Condiments/Sauces/Dips | Mr.CBB's Frugal Kitchen | Vegetarian

How To Make The Easiest Pickled Beets

pickled beets recipe

Pickling Beets Is The Easiest Kitchen Recipe I’ve Ever Made

I never thought the day would come where I took on the challenge of pickling beets but here I am sharing my amazing recipe with you.

Over the past year, I’ve read numerous pickled beet recipes and have eaten loads of pickled beets from the grocery stores.

I’ve either found them too salty, over-seasoned, or far too much sugar for my liking.

Although I love pickled beets now was the perfect time to take on the Ontario beet in the CBB kitchen.

What are beets?

Beets are naturally sweet and very red in colour and comparable to a potato texture when you cut them open.

Beets have been cultivated since pre-historic times in the Mediterranean area and were originally grown only for their leaves. During the Roman empire, people began to eat the roots as well. Today, beets and beet dishes are still widely popular throughout Europe. – Foodland Ontario

Seasonal Beets In Ontario

raw beets

When are beets in season?

Come October you’ll find beets are at just about every market and grocery store in Canada as they are in abundance.

Although you can buy beets almost every month you’ll find the best prices during the Autumn season.

The great thing about beets if you don’t grow them yourself is that the price is exceptionally low to purchase them.

I’ve bought 10lb bags of red beets from Food Basics for $2.99 which will make me 14 1 litre jars of pickled beets.

That’s enough pickled beets to last me a full year and I won’t have to spend $4 a jar every month at the grocery store. 

To be fair some months I buy two jars because I love pickled beets so much.

Often if I post my dinner on Facebook and there are no beets on my salad I get asked where they are.

My fans know me so well which makes connecting with all of you so enjoyable.

Pickled Beets Prices At The Grocery Store

What I love about preparing pickled beets at home is that I get to control the sugar and seasoning content.

I also get to pick the beets I want to use instead of opening a jar and only finding end pieces or seconds.

That’s the difference between buying the no-name beets or the named brand and I’ve bought both.

Our grocery budget dictates what we can afford and if the named brand pickled beets are on sale, I’ll buy them if not no-name it is.

However, this year I did something wild and crazy and decided to pickle beets on my own.

I’m the only one who eats them in our house so they’re all mine although I’ve already gifted two jars to friends.

If you’re that person who doesn’t know what to buy someone for Christmas gift your friends and family your pickled goods.

What Are Pickled Beets?

Pickled beets are beets boiled until tender, peeled, and then put into jars filled with hot brine and then sealed to ferment or pickle.

If I had to describe the taste and texture of pickled beets I’d say sweet and textured like a potato but they are red and delicious.

You can even enjoy beets boiled with salt and butter or baked in the oven as you would a potato.

Borsch is a popular beetroot soup recipe from Russia that comes highly recommended during the beet season in Ontario.

I absolutely love winter beet salads especially mixed with grated carrots and nothing more.

Different Types Of Ontario Beets

sliced beets

According to Foodland Ontario, we have various types of beets that grow in Ontario such as;

  • Detroit Rubidus
  • Red Ace
  • Ruby Queen; topped, for processing
  • Avenger; for both uses
  • Big Red
  • Supra
  • Pacemaker 3

If you miss out on beet season you can still buy beets in the cans at the grocery store which are packed full of vitamins such as iron, folate, and fibre.

Eating beets from the can is delicious, I won’t lie. I’m a beet fanatic and can eat them any way they are presented to me.

Store your beets in a root cellar or dry place as you would potatoes or you can wrap them in a paper towel in the refrigerator crisper.

Beet Greens

greens from beets

Are beet greens edible?

Beet greens are edible and cooked the same way any other green is cooked and that’s by steaming and sauteeing.

You’ll find that beet greens are very tender and sweet and cook up better than any other green you’ve had before.

You can sautee beet greens with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and even add in a bit of tomato paste for flavour.

Personally, I like sauteed beet greens as they are but with a bit of garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and then sauteed in a pan.

Beet Greens Nutrition

No Fat or Cholesterol: Beet greens are nutritious as they are rich in Vitamin K, copper, manganese, iron and calcium, but they are great for maintaining a healthy weight, as they contain zero saturated fat and cholesterol. – Source

Beet Nutrition

The Health benefits of beets make enjoying them even more enticing.

Beets come loaded with iron, fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and approximately 50 calories for one cooked cup of beets.

Here is an overview of the nutrients found in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked beetroot:

  • Calories: 44
  • Protein: 1.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 6% of the RDI
  • Folate: 20% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 3% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI
  • Phosphorous: 4% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 16% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI

Beets also contain inorganic nitrates and pigments, both of which are plant compounds that have a number of health benefits. –  Source: Health Benefits Of Beets

Uses For Beets

Raw beets are great to great into soups and salads or to use a bright garnish on a dish you are serving.

Peel the beets with a potato peeler and grate the beet using a grater or even food processor.

You can add beets to rice dishes or soups such as Classic Borscht and dips and sauces galore. 

I’ve had a roasted beet and hummus dip and it was to-die-for.

I’m pretty sure someone has already made a beet ice-cream recipe too!

Beets are also used as food dye or colouring for Easter eggs and anything else you want coloured red, use beet juice!

Various Ways To Prepare Beets

boiling beets

Raw beets are similar in texture to cutting a potato as it’s a root vegetable and crunchy until it’s boiled, steamed, or roasted.

Cooking beets can be done in a pot of water, crockpot, oven or even instant pot beets will work its magic.

Just don’t overcook the beets as you’ll lose the nutrients as you would in any other vegetable that is prepared the same.

Types Of Pickling Jars and Tools

 

Norpro Canning Set is one of those essentials when you pickle anything and something I was told to buy from a reader of mine.

The first batch of pickled beets that I made I used tea towels to remove hot jars from my pot of boiling water.

You can do it this way as well but having the canning accessories will make a world of difference and they are inexpensive to buy.

We tend to wash and hang on to glass jars for pickling which I did use for the first batch of pickled beets that I made.

mason jars

I did run out so I purchased 3 cases of Bernadine 1 litre wide-mouth canning jars from Canadian Tire for $16.99 a case.

To be honest I felt that was very reasonable considering just buying a used 1 litre canning jar at a second-hand shop is $2.99.

Anyways, if you can’t find them you can find mason jars on Amazon Canada however more expensive but worth it.

As for the rings and lids you can find them at the Dollar Store but if not just about any grocery store carries them.

You won’t want to reuse the sealed rings but you can use the metal ring lids over and over again.

 


Lastly, you’ll need a large, heavy stockpot which will make the process of pickling beets easy.

I brought my set of pots to Canada when I moved from the UK so I did have a large pot to boil and then seal my jars.

The good thing about spending money on pots and pans is that they will last you a long time.

Spend the money once instead of over and over again on products you use daily.

Storage Options For Pickled Beets

cold room

I’ll store my pickled beets in our cold room as they are sealed however you can also store them in the refrigerator.

Typically a dry, cool spot is the best place to store pickled beets or raw beets.

Types of Vinegar For Pickling Beets Recipe

Almost all pickled beet recipes you read will either use white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar to make pickled beets.

I used the white distilled vinegar for this recipe as our homemade crab apple cider vinegar is still fermenting on our counter.

To be fair both would be delicious so use whichever you like best for this recipe.

Price points on the vinegar will differ with the white vinegar being the least expensive of the two which makes it economical.

Spices for Pickled Beets and Brine Water

Pickled Beetroot steps

All spices for the brine or that I use at the bottom of my pickled beets recipe are optional.

If you’re not keen on adding any sugar, don’t. Pickled beets with no sugar are still delicious.

The Ultimate Spice Guide List

How To Make Easy Pickled Beets

low sugar pickled beets

I used a 10lb bag of beets for this pickled beets recipe and a massive pot filled with cold water.

To boil beets simply give them a rinse under the water whether you fresh pick them or buy them as I have at the supermarket.

If you have the beet greens still attached you’ll want to cut and remove them but do not discard them as they are edible as mentioned.

Preparing Jars For Pickled Beets

oven sterilizing jars

I cleaned my 1 litre jars and then put them in the oven on low 200 degrees for 30 minutes to sterilize them. 

The lids I also sterilized but in a pot of hot water for the same amount of time.

You can do all of this ahead of time so it doesn’t cut into the recipe prep time.

If you want to sterilize using the stove-top method add your jars to a big pot and fill with cold water until covered.

Leave them to boil for 15 minutes to completely sterilize them.

Remove from the water before you need to fill them and dry them on a tea towel.

Both methods work easily however I prefer the oven method to sterilize my canning jars.

Use A Big Pot To Boil Beets

The pot I used was big enough for 10lbs of raw beets and then I filled it with cold water just to cover the beets and bring them to a boil.

Boil the beets for 10-15 minutes until they are fork-tender but nothing more or they will become too mushy.

Remove the pot from the stovetop and pour the cooked beets into a colander to drain the water.

How To Peel Cooked Beets

boiled beets

You can use gloves if you want to protect your hands from getting red from the beet juice but I did not.

The beets will still be hot when you peel them however the beet peels should fall right off in your hands with a bit of a peel.

Another method is to cover the cooked beet with a paper towel and give it a rub and the beet peeling will fall off.

Once you have all of the beets peeled let them cool for a few minutes while you tidy up the beet peels.

Ways To Cut Beets For Pickling

cutting beets

Get out a cutting board and a sharp knife along with a large bowl and slice your beets however thick you want them to be.

Slice the beets around 1/2 inch thick sometimes more or less depending on the shape and size of the beet.

crinkled pickled beets

You might like to have thin beets and if you have a mandolin you can slice the beets to get them to a thinner consistency.

Beets can also be cut with a wavy knife or crinkle cutter which we have and I’ll use for my second batch of pickled beets.

Packing Beets Into Jars

pickled beetroot recipe

After the mustard and coriander seeds are added to the bottom of the jars follow with the sliced beets.

Do not fill the beets to the top as you’ll want to leave room for the brine and expansion if needed.

Add the clean jar seal and lid and leave the jars on the counter until you hear them pop.

The popping sound means they have sealed properly however if there’s a jar that doesn’t seal simply refrigerate it.

That will be the jar of pickled beets to eat first and lasts up to three months in the refrigerator for the best quality.

One canned you can store pickled beets for the rest of your life but they won’t last that long. haha!

Anything prepared and pickled should last years in a root cellar.

Making Pickled Beets Recipe

The printable recipe for the pickled beets is at the bottom of this blog post.

Pickled Beetroot

Pickled Beets Ingredients

  • 7 sterilized 1- Litre Jars including lids and rims
  • 10lbs raw beets
  • cold water (to cover beets when boiling)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (each jar)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (each jar)
  • 1 whole clove (each jar)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns (optional) (each jar)
  • For the Brine
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 10 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 Star anise (remove before pouring into jars)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp Pickling Salt or Kosher

Method for Making Pickled Beets

  • Sterilize 7 x 1 Litre Jars and as soon as you pull from the oven add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorn seeds, and clove to each jar. (including lids and rims)
  • If you are boiling to sterilize make sure the jars are dry before you add the seeds.
  • Wash your beets and place them in a large pot then cover with cold water
  • Boil the beets for 30 minutes on high just before fork tender (may take longer depending on size)
  • Pour the beets into a colander and run cold water over them to cool them down
  • Put the beets back into the empty pot and fill with cold water until easy to handle
  • Use gloves to peel if you want.
  • Peel with clean hands or use a paper towel to remove the skins
  • Slice the beets around 1/4 inch or to your liking
  • Add the sliced beets to the jars filling them up without squishing them down
  • Pour the hot brine over the top of the sliced beets just until 1/4 inch from the top.
  • Put the filled jars into a large stockpot filled with water to the rim of each jar.
  • Bring the water to the boil, turn off the stove.
  • Remove each jar with your removal tongs and put the sterilized lids and rims over top to close.
  • Wait for the lids to pop which means they are sealed.
  • Any that do not seal put in the refrigerator to eat first.
  • Yield 7 litre jars

How To Make The Easiest Pickled Beets
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Beets
Cuisine: Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Pickled Beets are delicious to eat, easy to make, and budget-friendly for the beet lover. You can also gift pickled beets to your friends for holidays and celebrations instead of buying gifts.
Ingredients
  • 7 sterilized 1- Litre Jars including lids and rims
  • 10lbs raw beets
  • cold water (to cover beets when boiling)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (each jar)
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds (each jar)
  • 1 clove (each jar)
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns (optional) (each jar)
  • For the Brine
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 10 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 Star anise (remove before pouring into jars)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp Pickling Salt or Kosher
Instructions
  1. Sterilize 7 x 1 Litre Jars and as soon as you pull from the oven add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorn seeds, and clove to each jar. (including lids and rims) If you are boiling to sterilize make sure the jars are dry before you add the seeds.
  2. Wash your beets and place them in a large pot then cover with cold water
  3. Boil the beets for 30 minutes on high just before fork tender (may take longer depending on size)
  4. Pour the beets into a colander and run cold water over them to cool them down
  5. Put the beets back into the empty pot and fill with cold water until easy to handle
  6. Use gloves to peel if you want.
  7. Peel with clean hands or use a paper towel to remove the skins
  8. Slice the beets around ¼ inch or to your liking
  9. Add the sliced beets to the jars filling them up without squishing them down
  10. Pour the hot brine over the top of the sliced beets just until ¼ inch from the top.
  11. Put the filled jars into a large stockpot filled with water to the rim of each jar.
  12. Bring the water to the boil, turn off the stove.
  13. Remove each jar with your removal tongs and put the sterilized lids and rims over top to close.
  14. Wait for the lids to pop which means they are sealed.
  15. Any that do not seal put in the refrigerator to eat first.
  16. Yield 7 litre jars

That’s it.

Pickled beets are easy to make although it seems like lots of steps it goes by very fast.

Once you’ve got it down you won’t even know you’re doing it and you’ll be stocked up for a long time.

Discussion: What do you like to do with your beets? Do you like pickled beets?

Leave me your comments or reviews on my recipe if you make it down below and I’ll respond.

Mr.CBB

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