Beets are a fairly easy vegetable to grow in the garden. This past summer we had a great crop and decided to pickle them. We have really enjoyed these pickled beets throughout the winter months.
Healthy benefits of beets
Did you know beets are healthy for you to eat? Beets are high in vitamin C, potassium, and other minerals. Studies show beets may be good for:
- Increase stamina
- Good for your liver
- Possibly boost the immune system.
- May also be a good brain food.
Now, who couldn’t use help with at least one of these things?
So now you have seen how healthy a beet is for you, start your garden plan to plant lots of beets this year.
Easy to grow
Like I said beets are fairly easy to grow. When you open up the package of beet seeds you will notice they are not really tiny so they will not have a lot of energy to get out of the ground. I plant mine about 1/2 in the soil and 1 -2 inches apart. I then step on the row to pack the soil around the seed just like I do when I plant my carrots.
I sprinkle the row lightly to make sure they have enough water to germinate the seed. I want it to soak down and get the seeds wet but not too much water and wash the seeds. Also, it is important to keep moist until they germinate. Our ground tends to crust over so the seed can’t push through if it gets to dry. For this reason I sprinkle the row of beets a couple times a day.
Choosing which variety
How to choose which beets to grow. I look at the package just like I do with the rest of my plants. The area we live in has a short growing season so I choose beets that are quick to mature. I also choose seeds that are good for canning.
When the beets are the right size, (I don’t like them to be really big) it is time to harvest. I pick all the beets and clean them off, top them, and take them into the house. Beets do not keep. It is best to bottle them as soon as they are picked so they will be as fresh and tasty as possible.
Bottling beets is fairly simple and very rewarding. Harvesting goes quickly and the preparation is easy. After picking the beets trim the green tops off of the beet. I say to trim the top off leaving just a little bit of the green. If you cut into the beet it may lose some of the colors during processing.
Wash the beet thoroughly and cook until tender. This will help the beet peel easily. Peel the skin off of the beet and cut into slices or chunks. The sizes you prefer. If the beets are really small you can bottle them whole. Cutting them up helps you get more beets in the bottle.
Place beets into a warm sterilized bottle. (We just run ours through the dishwasher and they are ready to go.)
While the bottles are still warm pour the brine solution over the top of the beets. Follow canning instructions in your Ball Canning Book for times of processing at your altitude. We processed ours from the time it started to boil for 15 minutes.
These are so yummy. Enjoy pickled beets throughout the year!
- 4 quarts Beets Cooked until slightly tender
- 3 cups Apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 3 inch stick of cinnamon
- 1 tsp whole allspice
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp salt
Wash beets, cover with water and cook until tender, drain, remove skins. Combine remaining ingredients, bring to a boil simmer 15 minutes, pack beets into hot jars, pour boiling syrup over beets to within 1/2 inch of top. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
We have enjoyed our beets through the whole winter. We had enough to can for ourselves and still share with family members. We enjoyed bottling them together. Well … I enjoyed playing with the grandkids while my daughters did all of the work.
I hope you enjoy my blog post. I would love to hear from you, just leave your comments below. And as always feel free to share with a friend.