Pickling – Beets and Carrots

My parents showed up last week with a large pail full of carrots and a large pail full of beets.  It just so happens my husband loves pickled beets and I love pickled carrots so I decided that is what I would use the latest vegetables I received from my parent’s garden for.  Now I’ve never pickled before, so I went online to find some recipes and coincidentally enough when I told my mom the ingredients I added to the beets for pickling she confirmed they are the same ingredients she uses.  In terms of the carrots it had been many years since I had received pickled carrots so I picked a recipe that looked like it would be good and I gave it a try.  Since I will have to wait for them to reach their optimal pickled flavour I won’t be able to comment on taste only on the process itself at this time.

To start the process, the beets and carrots needed to be washed.  After my week of turkey cooking, I was admittedly tired and feeling somewhat lazy.  I remembered hearing of people washing their carrots in their washing machine, but had not heard of anyone washing beets in the washer until I googled it.  Somebody even said they washed their beets and carrots together.  I figured it was worth a try.  I laid a towel down in the washer, placed the carrots and beets on top of it, set the washer on the handwash cycle and set it to cold water and let it run.  I am happy to report it worked really well.  There is a bit of a mess left in the washer to clean up afterwards as small pieces break off but it took me a fraction of the time to clean it that it would have taken me to wash everything by hand.  Then I simply ran the towel through another cycle and it (and the washer) were both clean.

Pickled Beets

I found this recipe here.

Printable recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cooked, peeled, cubed beets
  • 4 cups beet water, strained (reserved from cooking beets)
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 – 500 mL jars

Directions:

1.  Cut the tops off beets, wash them, and cook them until tender when poked with a fork (approximately 20 minutes).  Drain beets, reserving the water they were cooked in.  Place the beets in cold water until cooled enough to peel.  The technique I found worked best was to cut off the top and bottom then slice the skin of the beet perpendicular to the top.  Then simply lift and peel the skin off.  Oh and WEAR GLOVES unless you want to have beautiful red/purple hands.

2.  To make the brine, combine the reserved, strained beet water with the sugar and the vinegar.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.

3.  Wash jars and fill with cut beets.

4.  Fill with hot brine, being sure to leave at least a half inch of headspace.  Tap jars lightly to remove any bubbles.  Wipe rims and apply lids and rings.  Finger tighten.

5.  Place jars in a canner with enough hot water to cover the jars.  Place lid on the canner and turn the element on high and when it comes to a boil, turn down the heat.  Make sure the water is still bubbling and process for 20 minutes.

6.  Remove and place on a towel on the counter to cool.  Check jars after 24 hours to make sure they all sealed.  If any did not seal properly, place them in the refrigerator.


Pickled Carrots

I found the recipe here.

Printable recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups, peeled, cooked carrots, cut to fit jars
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp pickling salt (or fine sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 12 sprigs of dill (2 per jar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (1/4 tsp per jar)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (1 per jar)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes per jar (optional)
  • 6 – 500 mL jars

Directions:

1. Bring an appropriately sized pot of water to boil (for blanching carrots).  At the same time, place jars into the canner.  Fill with water, so water is above the level of the tops of the jars.  Place on stovetop and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize jars.  Keep jars hot until ready to use.

2.  Peel carrots.  Cut into appropriately sized (and similarly sized) pieces to fit into jars.  Put carrots into a pot of boiling water for 90 seconds to blanch them.  Remove after the 90 seconds and immediately run under cold water to halt the cooking process.

3.  Combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt into a pot on the stove to make the brine.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until salt is dissolved.

4.  Place garlic cloves, peppercorns, dill, and red pepper flakes (if desired) into each jar.  Pack jars full with carrots (place carrots upright).  Fill with brine, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  Tap jars lightly to remove bubbles.  Wipe rims and put on lids and rings.  Finger tighten.


5.  Place in a canner of boiling water and process for 10 minutes.

6.  Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on the counter to cool.  Let sit for at least 48 hours before consuming.

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