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Beets are one colorful vegetable. It might not be one of my favorites for eating but many people like them and want them canned for the winter months. Beets have to be canned in a pressure canner. If you havent canned in one before, here is a list of the things that you might not have in your kitchen. You will need it all for your beets.
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How do I can beets?
Go to your store and find the department that displays their canning jars and you should find a book for sale that is either produced by the Ball company or Kerr company. Those books are full of directions for canning all kinds of things. Or else you could google it and probably find the directions. I do know the first step is to scrub them, leave a couple inches of the stems on them and then cook them.
After they are cooked and cooled off, then you peel them. If you don't cook them before peeling and leaving part of the stems on, they will bleed(loose a lot of their color). I have never canned beets, but my late Mother used to make really good beet pickles and I learned about the bleeding bit from her. Incidentally beets don't smell real good during this step.
If you want pickled beets, here is a easy how to. Wash jars and lids rinse let them sit in the hot water in the sink. Wash beets cut off ends cut into pieces microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes pack jars, add to each jar about a 1/2 tsp of mustard seed, 1/2 tsp celery seed.
Boil equal parts water, apple cider vinegar. Pour into jar make sure you wipe off the top of the jar if you get the brine (water and vinegar) on it.
Check each cap by pressing on it. If it is sealed it will not move or make a clicking sound. If some of your jars did not seal boil a pot of water add your jars to this and process for about 10 minutes this will seal the jars for sure. I add cauliflower, celery, onions, and sliced cucumbers to each jar. Great for giving as a gift. Good luck.
Scrub and cut top to 1/2 in above beet. Place in large enough pot to accommodate the beets you plan to can. For a large amount put in 1/2 cup of sugar and cover with water. Boil till tender when pierced with fork. Allow to stand and most of the "grit" from beets will settle to bottom of pot. Dip about 2 cups of the beet water off the top of the beets and reserve to pour over the beets in the jar.
Pour into sink and drain, allowing to cool enough to slip skins and tops from the beets. Slice or quarter and put into jars. Put a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar into each jar. Cover beets with the reserved water.
Seasonings may be omitted and added when opened and used. Place lid and ring on each jar and hand tighten snug.
Place filled jars into pot large enough to cover the jars with the water. Boil for at least 10 minutes and take out of water and set on counter protected by newspaper or thick cloth and allow to cool. After 24 hrs remove the rings and set of shelf for later enjoyment.
I make Harvard beets from these or just add a little vinegar and substitute sugar for a meal. Some people like to add a little butter and whatever seasonings they prefer.
You can follow the procedure everyone else has posted and if you want pickled sweet beets, here is a recipe that my late aunt gave me.
Mil's Beet Recipe
3 c. white vinegar
1 c. water
3 cups sugar
pinch of cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Put all together and bring to a boil. Put beets in syrup and bring to a boil again. Put in jars and add lids. Put them in a hot water bath with the water covering the jars and bring to boil. Leave in for 10 minutes.
How do I can harvard beets?
Are you using home grown beets or already canned beets? Myself I would just can the homegrown beets following the normal directions, then when you get ready to have them for a meal, follow your harvard beets recipe.