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Give Me a B!

August 27th, 2015

I love beets, especially pickled. Even as a wee little lassie I had an affinity for the pickled purple roots. My mom made them often and I gobbled them up. I don’t do a lot of canning, but I always make two half gallon jars of pickled beets for the fridge. When we eat up the beets, I love throwing boiled eggs in the juice so I can have lovely pink eggs for my salads.
harvesting beets 2
For this reason, I’ve always grown beets in the garden. Not a ton, just a 15 foot row or so. Enough to eat throughout the summer and enough to pickle. I never thin my beets because I like have a wide range of sizes. I love the huge ones for slicing into big rounds and I love the tiny ones for roasting whole.
harvesting beets 1
This year I grew ‘Early Wonder’ and ‘Detroit’. They were both fantastic, very long holding in the garden. In fact these beets were seeded very early and have been growing all summer.
harvesting beets 3
We like eating the beet greens as well, but when it comes time to pickle a load of beets, the chickens end up with the tasty leaves. I’m happy to hand them over as they’re a welcome treat for them. It seems like beets are one of those vegetables that people either love or hate, I’m so happy to be on the love side!

Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

After being asked in the comment, I figured I’d add it here too. I love The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition) and most of my pickling recipes come from it.

13 Comments to “Give Me a B!”
  1. Tonya on August 27, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I’m curious, are you pickling them with vinegar or are you fermenting them? If they are fermented do you use any type of sugar? (In other words are they the sweet/sour type I’m familiar with?) I use the standard Ball Blue Book recipe and add a few more spices. We love them on salads! I also enjoy roasted beets with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of salt or with some feta cheese crumbled over the top!

    Reply to Tonya's comment

    • Susy on August 27, 2015 at 9:29 am

      I don’t ferment them, I’ve heard nothing good about fermented beets :)

      I use the recipe from a pickling book I have, it has cinnamon (sweet), allspice, cloves, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and water in it.

      This is the pickling book I LOVE!

      The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market (Revised Edition)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Tonya on August 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

        Sounds almost identical to my recipe except mine uses white sugar. I imagine the brown sugar adds an interesting depth of flavor. I may have to try your recipe! I also tried beet chips this weekend, simply because I have so many beets and all the cool kids on the internet are doing it :) Didn’t expect to like them, but they were surprisingly good. My husband even enjoyed a sample. Too bad I slid them back in the oven to crisp them more and crisp them I did! With all that sugar content beets go from chips to ashes in the blink of an eye! I’ll be trying them again (with a more watchful eye) soon.

        to Tonya's comment

  2. Jill on August 27, 2015 at 10:14 am

    We love beets–I have pictures of my kids as wee toddlers covered in red, and I remember the next day being alarmed at bright red diapers before remembering.. oh ya, we had beets!

    We enjoy them boiled. Nothing fancy. I’ve roasted them in foil on the BBQ or in the oven if I was using it anyways. My husband likes them pickled. I just sliced them thin with my mandolin and baked them with olive oil and salt like potato chips (I liked them and the kids thought they were ok). We had such a dry spring that not everything in my garden germinated, despite watering. But once the rain came the beets that were there took off growing and we are eating them a few times a week right now.

    Reply to Jill's comment

  3. Chris on August 27, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    LOVE Beets…pickled, roasted, steamed, you name it…I think they are our favorite root veggie! :)
    Your photos are really crisp and clear of those red beauties! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

  4. Julia at Home on 129 Acres on August 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Beets are definitely one of the hits of our first-year vegetable garden. So far, we’ve just had them roasted and tossed with goat cheese. I’m considering pickling or preserving some, given that I harvested 23 more beets over the weekend and more are coming. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of pickles I want to make. I didn’t realize there were so many options for pickling beets. Have you ever tried freezing? I wondered if I could roast and then toss them in the freezer.

    Reply to Julia at Home on 129 Acres's comment

    • Susy on August 27, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      I haven’t tried freezing, but I was just thinking about it the other day as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Linda Wirth on August 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Curious about keeping the half gallon jars in the refrigerator. Do you use them with a short period of time or do they keep well in the pickling juice for a considerable amount of time. We love pickled beets but I have always spent marathon days canning them. Sure would be nice to have them in the refrigerator without having to can them. Love your blog. Thanks!

    Reply to Linda Wirth's comment

    • Susy on August 27, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      I’ll have them in there for 6 months to a year.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on August 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Susy, beets are not really a favorite of mine and I don’t grow them in my garden. Most of my gardening is the main vegetables that can be given away. I did break down and process about 16 quarts of tomatoes. The stage one is complete which is the skins are off and chunked into gallon jars with a temporary seal. Now I’ll can them a batch at a time when house is cooler. That many quarts will supply me for a couple years. My household don’t like tomatoes on any thing except spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. My eating habits are quite different from the grandson and daughter. It was the same with my older kids and wife as well. I just could never get anyone in my household on the same page as me. I’m kind of used to being thought of as a little strange and unusual.

    We just got more rain today. That will put us over eight inches for August. Our average is about 3.5 inches. It’s been like that every month except July. Now the night temperatures are falling very close to the 40s which is 15 degrees cooler than normal. Garden plants are drying up and already in the fall mode. I’m wondering just what kind of winter we will be having here. Even leaves are starting to fall off the trees. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t know about global warming but there’s definitely some thing up with the weather patterns.

    Have a great pickled beet day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  7. Amy on August 29, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I like adding a hard boiled egg too!

    Reply to Amy's comment

  8. Kathy on August 31, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Susie, you’re so lucky! I don’t have much luck growing beets for some reason and I love them! I think I need to do what you do and start them early/leave them in all summer. I try to thin mine though so they’ll get to be some size. Oh well, next year’s another chance!

    Reply to Kathy's comment

  9. Joi Espelund on July 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I’m just an old lady on a few acres so I don’t work as hard as I used to. I do love beets. Keeping it simple I just harvest the beets and boil them up. Once cool I slip off the skin and slice. Place those slices [enough for a couple meals] in plastic bags and put them in the freezer. When I have the urge for beets I just pull out a bag and sautee them in butter. Yummy to me ! . . . . Love the beet greens, too, but prefer them fresh and steamed.

    Reply to Joi Espelund's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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