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Pickling Root Crops

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As we enter into fall, one of the many splendors of having your own garden is moving the earth to see what treasures lie beneath.  Root crops such as carrots, potatoes and beets can now be harvested and what better way to preserve them than in a jar?!

Although it is important to ensure you have plenty of fresh root crops on hand by means of dry storage, there are many benefits to preserving these beauties in a mason jar!  Traditional dry storage methods only preserve the root crop for up to 3 months – and even then, various conditions in the home may put a damper on your storage technique.  Home canning root crops, whether in water or by pickling, will preserve their goodness for over a year.

One of my favorite recipes growing up was Pickled Beets and Onions.  I am delighted to share this simple recipe so you may enjoy its flavors year ’round.

Pickled Beets and Onions – makes approx. 6 pint jars beets in stock pot on stove

Ingredients

Cheesecloth and string
3 tbsp pickling spice
2 ½ cups white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup raw sugar
10 cups of prepared beets; approx. 10 to 12 beets will yield 10 cups
2 large Vidalia onions

Instructions

Using a 4” square piece of cheesecloth, place the pickling spice in the center and tie together using string to create a spice bag.

Beet Prep:  The easiest way to skin a beet is to blanch the beet.  Leave the root on the beet as well as 2 inches of the stem and thoroughly wash beets.  With the skins on, place beets inside a large stainless steel stock pot, setting the largest beets on the bottom.

Cover with water and cook for about 30 minutes or until beets are tender.  Using a slotted spoon or pinchers, place beets in a bowl of cold water in the sink.  Keep the tap running to provide a stream of cold water to quickly cool the beets.  As the beet cools, simply remove skin by rubbing the beet in your hand.  The skin will come right off without much effort.  Using a paring knife, remove root and stem; if beets are large quarter them and keep smaller beets whole.

In a large stainless steel stock pot, combine vinegar, water, sugar, onions and spice bag.  Bring to a boil over medium heat being sure not to scorch the mixture.  Stir until sugar has dissolved and boil gently for about 15 minutes.  Be sure to turn the heat down when boiling gently to avoid water evaporation.  After 15 minutes, remove the spice bag and discard.  Add prepared beets and return to boil.

Using a slotted spoon, ladle beets into hot jar leaving a generous ½” headspace.  Ladle hot pickling liquid over beets being sure to cover them and maintain the headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace using hot liquid as necessary.

Wipe jar rim and screw bands using a warm washcloth dipped in vinegar.  Place lid and rings on and hand tighten.  Process pints in a water bather for 30 minutes.  Remember, processing time doesn’t begin until water is at a full rolling boil!

Enjoy~buy a term paper online
The Canning Diva

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