I can’t imagine there’s a parent out there who doesn’t long for ways to get their children eating more vegetables. I’ve tried a variety of approaches with my kids - I’ve boiled them, steamed them and served them raw with ranch dressing. Now that they’re 12, 10 and 7, they continue to resist, and it’s a daily struggle to get enough vegetables into their diet. The best time to get them on the vegetable wagon would have been when they were toddlers learning to eat solid food. Since I missed that window, I decided to take advantage of the next best time … right now!
When I discovered Tastefully Simple’s Refrigerator Dill Pickle Kit, I decided to try a new approach: I’d pickle their vegetables and see if I could get them hooked. What I loved most is that I’m not adding a lot of fat or sugar to their veggies; I’m simply giving them a whole new taste. Now of course I don’t want them only eating cucumbers, so I decided to pickle a whole variety of veggies and have a little taste-testing.
I cut up asparagus, sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and cucumbers. I was nervous about putting them all in the same jar (I was afraid I couldn’t cross flavors), but Jane Nachbor, Tastefully Simple’s director of culinary development, assured me that they’d be OK. Check out the Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables Recipe.
I had the kids help me load the chopped veggies into the jar. We poured in the apple cider vinegar, then had a little dance party in the kitchen while we shook it all up. We stuck the jar in the fridge and waited a couple days for a taste-testing (technically, the instructions specify 24 hours, but time got away from us).
For the taste-testing, we started with cucumbers. The consensus? They tasted like pickles and the kids liked them. I knew that was an easy sell since they were already pickle eaters. The real test was on the other veggies. I pulled out a piece of asparagus and popped it in my mouth. After my daughter gave me an, “Ewww!” (I’m not sure what her hang-up is with the look of asparagus), she and the boys gave it a try. The consensus: they tasted like pickles. As we worked our way through the variety of veggies, we discovered that they all took on the sweet dill taste of the pickle kit. The difference between each veggie was simply its texture and consistency.
Now, I can’t say that my kids are eating these pickled veggies every day. But I get a victory every few days as they grab a few as a snack or on the side of their meal. And I love that the veggies last longer in the jar so I’m not wasting them. Score one for mom!
Tips & Hints:
- Use half apple cider vinegar and half water when filling the jar to make the flavor a little more mellow. Experiment until you find the flavor that best suits you.
- Throw any vegetables you have leftover in your refrigerator into the jar so they don’t go to waste and you can enjoy them as a snack.
- Want a little more easy protein in your diet? Try pickling eggs!