Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Food Preservation Techniques and Recipes: Pickling and Fermentation

Grade Level:
Theme:

Time: About 40 min depending on the amount of food

Activity Overview: Making sure to consume all the food that you buy is a fantastic way to reduce waste and save money. There are many simple ways to help you reduce the amount of food you throw away and help you get a little more organized. To start off, you can make a list of the food that you and your family eat on a weekly basis, as well as the food that is more likely to get thrown away. Make sure to check out our activity on Make Your Own Food Diary to get more information on organizing your meals. 

This activity is done best at home but can be incorporated into the classroom through research activities on food conservation.

Pickle!

When most people hear the word pickling, they automatically think of the standard and traditional pickles. However, food pickling can involve a variety of different foods, not just cucumbers. Historically, people have been pickling eggs, cabbage, carrots and many other food items in order to extend their storage life. Pickling makes this possible due to the high acidity level found in vinegar. Bacteria have a very difficult time surviving in environments with a high acidity level, making pickling an excellent food preservation technique. 

Pickled eggs in vinegar

Materials:

  • Glass Jar(s)
  • Saucepan
  • Eggs (8-10)
  • White or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Salt (2 teaspoons)

*Make sure to disinfect your jars very well before use.

Step 1: Place 8-10 eggs (or however many eggs you would like to pickle!) in a saucepan and fill the pan with water until the eggs are fully covered by about 1- 1 ½ inches.   

Step 2: Cover the pan and turn on the stove to medium heat. Once the water is at a rolling boil, set a timer to 10 min.

Step 3: Once your eggs are cooked, remove from water to cool in a bowl of ice water and peel. 

Step 4: Put a saucepan on the stove and add a cup of white or apple cider vinegar, half a cup of water, a fourth cup of sugar, and two teaspoons of salt. Mix well and bring to a slight simmer. 

Step 5: Gather your jar(s) and fill with your hard boiled eggs. Once all eggs have been placed in the jar(s), cover with vinegar solution. Let your pickled eggs fully season in the fridge for about a week before consuming.

Pickling eggs is a wonderful technique that has been used historically in many different cultures. Due to this there are many different ways to pickle eggs as well as other foods such as cabbage and cucumbers so feel free to get creative and try different recipes to find the one that works best for you!

Ferment!

Food fermentation is an ancient preservation technique that is still commonly used around the world today. Additionally, there have been multiple studies that link fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi to improved gut health and an improved immune system. If you wish to try making your own fermented recipe, you can search the internet to find a recipe that works best for you. Due to the long history of this preservation technique there are many different delicious recipes to choose from, so do some research to find a recipe that you love. Feel free to also click on any of the links below!

Kimchi recipe

https://www.koreanbapsang.com/baechu-kimchi-napa-cabbage-kimchi/

https://www.feastingathome.com/how-to-make-kimchi/

Sauerkraut recipe

https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124

https://www.thespruceeats.com/homemade-german-sauerkraut-1447249

*For safety purposes make sure to follow any recipe you may find very carefully and make sure to keep all equipment and kitchen area fully disinfected. Additionally, make sure to keep all final products in an airtight container in the fridge to reduce the chance of contamination and unwanted bacteria.

Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
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