I have beets coming out of my ears right now, so this is a timely post! If you plan to use a water bath canner to preserve your beets, pickling is an important part of the process. (Otherwise, you’ll need to use a pressure canner, since beets are a low-acid food.) I love this tutorial from Annie at Montana Homesteader–especially since it doesn’t require a bunch of sugar–beets are plenty sweet on their own!
My name is Annie Bernauer, the homesteading mama at Montana Homesteader, and I love pickled beets. I love to eat them as a snack and I love to eat them in salads. I love to eat them instead of potato chips and even love to eat them more than chocolate some days! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share how to make and can pickled beets with the Prairie Homestead community. Thank you Jill!
Since I professed my love of pickled beets, you might be wondering why I enjoy them so much. They have a delicious spiced flavor and I just love the tangy zip from the vinegar. In addition to the flavor, pickled beets are full of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, C. They also contain potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and iron. Who doesn’t love a snack that is tasty AND healthy!
A lot of beet recipes out there use white vinegar and lots of white sugar. The beauty of this recipe is that it is made with apple cider vinegar and no sugar! Apple cider vinegar has more health benefits since it is not processed like white vinegar is. White vinegar has a harsh taste, which is why the other recipes often call for lots of sugar. Apple cider vinegar has a sweeter flavor so you can add just a little honey to reduce the tang of the vinegar.
Now that you know why I love eating pickled beets, let’s get started with how to make and can pickled beets!
How to Can Pickled Beets
I always use pint size glass canning jars for pickled beets but you can pack them into any size canning jar you prefer. This recipe makes 15 pints of pickled beets.
- 10 lbs of beets
- 2 small or 1 large cinnamon stick
- 12 whole cloves
- 6 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 to 1 cup honey to taste (optional)
Step 1: Cut the tops off of the beets, leaving about an inch of stem attached to the beet. Leave the root tail intact. Wash the beets clean of dirt. Place the beets in a large pot with water. Boil until tender but not soft. This should take about 30 minutes to one hour depending on the size of the beets. While you’re waiting for the beets to cook, take advantage of the free time and start preserving the beet greens!
Step 2: Rinse the beets in cold water. Slip the skins off. Some of the beet skins don’t slip off as easily so use a paring knife to gently scrape the beet skin off. Cut off the root tail and the top stem. Chop the beets into bite size chunks.
Step 3: Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into a clean pot. Place the cinnamon stick and cloves in a metal tea strainer or tied bundle of cheesecloth. Place the herbs into the pot. Heat until boiling. Boil for 3-5 minutes. If you choose to add honey, stir in honey to taste. Add the beets and stir for a minute, then remove from heat. Remove the herb bundle from the pot.
Step 4: Using a canning funnel, pack the beets into hot sterilized glass canning jars to within 1/2″ of the top of the jar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the jars until the beets are just covered.
Step 5: Place a sterilized canning lid and ring on each jar. Process the jars in a hot water bath canner for 30 minutes. Adjust this time according to your altitude. (I always reference this handy free downloadable altitude chart from the Ball website) Once they’re processed and the jars are sitting out to cool down, you can sit back and listen to the glorious “Ping! Ping!” of all your canning jars sealing.
I always love stocking my pantry with canned pickled beets. Not only because they’re so delicious, but canning pickled beets are usually my first garden harvest to preserve each year. As I put the jars in the pantry, I imagined how wonderful it will be to eat these yummy treats six months from now when it is below zero and snowing outside. I’ll savor every bite and be grateful for the the few hours I spent canning in the kitchen on a hot summer day in July!
More Home-Canned Goodness >>
- How to Use a Water Bath Canner
- How to Use a Pressure Canner
- Honey Cinnamon Peaches (no sugar required!)
- How to Can Homemade Stock or Broth
- How to Can Dried Beans
Annie Bernauer and her family live on a little homestead in Montana. Follow their adventures in modern day homesteading at Montana Homesteader. Annie and her husband also have an Etsy shop where they sell a variety of eco-friendly handcrafts made on their rural homestead.
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