If you like what you see here, like me on facebook and follow me on twitter for more tips and to follow what is going on at the Home Front!

How to Make and Can Old Fashioned Pickled Beets!

By Stephanie Dayle
I originally wrote and published this article for American Preppers Network and have moved it here to my personal site and updated the information, of course with permission. 

It’s that time of year when the beets in your garden should be finishing up. When I was a kid our choices were to eat them fresh, which I loved, or pressure can them, and I despised eating canned beets. They were the source of many late nights at the dinner table while I stared down the “you may not get up until you eat your beets” ultimatum.
As an adult I learned that they could also be pickled, my mom was not fond of pickled beets so she never preserved them that way (you can also dehydrate them but that’s another article). I love old fashioned pickled beets, they are by far one of my most favorite snacks and side dishes! They are a far cry from their pressure canned counterparts. Want to try something unique? Slice them thinly (or 'french' them if you are familiar with that slicing technique) and apply them to a sandwich featuring cured meat, like salami.
And by “old fashioned” I mean they are pickled using a sweet brine with traditional ingredients. 
Row of beets

Why Grow Beets?
For some beets are an acquired taste - like coffee or beer. This means you should keep trying them even if your first impressions weren't really good. The taste will grow on you, as your taste buds learn to appreciate the flavor. Why bother? Because they are a great survival food in your garden to name just one reason, so keep reading oh great finicky one.
Beets are a quick growing, hardy root vegetable. They are cold hardy so beets are a great crop to get in the ground as soon as possible for an early harvest giving you food when nothing else is ready yet. Beets can be steamed, roasted (my favorite), grilled, shredded for salad, and of course they can be preserved by being canned or pickled. 
They are also packed with potassium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins! In other words, they are really good for you (and for any of you who are a possible 'mom-to-be'). Beets are also really good for livestock and are often fed to cattle, horses, and are also good for chickens. The greens are completely eatable and are often prepared like ‘collard greens,’ beets can also be juiced or dehydrated. Pigs, cattle, chickens and horses also enjoy the greens so nothing goes to waste. Click here for heirloom beet seed.
Here is a quick ‘how to’ on canning pickled beets!

Canning Pickled Beets

(recipe courtesy of the Ball Blue Book)

  • 3 quarts beets (double recipe if you have more)
  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 1/2 Tbsp of whole cloves (I add this is variation of the recipe)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups vinegar (use cider vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 C water

Remove tops and roots, then wash beets.
To peel beets: Cook beets for 20-30 in a large stock pot or canner (like pictured above), until you can just barely stick a fork them, then run them under cold water or stick them in a tub of cold water and peel them easily with your hands. 

  • Wash beets, cook beets, peel and then quarter beets.
  • Combine everything except beets in large sauce pot.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks.
  • Pack beets into hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  • Ladle hot liquid over beets leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles, then add lids and bands.
  • Process for 30 minutes in a hot water bath canner.
  • Yield: Approximately 6 pints or 3 quarts.

All ingredients combined and simmering – this is the sweet brine ready to go!
Sterilized jars filled with peeled beets – ready for the brine.
Water bath canner full of jars.
Finished product.
**This recipe and process is approved for safety – I even asked the WSU Extension Office if adding a few cloves was ok – they said it would not alter the safety of the recipe. Many people have written articles about pickling beets on the internet, any similarities are merely coincidence.**

Most Popular Posts