Beets – Pickles and Powdered

Beets – Pickles and Powdered wellpreservededibleautumn Preserving Recipes Beet

Beets are a lot of fun.  I`ve had a funny relationship with them since childhood.  I forget to put them on my plate (or outright avoid them) thinking that I`m not a giant fan of them.  When I have a weak moment and plate some up I rediscover that I love them.  This can happen several times per week.

When I peel beets for dinner, I find it`s pretty quick and easy.  When I peel 5-10 pounds of them for preserving, I find the work tedious.  The easiest way to peel a beet is to trim it`s top and bottom, quickly blanch it in boiling water and when the skin appears lose, dump it in an ice water bath.  We then use gloves to quickly`rub` the beet into submission.

When you peel by blanching, make sure the leave the beets whole.  I foolishly cut them up last year and it changed peeling a single beet from 1 smooth motion to 10 or 12 steps (one for each piece).

We made beet powder last year.  It`s a stunning way to transfer 5 pounds of beets into a quarter cup of powder.  It`s also an amazing soup topping, flavor enhancer, color changer (think of darkening sauces) and, according to Readymade Magazine, an ingredient for DIY-lipstick.

Beets – Pickles and Powdered wellpreservededibleautumn Preserving Recipes Beet

Rather than re-writing what we’ve previously posted, click for how to dehydrate beets and how to make beet powder.

Beets are very easy to pickle (you can find a base recipe at the National Center for Home Food Preservation that’s actually very good).  There’s not a whole lot to say about them other than you cook, peel, slice, add them to jars with hot brine and process them in a hot water bath.  We’ll do a complete walk-through the next time we do a batch (still have some from last year in the pantry) but that link will walk you through the process in one-paragraph (rather than stealing their work I’ll send you there :)).

We  also love to add a bit of thyme to our pickled beets – it’s like introducing earthiness to dirtiness.  Almost sounds like Scotch…

As a parting gift, here’s my favourite trick for cooking different colors of beets without having their colors run into each other.

This is part of our series of posts linked to our Preserving Autumn article in Edible Toronto.  The posts will update daily from September 18th and you’ll be able to see all of the posts in the series by clicking here.


  1. I was wondering do you think I could dehydrate beets that I have pickled? They have a nice sweet taste to them and I wonder if drying them if the sweetness will stay with them or not. Please write me back and let me know. Marian Roy

    • Hi Marian,

      I have not tried this before but I`d be willing to bet the results are worth trying. We`d love to hear about them.

      Dehydrating removes the liquid and leaves concentrated flavors. Some of th einfused flavor will definately stay behind. You may want to cut these a little thicker in case the pickling increased the water content – i would try about a quarter inch (7 mm).

      Great idea, curious now…


  2. i fermented beets with bronze fennel fronds this summer, it tastes awesome but unfortunately started to get a little mold on it. i think next time i need to let it get more fermented!

  3. I like canning beets, better than eating them. They are fine, don’t get me wrong. I like them. They cause people to think that they are dying, the next day. That is always a good April Fool’s joke. I put up a couple dozen pickled beets, and then got bored. I canned a few cases of pints, w onions, celery, garlic, spices, and of course vinegar and sugar, w a touch of water. We shall see if they come out nice. Right now? I’m not in the mood to eat beets, and of course, they are in season. I wonder if that is a function of over-canning.

    on a side note: I was wondering why I was canning so much, and feeling guilty. whenever I put that show on about the hoarders, I would act like a dog who pee’d on the rug. but, I realized this week, that all these food items are from an enviroment sans Iodine 131, or radiation from Japan. I know that the soil tested positive in Pa and Mass, and Cali is forever off my table of items to can. I have to presume that this rain, in Maryland is contaminated. my daughter is working on the garden, and of course, poo poo’s my concern. I guess I’m going to have to do like the Top Chef judge and get a gieger counter in the kitchen, as a necessary appliance. no more fish for me.

    anyway, have a great day. thanks for sharing your tips, and stories, and part of yourself.


  1. [...] Pickled beets (this article contains a link to a recipe and a bit of background in addition to a humiliating story about me) [...]

  2. [...] Pickled beets (this article contains a link to a recipe and a bit of background in addition to a humiliating story about me) [...]

  3. [...] – Dehydrating beets, making powder, a self-effacing story about pickled beets, an overview on beets, and some non-preserving ideas such as a secret for beet salad and a trick on how to cook different [...]

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