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The pickling process is a fermentation of vegetables that allows for easier digestion, increased nutrients and greater edible variety. Combining vinegar and spices with cucumbers for a period of time results in the sandwich and snacking pickles we are used to. Many different flavors can be combined to create different pickled cucumber tastes and horseradish is just one of them. You can combine horseradish root with store-bought or canned pickles for added flavor, or make your own pickles from scratch. Making pickles at home no longer takes several weeks with the advent of quick pickling mixes.

Choose the cucumbers you want to pickle. The pickling varieties ripe for canning are dark green, with many warts and no developed seeds yet. They are not bloated or distended, which leads to crisper pickles.

Sanitize your canning jar in the dishwasher and the lid in a boiled water bath. Sanitizing your can prevents contamination in the pickling process.

Boil your pickling mix with vinegar. The pickling mix can be purchased from a grocery store -- look for a “quick process” sweet pickling mix. Add about 4 cups of vinegar unless the directions on the pickling mix packet say otherwise to a non-metal pot with the spices. Heat the mixture until simmering. Simmer for about five minutes.

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Cut the ends off the cucumbers and cut the cucumbers into spears or rounds.

Pack the canning jar by adding the 3/4 cup prepared horseradish to the jar, filling it with the cut pickles, and pouring the hot vinegar solution into the jar until the solution is 1/4 inch from the mouth.

Process the jar by sealing with the lid and boiling the sealed jar in a water bath for 10 minutes. This process enables the spices to flavor the pickles.

Cool the jars overnight after using the tongs to remove them from the water bath and wait at least 24 hours for the spices to set in. For greater flavor wait two weeks or more.

Tip

Add mustard, dill or other spices along with the horseradish for a more developed flavor.

This recipe makes one jar of sweet horseradish pickles. Multiply by the amount you desire to make more.

Warning

Check the seal on the jar after letting it cool overnight. If the jar lid can be pressed and pops in and out, it is not sealed thoroughly. Place the jar in the fridge for immediate use or re-process the can if that is the case.

Boiling water can cause painful burns.

About the Author

Annelies de Groot

Annelies de Groot was first published in 2007. She has contributed to local east coast papers and has worked for environmental and educational nonprofits. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's College in Maryland.