Guest Recipe by Jessica Bean, RMT
Beets are one of my favorite root vegetables and they are extremely simple to grow. The best is to plant beets in various stages so you can have an ongoing crop all summer and even into winter. There are so many different way to enjoy beets. My favorite way is to boil beets, chop in pieces and toss them with some balsamic glaze and goats cheese. Even more and more you will find people using beets in baking. Beets are a great addition especially chocolate cake or brownies. They are great for adding moisture without the addition of oils and butter, also a natural sweetner. I always make sure I have planted enough to pickle a bunch of beets to last me through till the next crop.
Beets have great nutritional value as well, fresh is always best but preserving beets you still reap many benefits. Beets are high in iron and folic acid. Beets are great for women who are try to conceive or whom are already pregnant. Beets beautiful color are from the pigments called betalains. These pigments provide health benefits by functioning as antioxidants, lowering inflammation and reducing your risk of heart disease. The only downfall when it comes to pickling is the added salt. If you are on a low sodium diet or just watchful then limit the amount of pickled beets. If you rinse beets before heating you will reduce the sodium by 40 percent.
When it comes to pickling I am very cautious and follow all the proper canning guidelines. Depending on location and altitude please refer to your area for proper guidelines when sealing your jars. I use a boiling water canner when canning beets since they are a high acid food you do not need a pressure canner. You can refer to the Government of Canada website for some more information.
3-1/2 lbs Beets
2 1/2 C Cider Vinegar
1 C Water
2 1/2 tsp Pickling Salt
4 tsp Mustard Seed
4 each Cloves
2 tsp Black Peppercorns
2 tsp Corriander Seeds
- Start by preparing all your jars, lids and rings. When sterilizing jars in the boiling water canner do so for no less than 10 minutes. Or preheat oven to 275F place jars in deep dish pan with enough space between each jar. Place in oven for minimum 20 minutes then turn off but keep jars in oven till your ready. I find the oven method best if you are doing a larger batch. It helps for an assembly line. The jars you are not using just keep in oven until you are ready.
- In large pot of boiling water, cook beets until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and pour cool water on top to speed up cooling. Trim ends and roots; peel off skins. Usually fresh beets the skin just falls off in your hands. Set aside.
- In another pot bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to boil; boil until sugar and salt are dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Into each of four 2-cup (500 mL) wide-mouth canning jars, place 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 clove and 1/2 tsp each black peppercorns and coriander seeds. Tightly pack in beets to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of rim. Add hot vinegar mixture to cover beets, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. In the picture I used larger jars so I adjusted how long I boiled them when sealing.
- Cover with prepared lids. Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 30 minutes. After sealed remove rings and wipe excess water. You can replace or keep rings off.
Jessica is a Registered Massage Therapist, who practices in the GTA. She graduated from Canadian Therapeutic College in 2009. She chose this profession because she has a incredible passion to help others achieve and maintain a balanced well-being. She is continuously working to gain new insights into her field and to master new techniques and styles of massage. Jessica’s professional goal is to remain on the cutting edge of therapeutic massage. Jessica believes that each client requires a unique approach to treatment. She understands that “what works for one body, will not work for another”. To connect with Jessica, visit her at Innova Health.