You either love them or hate them. Personally, I’m not a huge fan, but my husband is, so I still find the need to grow them and preserve them.
But what I do find great about beets is that they prefer cold weather temperatures. If you raise them in the heat they become woody and odd tasting.
So I can grow beets and preserve them during the winter months (because of where we live, and I can grow beets in winter) when I don’t have as much going on around our home or homestead. This is great news!
Keep in mind, if you have a greenhouse, you can grow beets almost any time of the year as well, regardless of where you live.
Which is why I embrace canning beets, though they aren’t my favorite vegetable. Are you curious how you can preserve beets too?
Well, I have all kinds of resources for you. Let’s get started:
Method #1 – Canning Regular Beets
When it comes to preserving beets, you have two basic choices. You can either pickle them or can them. The first method I’m going to share with you is how to can your beets. It is really simple (though slightly time-consuming.)
But at least you’ll know how to do it, so you can decide if it is worth your time or not.
Keep in mind, you’ll need about 3 pounds of beets to create one quart of canned beets. With that aside, let’s get started!
1. Clean Up the Beets
You’ll begin by cleaning up your beets. You want to trim the tops of the beets down to only about an inch or two long.
Then you’ll need to leave the roots attached. When you’ve got the trimming done, it is time to give the beets a bath. You’ll want to run them under cold water and use a vegetable cleaning brush to scrub away any dirt, grime, or unwanted pests.
Once your beets are cleaned and trimmed, then you are ready to move on.
2. Take Them for a Dip
Now, while scrubbing your beets, you’ll want to put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Why you might ask? Because of this step in the process we are going to explore now.
You’ll want to place your clean beets in a pot on your stove. Then take the boiling pot of water and pour it over your beets.
Naturally, this will make your boiling water stop boiling. So you’ll want to turn your stove on high heat and bring the water and beets back to a rolling boil.
Then allow the beets to continue to boil for anywhere from 20-45 minutes. I realize this is a huge jump in time, so let me explain.
When you grow beets, you’ll have beets of all different sizes. If you are canning a larger quantity of beets, it is probably good practice to sort them by size first and go through this boiling process based on size.
The reason is that your smaller beets will probably only need to boil for about 20 minutes until you’ll begin seeing the skins start to curl, so you know they’ll be easier to come off.
But if you have larger beets, you may need to boil them for closer to 45 minutes before you see the skins start to curl which equates to easier peeling.
Either way, when you begin seeing the skins start to curl to where you know you can remove them with ease, you can remove the beets from the stove.
3. Skin Them
Now, you want to remove the beets from the water and allow them to cool. Again, there is a trick. You want them to cool off to where you can safely handle them, but you don’t want them to get cold prior to packing them in the jars for food safety reasons.
So just be aware of this when allowing your beets to cool. When the beets are cooled enough to handle safely, you will begin to peel the skins off of them.
Once they have been skinned, trim off the rest of the top and root.
Now, it is important to look at the size of the beet during this process. If you have a small beet, then you can just leave it whole for canning.
But if you have larger beets, then you should cut the beet into one-inch cubes for safe canning practices.
Also, check the widths of the beets as well. You just don’t want anything overly large going into the jar to ensure that there are no heating issues during the canning process.
Once your beets are skinned and cubed, you are ready to move on.
4. Pack Them
Before packing the beets into the jars, you’ll want to add 1 teaspoon of canning salt per quart jar. Then you can add your small or cubed beets to the hot, clean, and sanitized jar. Add boiling water to fill the jars, leaving one inch headspace. Be sure to use your canning knife to slide down the side of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.
Then you’ll want to add a fresh lid and ring that have been heated for sanitation purposes. Be sure that you secure them tightly to make sure the lid doesn’t come flying off during the canning process.
Once you’ve got this done, your jars are ready to enter the canning process.
5. Can Them
Next, you will place the jars in the canner and be sure to follow the instructions for your pressure canner to make sure that you have the safest canning experience possible.
However, you should can your beets under 10 pounds of pressure for 35 minutes.
6. Wrap it Up
Once your beets have been canned, you’ll need to turn the stove off and wait for the pressure to come down inside the canner. When the pressure valve has dropped, you should be able to safely remove the lid from the canner without fear of an explosion in your kitchen.
Then you need to use a jar grabber to safely remove the hot jars from the canner. You’ll want to set the jars down on a hard surface that has been layered with towels to protect the surface from being scorched.
Once the jars are placed, leave them there for 24 hours, so they have time to cool and seal. When 24 hours have passed, check the jars to be sure that the button in the center of the lids has gone down on every jar to ensure the jars have sealed properly.
When you know they have, you can label them and put them away until you are ready to enjoy them.
Method #2 – Pickling Beets
There are many different recipes for pickling beets. I wanted to pull some of the internet’s best pickling recipes to share with you, so you can decide which ones you want to try.
In short, most pickling recipes, require that you place the beets in a jar, add vinegar, and spices that will eventually pickle the beet.
Then you can the jars of the pickling spices and beets so that they will last and you can enjoy them in the future.
Best Pickled Beet Recipes
Here are some of the internet’s best pickled-beet recipes:
1. Genius Kitchen Pickled Beets
This recipe for pickled beets sounds really delicious! It requires quite a few small beets that will be peeled through a boiling process. Then you add a variety of spices such as ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon into a pot that also includes white vinegar.
From there, you combine the ingredients in a jar. You then water bath preserve them for 12 minutes until done. These pickled beets pack a lot of flavor without a ton of processing.
2. Sweet and Spicy Pickled Beets
This recipe for pickled beets is another one that sounds very delicious. It includes beets, onions, mustard seeds, allspice, cloves, salt, and it is all brought together in apple cider vinegar.
Then you finish off the process by canning the pickled beets in a water bath canner for 30 minutes. The added ingredients of onions and the extra spices make this recipe sound absolutely mouth-watering delicious.
3. Prairie Homestead Pickled Beets
This is another recipe for pickled beets, but this one seems to be more on the simple side as far as ingredients go, but it also sounds fresh and delicious too. So if you like to use simple and fresh ingredients in your canning, then you’ll probably appreciate this recipe.
So it calls for beets, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and honey. Yes, that is really all you need to make these pickled beets. Fresh, simple, and delicious! So give this recipe a try and see what you think.
Well, you now have a few good places to start with making pickled beets and seeing if they could potentially be a new way for you to enjoy an old-timey vegetable.
A Few More Beet Recipes
But before I leave you, I also wanted to give you a few recipe ideas for using your plain canned beets as well. This may inspire you to grow or preserve a new vegetable, so check out these recipes and see what you think:
1. Brown Sugar Glazed Beets
I told you upfront, I’m really not a beet person. But anything brown sugar and glazed really has me second guessing myself.
So if the idea of brown sugar, orange juice, salt, and pepper being poured over a vegetable sounds delicious to you as a side dish, then you’ll want to check out the recipe for them and give it a go to see what you think of it.
2. Harvard Beets
This recipe actually calls for the use of canned beets. You pour the beets out, save the liquid because it will be used later, and then you add some butter, cornstarch, sugar, and apple cider vinegar to the mix.
Then you have one tasty side dish that has so many flavors going for it that it just might knock your socks right off of your feet. Try it and see what you think.
3. Sweet and Sour Beets
I really like the flavor combination that happens in a dish that contains both sweet and salty ingredients. It just sets your taste buds on fire.
Which is why I was drawn to this recipe. It has sugar, white vinegar, butter, salt, pepper, and orange zest. So if you’d like a flavorful side dish that incorporates your beets, then this could be a good option.
Well, you now have so much information to look over and experiment with when it comes to preserving beets. As mentioned, since they can be grown in cold weather, you should have lots of time to experiment during their particular harvest.
However, I’d like to know how you preserve your beets. Then, how do you use them?
We love hearing from you, so please leave us your thoughts in the comment section.