How To Make Watermelon Rind Pickles


What is the fun of summer without eating melon, at least once, twice or as often as you like?!

At the beach, in the backyard or a park, near a pool or, very carefully, inside your home…

Watermelon can be extremely messy (in the best way possible), that’s what makes it the perfect outdoor food.

But what about the watermelon rind?

It seems that once the sweet red or delicious yellow flesh is gone, there is still a lot of perfectly edible food to be thrown away.

Naturally, if you have chickens, they will enjoy pecking at the rind till there is nothing left but a green shell. Goats will devour it one and all. The compost can handle a little extra sweet moisture as well.

Without a compost pile, or some farm animals to clean your plate, the next best way to preserve as much food as you possibly can, is to find other ways to make it downright enjoyable.

So, before you throw out all that nutritious watermelon rind in the trash, remember the principles of zero-waste and think of watermelon rind pickles. It will change your life for the better!

Benefits of eating watermelon

Eating watermelon in summer is an excellent way to stay hydrated under the blazing sun. After a long afternoon of gardening, you are going to need a treat to keep you going.

Staying hydrated is not the only benefit of eating watermelon. You can also choose to eat watermelon because of the health promoting reasons below:

  • watermelons are high in vitamin C and are wonderful seasonal fruits (technically berries!)
  • they contain large amounts of antioxidants, including cancer-fighting lycopene
  • watermelon may improve heart health
  • and relieve muscle pains – watermelon is a post-workout cure

Watermelon is undoubtedly best when chilled and served fresh, though it is also perfect in drinks, smoothies, cocktails, sorbets, salads, salsa and of course, watermelon rind pickles.

Don’t forget to eat the seeds!

If you have yet to cook and eat the watermelon rind, either on the sweet candied watermelon rind or the sour side, we have to ask: are you eating your watermelon seeds?

Do you spit them out one by one, or spoon them onto your plate as you attempt to carefully dissect the melon?

Never fear, watermelon seeds are perfectly edible and good for you too. They contain essential B vitamins, as well as zinc, magnesium and potassium. If you are setting them aside, you are missing out on a free source of vitamins and nutrients.

Gather some courage and get ready to sample them the next time you get a juicy watermelon, here are 3 ways to eat watermelon seeds outside of fresh consumption.

Recipes for watermelon rind pickles

There are several recipes for watermelon rind pickles floating around the internet. So much so, that it can be hard to choose the right one.

Dare to ask yourself, what if there is no right one? Or no wrong one either?

Basically all watermelon rind pickles are made the same way, with different spices.

So, choose your favorite spices from the list and taste the magic that happens when you combine them, keeping in mind that less is more:

  • cinnamon stick
  • star anise
  • cloves
  • mustard seeds
  • celery seeds
  • allspice
  • red pepper flakes
  • ginger

With cooking and canning experience, comes the wisdom to know just how much spice is enough.

If you are new to canning and preserving food, it is wise to keep a recipe in mind, follow it, then decide just how much you love it before searching for the next one.

Always keep an open mind when attempting to can anything new (to you). You may enjoy a new recipe so much, that next year you plan to plant all the ingredients you need in your very own backyard.

The watermelon rind pickle recipe you are here for today includes apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, coriander seeds and finely sliced lemon.

Ingredients for watermelon rind pickles

First things first, to minimize bacteria in your melon rind pickles, you should be scooping out the melon flesh from the rind with a clean spoon.

From there you can put it in salads or refreshing watermelon lemonade. Refrain from making pickles out of watermelon slices that people have eaten directly off of.

Though Grandma may approve of being thrifty, your preserved jars may say otherwise. Don’t be the one to make any of these common canning mistakes.

Keep it clean and start with fresh watermelon rind. Then make sure to gather your other ingredients.

  • 8 cups cut watermelon rind
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • whole organic lemon, finely sliced

To start, all you need is the prepared watermelon rind, salt and water.

Step-by-step: canning watermelon rind pickles

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Additional time: 12+ hours

To preserve 4 pints of watermelon pickles, 8 cups of watermelon rind should be enough.

But, to make sure that you have enough to fill your jars correctly, it is acceptable to add 1/2 cup more. If you have leftover pickles that cannot fit into your canning jars, then you have a taste of what is to come. It’s going to be great, isn’t it?!

Did you know that you can also slice up the watermelon rind and use it in a stir-fry?

Or that you can add it to a stew?

Both are a great ways to devour the whole watermelon and save some money too. You can even grate the watermelon rind, using it raw in salads.

But, for now, pickles.

Step 1: Preparing the watermelon rind

Watermelon rind is not the easiest to cut, but it is entirely worth the effort. You will need strong hands that are skilled with a knife. It also helps to have a cutting board.

First, clean the melon rind by removing much of the pink flesh, wash the pieces in a clean pot of water, then cut the melon rind into strips for easier removing of outer green peels.

Remove the green outer rind before proceeding to cut into pieces.

Step 2: Cutting the watermelon rind into bite-sized pieces

With the rind off, cut the melon into 1/2″ to 1″ size cubes, or into longer strips.

Step 3: Create a salty brine

Place the cubed watermelon rind into a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, ceramic or glass), add the salt and cover the rinds with water.

Let them stay immersed overnight.

Step 4: Wait

Allow the watermelon rind pieces to sit in the salty brine for 12+ hours.

Cover and set them in a cool place, or the fridge if you have space for a large bowl!

After this time has passed, rinse the rinds and drain well before making the sugar-vinegar-spice mix.

Step 5: Simmer the vinegar and spices

In one pot you will bring the sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon stick and coriander to a boil.

Now is the time to add any other spices if you are using them. You can let them float freely or tie the spices in cheesecloth for easier removal.

Simmer this mixture for 10-15 minutes until the flavors begin to take on an aroma of their own. Then strain and discard the solids.

Step 6: At the same time, boil the watermelon rind

Bring the rinsed watermelon rinds to another large pot (or saucepan) and cover with 6 cups of cold water. Let them come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until tender.

Then strain the water, leaving the rinds in the pot.

Step 7: Simmering watermelon rinds in vinegar

Pour the strained vinegar-sugar-spice mixture over the rinds, add the lemon slices, plus 2 cups of water. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes until rinds are just starting to turn translucent.

Step 8: Canning your watermelon rind pickles

Fill your jars with watermelon rind pickles and ladle the sweetly sour vinegar syrup over them, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Be sure to wipe the rims clean and remove any air bubbles that may have formed.

Gently tighten the lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Set the jars aside to cool on a kitchen towel or metal rack.

Be sure that your jars of watermelon rind pickles have sealed before labeling and adding them to your growing pantry.

If you have any that did not seal well, make sure to put those in the fridge and snack on them first.

What to serve watermelon rind pickles with?

Watermelon rind pickles complement a nice cheese tray with an assortment of summer sausages, fluffy biscuits and homemade jams.

Try them next to any grilled items, including pork chops or hamburgers, corn on the cob too.

Plan for a feast and go ahead, enjoy this summer treat!

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Yield: 4 pints
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes

Don't throw away your watermelon rinds! Here's a surprisingly delicious ways to eat them.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cut watermelon rind
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • whole organic lemon, finely sliced

Instructions

  1. Clean the melon rind by removing much of the pink flesh, wash the pieces in a clean pot of water, then cut the melon rind into strips for easier removing of outer green peels. Remove the green outer rind.
  2. With the rind off, cut the melon into 1/2″ to 1″ size cubes.
  3. Place the cubed watermelon rind into a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, ceramic or glass), add the salt and cover the rinds with water.
  4. Allow the watermelon pieces to sit in the salty brine for 12+ hours. After this time has passed, rinse the rinds and drain well.
  5. In one pot bring the sugar, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon stick and coriander to a boil. Add any other spices if you are using them. Simmer for 10-15 mins and then strain and discard any solids.
  6. At the same time, bring the rinsed watermelon rinds to another large pot (or saucepan) and cover with 6 cups of cold water. Let them come to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Strain the water and leave the rinds in the pot.
  7. Pour the strained vinegar-sugar-spice mixture over the rinds, add the lemon slices, plus 2 cups of water. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes until rinds are just starting to turn translucent.
  8. Fill your jars with watermelon rind pickles and ladle the sweetly sour vinegar syrup over them, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Be sure to wipe the rims clean and remove any air bubbles that may have formed. Gently tighten the lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Set the jars aside to cool on a kitchen towel or metal rack.

Notes

Be sure that your jars of watermelon rind pickles have sealed before labeling and adding them to your growing pantry.

If you have any that did not seal well, make sure to put those in the fridge and snack on them first.

The post How To Make Watermelon Rind Pickles appeared first on Rural Sprout.

Source: ruralsprout.com

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