Happy Meatless Monday. Over the weekend we ventured into canning one of our favorite root veggies, pickled beets. For the past several years we have canned lots of different specialties from hot dilly beans to sparkling shiraz salsa, but consistently my favorite one to stockpile for gifting and sharing is pickled beets. Even those who tend to shy away from this rooty little veg find this pickled version a great intro into enjoying beets.
I appreciate canning because it feels original. It feels like I am participating in an activity that is a great equalizer. Regardless of where you stand on the veg continuum, there is something satisfying, comforting and human about wanting to line your shelves with beautifully preserved food.
We brought home a a behemoth bag of organic golden and red beets that had been picked that day. We peeled and chopped them then married them with basic ingredients as old as canning itself. We were rewarded with jar after jar of perfectly preserved edibles.
If you have ever thought about canning but have never tried beets, I think you will enjoy this recipe, it is the best one we have ever found. They are spiced,sweet and lightly pickled. They will elevate your Greek Salad or wake up your weary February palate. They are thoughtful gifts and beets are in season right this very moment.
Our super secret recipe we have always used is straight from the Blue Book, The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing, circa 1802, published by the folks at Ball, who make the canning jars that are sold in most grocery stores. This is definitely a case of don’t mess with perfection. This year we did however try a slightly different version by making the traditional red beets and then pickled gorgeous golden ones too. They look beautiful in the jars as if we managed to capture and preserve the sun. In a way we did. I can hardly wait to twist the first jar open and indulge in the fruits of our labor.
Pickled Beets from the Blue Book by Ball
3 quarts peeled, cooked small beets (we did 2 batches, one red and one golden)
2 C sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbsp whole allspice
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C vinegar
1 1/2 C water
Make it happen:
To cook beets, wash and drain. Leave 2 inches of stems and the tap roots. Boil in water until tender, let cool, peel and cut. (we did this a bit differently this year, peeled the raw beets first, cut them and then boiled them. Either way will work.) Combine all ingredients except beets , simmer 15 minutes. Pack beets into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove cinnamon from simmering “brine” and bring liquid to boiling. Pour, boiling hot over beets, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps (sterilize first). Process jars for 30 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield about 6 pints. We used half pint and pint jars for ours so we would have more for gifting.
Do you have a favorite canning recipe? Please share. I am just getting started preserving the love for the season.
Have a delicious day and a joyful Meatless Monday.
Vintage image courtesy of TwoWomenAndaLittleFarm.blogspot.com
Tags: 30 day challenge, Ball Blue Book, Ball canning, canning beets, compassionate eating, going veg, golden beets, Meatless Monday, Meatless Monday recipe, pickled beets, plant based diet, trying vegan, trying vegetarian, vegan, vegan experience, vegan recipe, vegan wannabe