with lids
Steps to Pickle Nasturtium Seeds
- Collect Fresh Nasturtium Seeds: Gather ripe nasturtium seed pods that have turned a brownish color. Harvesting the seed pods when they are still green will not produce good-tasting pickled nasturtium seeds.
- Clean the Seeds: Remove any remaining bits of stem and wash the seeds thoroughly to ensure there is no dirt or debris.
- Prepare the Brine: Combine one part vinegar, two parts water, and one tablespoon of salt (or pickling salt) in the saucepan. Add sugar if desired for a sweeter taste.
- Boil the Brine: Bring the brine mixture to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve completely.
- Add Spices (Optional): Add spices such as garlic, dill, or mustard seed to the boiling brine for additional flavor.
- Pack the Seeds into Jars: Once the brine has cooled to room temperature, pack the cleaned seeds tightly into the mason jars. Leave about a half-inch of headspace at the top of each jar.
- Pour Brine into Jars: Pour the cooled brine mixture over the seeds, ensuring they are fully covered with the liquid.
- Close the Jars: Seal the jars tightly with their lids and store in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks before consuming.
Tips for Successful Pickling
- Use fresh nasturtium seeds for best results. Old, stale seeds will not produce good-tasting pickles.
- Use vinegar with at least 5% acidity to ensure proper preservation.
- Add sugar if desired for a sweeter taste.
- Use clean, sterilized jars to prevent contamination.
- Leave enough headspace in the jars to allow for expansion during the pickling process.
- Store the pickled seeds in a cool, dark place and consume within six months for optimal flavor.
- Are pickled nasturtium seeds healthy? Pickled nasturtium seeds are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium. They also have antibacterial properties and can aid digestion.
- Can I use other types of vinegar besides white or apple cider vinegar? Yes, you can use other types of vinegar such as red wine vinegar or rice vinegar. However, make sure the vinegar has at least 5% acidity to ensure proper preservation.
- How long should I let the pickled seeds sit before eating them? It is recommended to wait at least two weeks before consuming the pickled seeds to allow for optimal flavor development.
- Should I add sugar to the brine? Adding sugar is optional and depends on personal preference. Sugar can impart a sweet taste to the pickled seeds.
- How long do pickled nasturtium seeds last? If stored properly in a cool, dark place, pickled nasturtium seeds can last up to six months. However, it is best to consume them within three months for optimal flavor.
Pickling nasturtium seeds is an easy and delicious way to preserve this nutritious plant part. With the right tools and ingredients, anyone can pickle their own nasturtium seeds at home. Remember to use fresh, clean seeds, vinegar with at least 5% acidity, and sterilized jars for successful pickling. Adding sugar and spices is optional but can enhance the flavor and make the pickled seeds more enjoyable to eat. Enjoy your homemade pickled nasturtium seeds in salads, sandwiches, or as a snack on their own.