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How to Make Pickled Beets

These pickled beets are just awesomely delicious!
One of the most beautiful things in the garden is the beet! The fuchsia-red colored bulbous root (they can also be white, yellow, and pink) are fun and easy to grow, and they’re jammed packed with nutrients, flavor, and texture that makes this superfood just so amazing!

A little bit about our friend, the beet (from Superfoods for Superhealth)-

“One of the major benefits of beet juice is that it contains the mentioned group of powerful antioxidant pigments called betalains. These are components that help to boost the immune system, but also act as anti-inflammatory’s, antifungal’s and detoxification aids. The betalains in raw beet juice are one of the best blood purifiers; cleaning the bloodstream and helping the liver do its job more effectively”. Superfoods for Super Health

Other benefits of beets (from Superfoods for Super Health):

Helps with inflammation
Increases blood flow
Provides energy, good for anemia
Beneficial for reducing high homocysteine levels
Good for eyesight and the skin
Helps maintain a health colon
Increases supply of oxygen to the brain and body
Good for endurance exercise and recovery
Strengthens the immune system
Increases glutathione
Purifies the blood and liver

For real, yo, what’s not to love?

Now that you know just how fabulous beets are, let’s make some pickled beets! This was the first waterbath recipe I ever used, and it’s hard to beet! Hehe! I know, I know, but I couldn’t help myself!

Pickling really depends on the type of vinegar you use. For this recipe, I recommend using apple cider vinegar. It creates a flavor and texture that’s unmatched to the other vinegars. You want to use vinegar that is has a 5% acidity level, or else you may have safety concerns.

For this recipe, we will use the hot pack method, which is processing fresh food in boiling water, then adding the mixture to your sterilized jars to process via water bath caning. This method is used mostly for acidic foods appropriate for a water bath, vs. a pressure cooker.

What you need:

A canner or stock pot

Jars (I use wide mouth quart jars)

Lids & Rings

Jar lifter

Lid Wand

Towel 

Ingredients:

Enough beets to fill your stock pot 3/4 full

4 cups of ACV

1.5 tsp. salt

3-4 cinnamon sticks

2 cups of sugar

12 cloves (or to taste)

This recipe was found on one of my favorite sites, Mother Earth News. I tweeked it slightly to taste.

Cook whole (cleaned) beets in your stockpot. Drain hot water, and rinse & peel under them under cold water.

Place your jars into the canner. Make sure the water level is 1-2 inches over the top of the jars. Bring to a slow boil (this will take a while). 

Place all ingredients (minus the beets) in your stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir until your sugar and salt are fully dissolved.

While your brine is coming to a boil: 

Cut your beets into small chunks, uniform in size.

Place lids in a small saucepan of water, and bring to a slow boil to clean & sterilize them.

If the water in your canner has been boiling, turn the heat down to medium.

Add your chopped beets to your boiling brine, and let it return to a rolling boil.

While your waiting, take out your sterilized jars with your jar lifter, and place them on a towel. Do not place them directly on your counter surface, as the abrupt temperature change will shock your jars.

Keep your water bath on at a medium heat.

After the beets & brine have returned to a rolling boil, they are ready to be added to the jars! Using a slotted spoon, transfer then to each jar, allowing 1/2 inch headspace (usually the bottom ring on the jar). Proper headspace is needed for the expansion of food & to allow for the proper amount of vacuum seal.

Fill the jars with the brine, allowing 1/2 inch headspace, using a soup laddle. Wipe each rim with a clean towel, put on your sterilized lid using the lid wand, and place each jar in the canner!

Your beets need to process for 30 minutes, which begins when your water returns to a rolling boil. When your processing time is up, turn off your heat, and allow the jars to sit in the canner for 5-10 minutes.

Remove your jars with the jar lifter, and place on the towel. Allow enough room in between each jar to let the hot air circulate. Leave for 12 hours.

Test your lid to by gently pressing in the middle. If it gives, you jar did not safely seal. Boil for another 30 minutes.

Store in a cool, dry place, for up to two years. Enjoy!

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