Zucchini Pickles [Recipe]


If you have planted a garden, by the time summer is in full swing, zucchini and summer squash are often so abundant that you just don’t know what to do with them all. 

These are simple refrigerator pickles, so there’s no expertise in canning necessary and no fuss. They are super simple to make, and kids love them.

You can either make them quite sweet or not, depending on your health needs and child’s palette.

Personally, I like to make them sweet and spicy with red pepper flakes so the sugar counterbalances the spiciness. For the kids jars, I simply left out the red pepper flakes. 

You can also use this recipe with cucumbers to make sweet “bread and butter” pickles.

For low oxalate, avoid the turmeric.

For SCD/GAPS, use honey instead of sugar.


6-8 zucchini and/or summer squash
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2-3 cups coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole celery seed
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


Slice zucchini into ⅛ inch discs. (Cucumbers I slice ¼ inch thick because they remain crunchy). But I like the zucchini a bit thinner. It’s all preference.

Cover zucchini slices in cold water with 2 Tablespoons of salt. Soak one hour in the refrigerator. Drain.

Dissolve  vinegar, sugar and spices in a bowl. If you want to keep your vinegar unheated you can do so by stirring the mixture around every few minutes for about 10-15 minutes. (If you don’t have raw vinegar to start with you can heat the vinegar/sugar mix to dissolve the sugar faster. If so, let it cool down for 3 minutes.)

Fill very clean (or sterilized) mason jars with zucchini slices and pour liquid mixture over the vegetables until covered. 

Store in the refrigerator. (Remember, because these are not canned they must be stored in the refrigerator.) They will last approximately a month. 

Let me know what you – and your child – think about these zucchini pickles.

12 servings
85 minutes

Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of BioIndividualNutrition.com. Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


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