|Finished product: Pickled Beets|
When I first tasted pickled beets (that my mother-in-law gave for me to try and see if I would like it), I did not like it. It had an overpowering earthy taste. That was 3 years ago. I do remember having beets in potato salad that rendered an exotic taste that I liked...it was a potato salad made by a classmate in med school back when I was in the Philippines.
|Washed and trimmed for boiling|
This year, my sister-in-law (the one licensed to sell her canned goods) gave me a jar to try it again. Surprisingly, I liked it. I thought she used a different recipe. She said she used our MIL's recipe. My Nanay liked it too, and I told my SIL about it. She thought, maybe I would like to can some for my personal use. She then offered some of her beets in her garden. I harvested about half of a row. Best to get the smaller ones (I used my fist as the basis for the max size I would use for my canning. The bigger ones were too starchy instead of sweet. Too tough.
I would classify these as one of those "acquired taste" kind of food for me. Beets definitely are one of the healthiest food available to mankind. Nanay can finish a jar in 3 days.
TOOLS, PROCEDURE & INGREDIENTS:
Wash beets. Cut top offs, leaving about 1inch long of the stems (this prevents them from bleeding while you boil).
Boil til tender (about 1 hr). (Meanwhile, wash and sterilize the jars. Boil water for the lids and bands. Pour onto the lids and bands just when ready to can.)
Dunk beets in cold water and slip the skins off.
Slice with 1/4-inch thickness. Place in a big stainless steel stockpot. (Note: Any vinegar or acidic canning project will react with aluminum, so always use stainless steel in canning.)
In a different stainless steel stockpot, prepare brine using the following solution, adjust according to how much beets you have:
1 & 3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 cups of sugar.
Boil the brine.
Pour into the beets. Simmer for 5 minutes. Keep warm.
Put 1 tsp canning salt into each quart jar (or half tsp into each pint jar).
Ladle beets into hot sterile jars, release bubbles, leave 1/2 inch headspace, wipe rim, and adjust lids and bands.
Process 30 minutes on easy boil in hot boiling water bath.
I had some extra beets the I peeled, cubed, then simmered til tender, then I added with corn, diced fresh tomatoes, and green onions to make beet salad. I was just curious to see if I would still find it good to eat as salad. I was surprised how good it was, and that even my sons liked it. Here's how it looked like: