Preserving Your Own Beetroot!


It has been exciting to watch my veggie garden grow and thrive but it has also been a bit heartbreaking to see it shrivel and die from rain overload and an infestation of slugs decimating EVERYTHING! Now that the rain has let up for awhile i have sighed with relief as the heat has scared away all the slugs! (And snail pellets :-) ).

I have been blessed enough to have some beetroot still growing and tomatoes now thriving in this heat. I was able to make up some of the "Darr" Family Favourite - Tomato Relish with the excess tomatoes that we have had. I also jumped at the chance of canning our beetroot while the weather was good to pick them! So over the weekend i picked all the beetroot in our garden and started prepping it to be canned.


Beetroot growing in our garden.
Anyone can preserve there own beetroot  it is really simple to do. All your require are some good sized glassed bottles (Pasta Sauce bottles are the best), a large pot to cook your beetroot in, a few staple ingredients you should have in the cupboard and a  free afternoon. Easy Peasy. There is nothing more delicious than your own beetroot on a salad sandwich!


Keep old jam jars and pasta sauce bottles for preserving!

Preserving Beetroot

Step 1. The first step is probably the most important step in the whole process of preserving your beets - Sterilising your bottles. It is important that the bottles are free from all bacteria and any lingering smells that may taint your beets. What i do is place all the bottle in my dishwasher and run them through a normal cycle. This will sterilise them and remove any smells that may remain in the bottles!



I wash the bottle lids in the sink in soapy hot water and sit them aside to drain as they tend to rust if left in the dishwasher.

Step 2. Wash your beetroot if you have removed them from the garden, removing any dirt, roots and cutting the leaves off. You may need to cut large beetroot in half to keep the sizes similar when cooking.  *Update 05/02/13 - After presreving beetroot for more than a year now I have found it is best to add the larger beets first and cook them a little longer than the other sizes. Do not cut them in half as this will cause the beetroot to leech its colour and become pale. Place in a large saucepan fill with water until it covers your beets. Cook until you can place a knife through the beetroot.

*Alternatively if you have a pressure cooker place all the beets into your cooker and set to medium pressure. Cook for 20 minutes - continue to step 2*




Step 3. Drain the cooked beets and set aside for 5 -10 min until cool enough to handle. Now the messy bit begins. Peel the skin from beetroot - it should be quite easy to remove with your fingers but if it is difficult us the back of a butter knife to scrape the skin off with. Rinse quickly under water and either slice or dice. (See pictures below) and place into a clean bowl. Continue until all beetroot is peeled and sliced! Keep and approximate note of how many cups worth of cooked beets you have as you will need this information later.


You can slice your beetroot which is great for sandwiches or....

dice your beetroot which is great for tossing through salads. Or do a half a batch of each!

Step 4.   To make the pickling liquid you will need a medium sized sauce pan and the following ingredients:

1/3 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Castor Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Teaspoon  Table Salt
This is for 1 Cup of Sliced/Diced Beets.
(You will need to multiply this to the amount of cooked beets you have)

Place all the above ingredients for the pickling liquid into a saucepan (Not the cooked beets) and bring to the boil. 

Step 5. While the liquid is coming to the boil fill up your sterlised jars with your sliced/dice beetroot leaving about a 2 cm gap from the top. Pour the slightly cooled (no more than 2 minutes cooling) pickling liquid on top of the beets, tightly screw the lid on and turn upside down onto the lid. Repeat until complete.
*By turning the bottles upside helps the jars to seal. Turn over once cooled and the "button" on top should be pressed in. If it doesn't seal after cooling place in the microwave for 1 minute until hot and place on lid again and cool.




Notes:
- Leave at least one week before using to let the beets develop some flavour and pickle.
- Label and date your preserved beets.
- Keep opened jars of beetroot in the fridge, unopened jars can be stored in a dark cupboard.

These little bottles of preserved beetroot make great gifts in hampers for christmas and easter!




Preserving Beetroot

by The Whimsical WIfe
Prep Time: 1-2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: pressure cooker poach fall spring summer
Ingredients (Makes 1-2 bottles)
  • 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Castor Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Table Salt
  • 1 Cup of Sliced/Diced Beets.
  • (You will need to multiply this to the amount of cooked beets you have)
Instructions
The first step is probably the most important step in the whole process of preserving your beets - Sterilising your bottles. It is important that the bottles are free from all bacteria and any lingering smells that may taint your beets. What i do is place all the bottle in my dishwasher and run them through a normal cycle. This will sterilise them and remove any smells that may remain in the bottles! I wash the bottle lids in the sink in soapy hot water and sit them aside to drain as they tend to rust if left in the dishwasher.
Wash your beetroot if you have removed them from the garden, removing any dirt, roots and cutting the leaves off. I have found it is best to add the larger beets first and cook them a little longer than the other sizes. Do not cut them in half as this will cause the beetroot to leech its colour and become pale. Place in a large saucepan, fill with water until it covers your beets. Cook until you can place a knife through the beetroot.*Alternatively if you have a pressure cooker place all the beets into your cooker and set to medium pressure. Cook for 20 minutes - continue to the next step*
Drain the cooked beets and set aside for 5 -10 min until cool enough to handle. Now the messy bit begins. Peel the skin from beetroot - it should be quite easy to remove with your fingers but if it is difficult us the back of a butter knife to scrape the skin off with. Rinse quickly under water and either slice or dice. (See pictures below) and place into a clean bowl. Continue until all beetroot is peeled and sliced! Keep and approximate note of how many cups worth of cooked beets you have as you will need this information later.
Place all the above ingredients for the pickling liquid into a saucepan (Not the cooked beets) and bring to the boil.
While the liquid is coming to the boil fill up your sterlised jars with your sliced/dice beetroot leaving about a 2 cm gap from the top. Pour the slightly cooled (no more than 2 minutes cooling) pickling liquid on top of the beets, tightly screw the lid on and turn upside down onto the lid. Repeat until complete. *By turning the bottles upside helps the jars to seal. Turn over once cooled and the "button" on top should be pressed in. If it doesn't seal after cooling place in the microwave for 1 minute until hot and place on lid again and cool.
Leave at least one week before using to let the beets develop some flavour and pickle.
Label and date your preserved beets.
Keep opened jars of beetroot in the fridge, unopened jars can be stored in a dark cupboard.
These little bottles of preserved beetroot make great gifts in hampers for christmas and easter!
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If you have lots of beetroot why not make my heirloom beetroot gallette or beetroot, walnut and goats cheese salad or a roast vegetable quinoa salad which includes these lovely beets!




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