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

How To Make The Easiest Pickled Beets

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If you enjoy pickled beets this is the easiest recipe and the only one you will need.

Once finished you can give your pickled beets away as Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts etc.

Of course, you have to save some jars for yourself.

Let me show you how it’s done.

pickled beets recipe

Pickling Beets Is The Easiest Kitchen Recipe

I never thought the day would come where I took on the challenge of pickling beets, but here I am sharing my fantastic 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, 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.

If you don’t grow them yourself, the great thing about beets is that the price is 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 whole year, and I won’t have to spend $4 a jar every month at the grocery store. 

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 controlling 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 have pickled beet fans on your Christmas list, this recipe makes a fantastic gift.

What Are Pickled Beets?

Pickled beets are 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 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 a bit of tomato paste for flavour.

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 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 in a pot of water, crockpot, oven, or even instant pot beets will work.

Don’t overcook the beets as you’ll lose the nutrients as you would in any other vegetable 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.

In 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, 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 used 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.

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

If you can’t find them, you can find mason jars on Amazon Canada; however, they are 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 repeatedly.


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

I brought my 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, excellent 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.

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 I use at the bottom of my pickled beets recipe are optional.

Suppose 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, 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 before it doesn’t cut into the recipe prep time.

If you want to sterilize using the stovetop method, add your jars to a big pot and fill them with cold water until covered.

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

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

Both methods work efficiently; 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 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 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’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, followed by 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 adequately sealed; however, if there’s a jar that doesn’t seal, 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
 
Recipe Type: Beets
Cuisine: Canning
Author: Mr.CBB
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 7
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)
  • 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/4 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 go by very fast.

Once you’ve got it down, you won’t even know you’re doing it, and you’ll have plenty 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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7 Comments

    1. Hi Liz,
      It all depends on the size of your pot, the size of your beets and how many beets you put in your pot. I boil them just before fork-tender, drain and then peel with your hands. I’ll add this to the post if I haven’t as it’s been a bit since I wrote it and I forget. I hope that helps. Actually, I’ve gone back and everything you need is in the blog post. The Brine Recipe is there. Although I used 10lbs of beets you might not so I go with just before fork tender which I wrote in the post too. If you need any further help let me know. It truly is so easy to make and delicious.

  1. I’m not understanding why you would be boiling the water around open jars and putting the lids on after. To water-bath can, don’t you have to have the lids on with water over the lids?

  2. I’m very interested in following your recipe, to make my family some tasty pickled beets. However, I don’t want to mess up, all because I misunderstood a portion of the directions. So, if I have brand new mason jars, that have never been opened, do I still need to sterilize them? And does the sterilization step, somehow, help in the pickling process?

    I thank you kindly, for sharing all of your knowledge of beet greens, beet roots, and all of the necessary steps to take, in order to make the pickled beets!

    1. Hi Leonora,
      Yes, you need to rinse the new jars out and sterlize them before you use them. I hope that helps and let me know how you make out. I finished 12 jars last week and I grew the beets this year. YUM>

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