Preserve without Canning

Since humans were hunter/gatherers, autumn has been harvest time.    In keeping with Ecoetsians’ choices to reduce our impact on Mother Earth, I’m sure many of you are frantically canning, drying, freezing and preserving before nature dies down for the winter.

Some people find canning too scary, overwhelming, and/or time consuming.    Here are a couple of recipes to get you started in preserving. 

  •  These recipes don’t need to be canned. 
  • You can keep them in the refrigerator. 
  • You can buy the vegetables at the local farmer’s market in order to reduce your carbon footprint. 
  • You can reuse old clean jars;  you don’t need to buy canning jars. 
  • You don’t need special equipment.
  • You don’t get huge, overwhelming amounts of canned food that you may never use.

I have reduced the yield of these recipes to an amount more suitable for the amount you can use without canning.  Feel free to double, triple and can them,  if  desired.

Asian Pickled Carrots and Radishes               makes 2 pints

(Adapted from food blogger Marisa McClellan of

1 c Distilled Vinegar

1 c Water

1 tbsp Coriander Seed

1 tsp Black Mustard Seed

1 tbsp kosher or pickling salt

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp powdered ginger

2-3 fat carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut crosswise into thin slices (about 2 2/3 c) 

1-2 bunches radishes (about 2 2/3 c)  use red or Daikon radishes

2 Star Anise

Combine the water, vinegar, seeds, salt, red pepper flakes and ginger in a nonreactive saucepan over medium high heat.  Mix well, then bring to a boil;  avoid inhaling the steam to prevent coughing. 

Stir in carrots and radishes.  Cook for about 30 seconds, then remove from heat.

Fill pint size jars with the vegetables and brine. leaving about 1/4″ at top.  Put a star anise in each jar.    

Cap jars tightly and put in large pot.  Fill pot with enough water to cover the jars with 1- 2 ” of water.    Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook for 10 minutes. 

Use tongs to remove the jars to a heat proof surface to cool.   Keep in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

1/2 c serving = 25 calories, 5 gms carbohydrates, 0 gms. fat, 0 gms cholesterol, 140 mg. sodium, 2 gms. fiber, 3 gms. sugar

Tired of the same old green beans?  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for several months.

Lemon-rosemary Pickled Green Beans         makes 2 half pints

(Adapted from a recipe at

1 1/4 c water

1 1/4 c white wine vinegar

1 1/3 tbsp. kosher or pickling salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 pound green beans

2 medium cloves garlic

2 sprigs rosemary

4   3″ strips lemon zest

Combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a nonreactive pan and bring to a boil over med-high heat.   Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt.

Trim the green beans so they will fit in the jars.  Short ones will fit in, too.

Place a garlic clove, sprig of rosemary and strip of lemon zest  in each jar.  Divide the beans evenly among the jars, then fill with brine.  Screw on lids tightly.

Place  in large pot.  Fill pot with enough water to cover the jars with 1- 2 ” of water.    Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook for 10 minutes. 

1/4 c serving = 15 calories, 3 gm carbohydrates, 0 gms. fat, 0 mgms. cholesterol, 50 mgms sodium, 2 gms fiber, 0 gms. sugar

Use tongs to remove the jars to a heat proof surface to cool.   Refrigerate 3 weeks before opening.  These will keep in your refrigerator for several months.  But hopefully, they will be gone much more quickly.  I don’t drink these, but I read that they are good replacements for celery sticks in Bloody Marys.

You can start reducing your dependence on commercial  food manufacturers’ over boxed, over packaged, over processed and over salted products.   One day at a time.

This post was written by

moonbeads – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
I strung my first necklace, out of golden rose beads, when I was in high school. I didn't make any jewelry then until I was in graduate school. I saw some earrings I liked, but couldn't afford, so I made some myself. Then, of course, I had all these leftover supplies.... Though I have recycled since the '70s, I was engaged to an Environmental Engineer as an undergrad, which made me a strong environmentalist. I keep working on becoming more and more environmentally responsible every day.



  1. Fermenting foods is also a great way to preserve.. the natural action of the proper bacteria preserves the food but also creates a type of superfood.
    check out the book ‘wild fermentation’