Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Got my beets out yesterday. This will be the third year I've canned beets.

Back on May 10, 2011, I planted approximately 35 feet of Detroit Dark Red, Morse's Strain beet seeds.

Here they are before harvest....they look kinda sad don't they?? Well, you endure 110 degree weather and see if you look all perky!
Really tho, this is the plants way of dealing with the heat. No, I'm not mean and cruel and I haven't denied them water. They looked pretty and ready for the day in the cool early mornings. Much like most of us...funny how plants are a lot like humans....

So, yesterday morning, I hog tied my son, and we went out and harvested all the beets.

By the way, you want to harvest them when they are around big apple sized...+/- just a hair. You dont find this information very easily, even on the net, so I thought I'd pass that along. Your welcome.

And then you settle in for a long
We took them up to the house and poured them out on the lawn and "stemmed" them because I needed to can the greens right away, the actual beet can wait a few hours.

Canning the greens is exactly like canning spinach or any other green. So after all the prep, and 70 mins in the pressure cooker(90 for quarts) we came out the other end with these....

This is 7 pint jars of beet greens. The amazing thing to me is, when they went in, their spines and veins were red. Now, they are not. They look just like spinach. So If you plan on canning some of this, mark your lids so you don't bite into something and get a shock! (you should mark your lids anyway..but thats another blog post.)

So now with the greens all done, we went back out to the yard where the beets were, and started cutting the stems off the beets. You should cut them to about 1ish inch above the beet and do not cut the bottoms. This will keep the beet from bleeding too much.
Sort them according to the size...this will come in handy later. You don't have to get the tape measure out for this...just ballpark it.
Then you will need to bring them in and put them in a big darned pot of boiling water and let them boil for a while, about 15ish mins or more, depending on the sizes you sorted earlier. The bigger ones take longer.  Don't worry about washing them clean before you put them in the pot, just get the big mud clods off. The point of this is to make your life easier when you go to peel them.
After you boil the beets, have a sink full of COLD water and throw them in. The point of the cold water is so you don't scream bloody murder when you grab them and get 3rd degree burns.
After they've cooled a bit, grab one and give the skin a gentle squeezing wipe, and magically, they peel themselves. Once you wipe one, you will see what the inner skin looks like and can then tell what you are "peeling" by wiping the beet.

If the outer skin doesn't come off with a gentle squeezing didn't boil them long enough. Throw them back in the pot.

After you get them all peeled and rinsed, slice them, dice them, or leave them whole(the small ones). Then put them in prepared jars(in this case, pints) and put salt in(1/4tsp pints, 1/2tsp quarts) fill the jars up with water,  wipe clean the top of your jars, put lids and rings on, process in the pressure cooker for 30min for pints, and 35 mins for quarts.

After you get the beets done you should have something like this from a bushel and a half of beets.....

7 pint jars of beet greens, and 17 pint jars of beets....mmmmmm good. 

1 comment:

  1. yum yum...I'm learning so much keep it up.Barb from N.H.