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HOW TO: Pickle Beets In Just 1 Hour
Posted By Emily Peckenham On October 21, 2012 @ 1:00 pm In DIY,Environment,Innovation,Sustainable Food | No Comments
If you have a hankering for some tasty, tangy pickled beets, then read on to learn how you can go from picking some up at the farmer's market to pickling them in your refrigerator in just one hour! These delicious homemade pickled beets are made with a method called "quick-pickling" -- this means you won't need any canning equipment since they are meant to be stored in your refrigerator and eaten within a few weeks to a month. After they've marinated in the pickling liquid for a few days they're ready to eat on their own - or add them to a salad!
Beets come in all shapes and sized, from dark red and pink striped to light orange and everything in between . We used a bunch of gorgeous organic Chioggia  beets from the farmer’s market. Chioggia beets are recognizable by their distinctive pink and white striped flesh. Unfortunately, the stripes don’t stand out very much after you’ve cooked your beets in preparation for pickling, so if you’re hoping for the bright fuschia color that some pickled beets have, make sure you choose the dark red variety.
Trim off the leafy beet greens and set them aside – they are a delicious and iron-packed veggie that tastes great sauteed with a little lemon and butter!
Drop the beets into a saucepan of water and bring them to a boil. Simmer the beets for about thirty minutes, or until soft all the way through (you can test with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork). Save the beet cooking liquid, which you’ll use to make the pickling liquid.
Peel and dice the beets. Once cooled, the peels should come right off in your hands. Dice the beets into wedges or coins, as you prefer.
Here is where you’ll need to determine how many jars of beets you want to make. We fit about 6 small beets in a 10-ounce canning jar along with about 2/3 cup of pickling liquid. To make two small jelly-jars of beets, you’ll need about 2/3 cup liquid and about 6-8 beets, and to make a quart size jar, you’ll need 1 cup of liquid and about 14-16 small beets (adjust accordingly depending on the size of the beets you have).
Now that you know how much pickling liquid to prepare, all you need to know is that the ratio of beet cooking liquid to white vinegar is 1:1 (so for a quart jar, you’ll measure out 1/2 cup of the beet cooking liquid and add another 1/2 cup of white vinegar). In a bowl, measure out your white vinegar and warm beet cooking liquid that you saved earlier. Add in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt per half cup of liquid. Add a few cloves, and either a cinnamon stick or a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix. Stir the liquid until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Jar the beets and pour the pickling liquid right up to the very lip of the jar, making sure to cover the beets completely. Place a piece of parchment paper over the beets and screw on the lid. Pop them into the fridge and wait three days so you can do your first taste-test!
Have dark red beets? Add thinly sliced rings of onion to add a spicy flavor and score some hot-pink onions to boot. Add more sugar and less salt for a sweeter beet that tastes great with cheese and in salads. Add fresh ginger slices for a spice-infused pickled beet that works well with Asian-inspired dishes .
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0653.jpg
 everything in between: http://beartoothfarm.com/beet-varieties
 Chioggia: http://www.seedsavers.org/Details.aspx?itemNo=345
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0748.jpg
 recycled jars: http://inhabitat.com/design-ideas-for-tossable-items-ways-you-can-transform-your-trash-into-new-treasures/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0729.jpg
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0734.jpg
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0749.jpg
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0751.jpg
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/10/DSC_0756.jpg
 Asian-inspired dishes: http://inhabitat.com/diy-reuse-leftover-pickle-juice-to-make-homemade-pickled-daikon/
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