Planting beets has become somewhat of a tradition here at our house. For the past three years now I have enjoyed success with growing beets and because of this it was only natural that I would plant them again this year. The trouble with this is the pantry is already full of canned and pickled beets. Not that they’ll go bad or anything, but there is only so much space in the pantry and beets have taken up their allotment.
Yesterdays Beet Harvest
In the past I’ve done four things with the beets we’ve harvested from the garden:
- Pickled Beets
- Canned Beets
- Beet Jelly
- And the last is Beet-Horseradish Relish which I made last year for the first time.
I posted the recipe for the Beet-Horseradish Relish on Simply Grateful Canning if you’d like to check it out.
Besides making the relish I also decided to try and make the most of the beet greens. We aren’t too big on eating a big variety of greens around here, but when I read I could freeze them and use them to make stock I figured what’s the worst thing that could happen? I’d end up throwing out a batch of stock if it didn’t taste good. The only precaution I read was that the beet greens would probably turn the stock reddish or brownish depending on what kind of stock you were making. No worries, I can deal with that and if it gives the stock another dimension of flavor, well that’s just an added bonus on top of the added nutrients.
The process for freezing beet greens is posted on Simply Grateful Canning Making The Most Of Your Beets, if you’re interested.
I plan on planting another crop in August for the fall. Why? I’m not really sure, but when I’ve had as difficult a time in the garden as I have had this year, I need a little gardening success. I might can them or perhaps I’ll just give them to the neighbors. Either way they won’t go to waste, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.
Does anyone have other ideas for canning or using beets?
Last week I harvested about half of my first crop of beets for the year. I planted three different types this year and although they might not have been as large as they could have been, I wanted to pick them while they were young, small and sweet.
The round beets were between 2 and 3″ in diameter. Perfect for the Beet Slicer and not a bit woody.
The long beets ranged from 3 – 6″ long and for the most part were not woody. I did notice that the longer they got, the more of a tendency they had to be woody, so picking them before they get too large is a good thing.
The golden beets were few and small, but so beautiful.
I absolutely loved how they looked in contrast to the red/purple beets after I cooked them for canning.
Of course Grace had to burst my bubble when she came in and saw the golden beets sitting in the bowl of red beets by informing me, “You know, they are just going to turn purple if you can them all together.” She told me this after I’d told her I thought the yellow beets would look so cool in the jars of pickled beets in contrast to all the purple.
DON’T TELL ME THAT! THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR!
Sometimes the truth hurts. She was right. Unfortunately there were so few golden beets, which the package warned me that they were much harder to grow than round or long beets, that there weren’t enough to can even a small jar of just golden beets. Oh well, maybe when I make the final harvest of the first round of beets next week I’ll have just enough for a jar or even half a jar of just golden beets. If not, I’ll always have the pictures of the freshly peeled beets all sitting together so nicely before I canned them.
One batch of Pickled Beets packed away in the pantry, 7 pints, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.
This morning I decided to harvest all the beets I didn’t replant so I could clean out that section of the garden for my beet seedlings. If the weather holds, tomorrow the seedlings that have sprouted will be transplanted. The beets that I picked today are going to be pickled and canned in the next day or so.
While I was at it, I decided to harvest the carrots that were ready for picking. I picked 28 carrots. That’s pretty good for the first harvest. There are about 20 more in the ground that are still fairly small. These will be picked in the next week or so. With the carrots I picked today, I think I might make some carrot cake or carrot muffins.
It is so exciting harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden. The cucumbers on the a-frame are coming in steadily, I harvested most of the kale under the a-frame yesterday, the peppers are nearly ready for another harvest, the tomatoes are starting to turn yellowish orange, the scallions are almost ready to be picked, and the sweet potatoes look beautiful — what they’re doing under ground I don’t know, but they sure are pretty to look at.
Oh, I almost forgot — the plum tree is about ready for harvest!
By the end of the next week I should have plums for canning. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, as I still have so much canned plum goodies from last years super-crop of 110 pounds of plums. No matter, I’m sure I will find something to do with them. I am just happy that the tree is healthy and productive, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.
The other day after I harvested some of the bigger beets from the garden, I had just enough to can three pints of pickled beets. This was the second time I canned pickled beets, the first having used store-bought beets from the produce department. The recipe I used for the first batch turned out a bit tart for my taste. This time I altered the ratio of sugar, water, and vinegar and came up with a recipe that we like much better.
- 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 tsp. Pickling Salt
- Fresh Beets, cooked and peeled
- Onion, sliced
- Cut tops off beets, leaving two inches of stem.
- Boil until tender.
- Immediately immerse in ice water and skins should slip right off.
- Slice beets and onions to 1/4″ thickness.
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in pan.
- Bring to boil.
- Add beets and onions and bring back to boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- With slotted spoon, fill pint jars to 1/2″ from top with beets and onions.
- Ladle brine over beets to cover.
- Process in water bath for 30 minutes.
Obviously the amount of brine you would need will depend on how many beets you had to work with.
Recipe by: Tilly Frueh – Simply Grateful Housewife 2014
I am so happy I was able to salvage some of the beets from my garden. With three jars of pickled beets in the pantry, we are on our way to a stocked pantry for the winter and for this I am — Simply Grateful.