What happened to my beets?

cannondOctober 10, 2012

As I was putting my garden to bed I discovered a great many beets I'd missed. They were perfect, so I spent last evening canning them. But, they are bleached.

This is my second harvest this season and the first bleached too. I thought, however, that was because I didn't process them till the next day.

I brought these straight in from the garden and cooked them, some in the pressure cooker, some in the oven. After slipping the skins, I noticed as I sliced them that they were whitish, with some of the concentric circles red. What did I do wrong?

I'm not sure what variety I planted, (can't find my notes.)

Also, they siphoned a bit, which I've never had happen before. They're in quart jars and a couple of them have exposed beet above the juice. The seals are strong.

Does anyone have an explanation?

Deborah

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

whitish, with some of the concentric circles red

Sounds like Chiogga beets. Normal for that variety.

Bleached beets happens when you don't leave at least 1-2" of the tops on and the roots in place when cooking them.

As to the siphoning - several possible causes. Most common cause is inconsistent pressures due to heat adjustments during processing or not waiting the 10 min between weight off and lid off.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:42PM
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cannond

I did leave the tops on, 2 inches, so it must be the variety. Right?

These are pickled beets, water bath, so I only waited 5 minutes at the end of processing. Maybe that's the problem with regard to siphoning. In the past, I pickled beets in pints. This time, I followed a Ziedrich recipe that allowed for quarts.

Should I always wait 10 minutes instead of 5 for quarts?
Thanks, Dave.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ahh in BWB canning it is what's called "boil over" that causes the loss of liquid. No pressure so no siphoning. Causes are swelling of the food, inadequate headspace left, or lids not screwed on tight enough.

Needs to be avoided of course but the food is still safe.

Then I'd guess the bleaching was the variety since you left the tops on and cooked them shortly after harvesting. Older bigger beets will bleach out some as they become more fibrous but even with some bleaching they taste fine. Some time try pickling one of the yellow varieties - really weird! :)

Dave

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:09PM
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cannond

These aren't the prettiest pickled beets I've ever seen. They look rather ghostly swimming around in the fluid.

I used red wine in place of water and kept the ratio of vinegar to water (wine) the same. I was attempting to mitigate the ugliness of whitish beets, but I ended up with pink, pallid beets. The taste is extraordinary, though.

About those yellow beets, I wonder if they have the same nutritional value as their red counterparts?
Deborah

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:37PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I canned yellow beets once. I will never do that again. I just couldn't get past the appearance to enjoy the taste.

Some varieties are more susceptible to bleaching, but some varieties will also re-darken to a degree with the passage of time.

Carol

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:48PM
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cannond

"some varieties will also re-darken to a degree with the passage of time"

Let us hope these re-darken by Christmas. They're meant as a gift.

As it stands they'll have to be eaten by candlelight...maybe moonlight.

Deborah

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:57PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Just come up with a catchy name, make a creative label and pretend they're SUPPOSED to be that way! :)

Deanna

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:16AM
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cannond

Name That Beet, eh....

How about a label that says:

Beet Blanc (It Doesn't Turn Red in the Jar!)

Deborah

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:05PM
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