When most people hear pickle, they think cucumber, but you can pickle just about any vegetable, including extra summer squash or zucchini (even the ones that got too big; just peel and trim out the seeds), extra green beans, asparagus, carrots, or cauliflower. Pickled vegetables taste amazing, and they also introduce healthy probiotics into your diet, turning your healthy produce into superfoods. Eating more probiotic foods helps your digestion, and research suggests these foods can fight weight gain and ward off heart disease. Probiotics live in raw, unfiltered vinegars, and although heating the vinegar to make some pickle recipes can kill off the healthy bugs, I've included a few recipes that don't require this step.
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The quickest way to turn extra produce into something special is to make refrigerator pickles (here's how to make refrigerator pickles in minutes), which is essentially adding chopped veggies to a jar of vinegar and spices, and popping them in the fridge for a week or two—that's the best way to keep probiotics in your food, too. But with just a little extra work, you can make some extra-special treats from things you might never have considered—even the weeds growing in your front yard. Here are six weird and wonderful pickles to try.