My husband and I absolutely love beets. These hearty root vegetables are full of vitamins and the color can perk up any meal or relish tray.
Most people think of pickled beets when you mention them. While we do enjoy them pickled, especially the little ones, we enjoy them roasted, boiled, in soups and stews, as a slaw type salad with horseradish (let me know if you want that little gem of a recipe), all kinds of ways.
With all that said I will also add that canning beats for winter is one of the most labor intensive vegetables I can. Next to squash and pumpkin.
Here we go:
To make my life easier I wash them and rinse them whole (with their tops & bottoms intact) the night before. If you use your sink, please, bleach clean your sink and rinse well before putting in your beets to scrub. After scrubbing replace your dirty water with clean water and you can soak overnight if you wish.
Beets MUST be pressure canned. So please familiarize yourself with your canner. Know how to properly operate, clean, maintenance, use and store.
As with any canning process make sure you sterilize your jars. I use the boiling method.
It is recommended that beets are preboiled or preroasted before canning. Raw packing is not recommended in most root vegetables.
Do yourself a favor. Wear latex gloves when working with Beets.
I sort my baby beets from my large beets. Cut off the tops leave the root to prevent maximum bleedout, and put in two separate pots. Add water to cover and a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water (also helps with bleeding). Cook them approximately 30 min. Less for the baby ones. Move to cold water and slip off the skins. Dump the boil water outside and not in your fresh cold water. Just saying.
Cool, cut off the root & peel off the skin and cut up. You cut up beets to improve and even out heat throughout. Baby beets are small enough that they can be left whole. However, all needs the roots cut off & the skins removed.
Now that you are totally exhausted, we begin the packing and processing process.
Pack your beets into sterilized jars. Cover with fresh boiling water leaving 1/2inch of headspace. Optional: add 1/2 tsp salt per pint / 1 tsp per quart; add 1 tablespoon vinegar per pint/ 2 tablespoons per quart. This does not create pickled beets.
Prepare and vent your canner as instructed. Pints are pressure canned for 30 minutes quarts are pressure canned for 35 min. These times are started when your pressure meets the specifications for your location sea level. For me its at 11lbs. Yes area hieght makes a difference.
Again do not remove your lid until the button naturally comes down and the pressure gauge show 0 zero pressure.
Remove careful. Let set for 24 hours in a safe place & count your “POPs”. Anything unsealed after 24 hours refrigerate and use first.
Kay L Rice
(References if knowledge come from my Grandma, my mom & from “The Encyclopedia of Country Living)