Return to the Harvest Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Canning Beets

Posted by biggy Minnesota (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 12, 09 at 11:14

I would like to can beets for the first time. How do I make regular beets and not pickled?

Also, when canning dill pickles, can you add more than two sprigs of dill per quart for additional flavor? Would they be even better with 4 sprigs or dry dill added?
Thanks,
Biggy in Minnesota


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Canning Beets

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 12, 09 at 12:48

To can regular beets, you need a pressure canner. The instructions are here at NCHFP and they are also in the Ball Blue Book or the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I posted some preparation instructions here on my blog if that will help you.

As far as adding more dill, you can certainly add more. The longer you let the pickles sit, the stronger the dill flavor becomes. I use four heads of dill in my quarts and a few sprigs of dill leaves - I love dill!


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Yet another posted link to the NCHFP. What not 'can' it!! Ist now mentioned at least once in every thread.... I guess some people are probably getting kickback from the creaters to that site, or have some kind of vested interest in it. By continulaly posting about it, I will also continue to complain and argue, and prove that the practices there are to the extreme and should only be loosly translated into simple common sense.

Here is a VERY SIMPLE SEARCH in this forum for MANY posts on canning beets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning beets search...


 o
RE: Canning Beets

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 12, 09 at 16:47

Ball Blue Book - current edition

Wash and drain beets. Leave 2" stem and tap root on beets. Boil until skin slips off. Remove skins, trim. Slice, dice or leave whole. Pack into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint, 1 teaspoon salt to each quart - if desired.

Ladle boiling water over beets, 1 inch headspace. Remove bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 30 minutes, quarts 35 minutes - both sizes at 10 #s pressure in a pressure canner.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Imagine that - the Ball Blue Book is almost word for word the NCHFP instructions! How can that be? Simple, NCHFP is the underlying source for and the testing of most of the BBB recipes and guidelines as well as all the other Ball/Jarden books. Their sites even direct you to NCHFP for details and questions.

But instead of typing all the BBB instructions out as morz8 had to (thank you morz8) if you want to provide the info to someone, all you have to do is link to - surprise! NCHFP. Which is why so many of us do that.

Ain't life on the internet grand!! :^)

Dave


 o
RE: Canning Beets

The NCHFP is the 'God almighty"?? Its getting even more boring.... Why not create a GW forum just for that crap, so we don't have to see it constantly. Its even worse than repetitous posts, only because no one seems to want to bother to do a simple search anymore.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 12, 09 at 18:56

It would be great if we could do a "simple search". I searched first (and I used "canning beets") before I answered. I found numerous threads for pickled beets, but after reading through the first 8 search results, I could not find a single answer to the simple question of "How do I make regular beets and not pickled?"

So I responded to the OP's question with a link that answered that "simple" question, and which can be accessed, at no cost, by anyone who can has Internet capabilities - which, I do assume if they're posting here, they do.

I fail to see what the problem is in answering someone's "simple" question. Isn't that the purpose here?


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Thank you, Malna, morz8k, and Dave. You helped answer this persons simple question !
Biggy, glad you got the information you needed.
Ken, why are you so cranky all the time ? Is your blood sugar not under control or what ? No one makes you or anyone else answer the questions here. We all do it when or if we want.
We are all trying to be helpful to those who are asking.
Whether or not you like it, the NCHFP is the leading authority on home food preservation. It just is. The people who work there wrote all the current guidelines. They do the majority of all testing there in the labs.
No one gets any money by endorsing them. Someone has to put together food preservation information for the public to use.
So, if you don't like the link, then don't use it. But, by being so irritable and short with people, you are not helping them learn what they need to know. Patience is a virtue, still valued today.
So, those of you who want help, we are happy to help you out the best we can.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Biggy, I just canned 7 quarts of beets. It's easy. Wash 'em, cut off the tops, boil 'em long enough to slip the skins. Slice them or if they are small leave them whole. Put them into quart or pint jars, add salt if you like. Fill with boiling water, run whatever you use to free bubbles down the jar, add hot lids. Put them into a pressure canner and can them for whatever amount of time and at whatever pressure is appropriate for your altitude. Mine is 11 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes for pints, 35 minutes for quarts.

Dill? Add extra if you like, it won't hurt anything. I don't know if it will give you a lot more dill flavor but it can't hurt.

As for a search, I think the search function here is next to useless, I've been here for 7 or 8 years, at least, and still can't find what I'm looking for, so searching is not always the answer either.

So, ask away. I'm assuming a simple question wants a simple answer, like how much time and pressure for beets. That can be found in the Ball Blue Book which can be purchased for about $5, or on line in various places, including NCHFP and my own beloved Michigan State University.

I still think everyone should get all the information and make their own decisions. I try not to get combative but I do occasionally disagree. That's my choice, I'm still happy to get the information so that I may make an informed choice.

Annie


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Cranky no, just very aggrevated by all the continual mentions of the darn NCHFP in almost every single thread. That testing you say must need to be redone every second, as I seem to see many numerours changes from bad to good or from good to bad, and it can confuse even you! Not a single thread goes by now without at least one link to that NCHFP stuff. As I stated, its not GODS law, or cast in stone like Moses would preach. Its almost like treating everyone here who has no idea how to can at home like they were in kindergarten or something. I spoke to a few newbees here and most were afraid of home canning after visiting here and being scared to take on such a daunting task makes for a loss of confidence, as well as a loss of participation. Many of older hands, well as some newer posters also seem to start preaching continously about canning safety instead of attempting to correct a mistake, or a recipe that is a 'cooking type', vs. a 'canning type'. We simply say that the recipes are safe or not, and if not, I, at least, try to help by offering assitance by telling the poster that they need more acid added to make some things safer to can, or other suggestions of using dried items in a high acid recipe. Thats the primary goal to help, not scare or intimidate! Did you see the recent mention of substituting pickling lime for the Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride), where the inexperienced canner added the lime to jars or brine. I immediatly came on to expain that it was dangerous to do that. Have you ever injected listeria into a cucumber? I seriously doubt that anyone would have done that test with tanted cukes. It would have made more sense for that 'supposed' expert testing lab to take samples of these items from different locations, grown in different soils and nutrients, as well as fertilizers and strains of vegetables to test as CONTROLS. I am almost positive that at least 95% of the cukes that are NOT be injected with it would ferment just fine and offer no health issues. I still make half sours and will continue to do so every year as do many deli's and even kosher stores every year. Without seeing any mold or scum, I have never doubted the safety of my cukes, jams, jellies, tomatoes, pickles or even my NO HEAT canning of pepperoncini peppers.

MALNA:
As to canning beets, use COMMON SENSE. Beets are a ROOT CROP, POTATOES are a ROOT CROP, carrots are a ROOT CROP, Turnips are a root crop. Root crops get peeled and sliced if large, or whole if small, and canned in a PRESSURE CANNER.. Basic instrction there is very simple and uses common sense. Home can potatoes for a specific recommended amount of time, and you can do pretty much the same thing with beets. Root crops are many, including carrots, turnips, parsnips, and several others. They all tend to follow the same specific guidelines when canning at home, and that involves a PRESSURE CANNER.. As mentioned above, Linda Lou has canned beets in liquid NOT in a pickle brine. Using common sense wins every time!!


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Did you see the recent mention of substituting pickling lime for the Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride), where the inexperienced canner added the lime to jars or brine. I immediatly came on to expain that it was dangerous to do that.

Yeah and you weren't the first to do so. It is a good example of how you shouldn't assume that everyone knows enough of the basics to have developed what you would consider "common sense". True common sense only develops over time with knowledge and experience.

Best take it easy Ken or we are going to be hunting down a new gasket for you and they aren't nearly as easy to find as those for the pressure cookers. ;)

Dave


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Due to the recession, more and more novices are entering the world of home food preservation. Some are two or three generations removed from any contact with gardening or canning. It is a huge leap from buying at the supermarket to growing and preserving your own, especially if you haven't grown up with the tradition.

We should never assume what people know or don't know. It's not treating them like kindergardeners to recognize that it is better to over-explain than to omit. If you don't have a base of knowledge, you don't even know the questions to ask. In other words, you don't know that you don't know.

I had a teacher friend who didn't know that potatoes grow underground. Her first garden was an enormous learning curve. (The principal lesson being that a single woman doesn't need to plant 7 zucchini.)

She was an intelligent well-educated woman. But, gardening was about as familiar to her as Timbuktu.

There are people attempting to can foods who don't know which vegetables are root vegetables (may not in fact ever have heard the term), who don't know which produce is low-acid, don't even realize that in canning it matters.

When the USDA ceased to focus on home food preservation, they turned the mantle over to the NCHFP. As the inheritor of that responsibility, the NCHFP is the authority. They do the research, they publish the results, they train and they co-ordinate with state Extension services. That's the mechanism.

Now, we can of course suggest that people SEARCH. The problem being not only a search engine that only works well if you know EXACTLY what you're looking for and enter precise search terms (refer to "don't know you don't know") but are then willing to read multiple threads filled with cogent responses buried in digressions, misapprehensions and occasionally debates like this one.

Linking to the NCHFP or the appropriate state Extension site or the USDA canning guide online is more accurate and more efficient.

Novices should be directed as often as possible to the most reliable, authoritative resources online. Our forum isn't it.

That doesn't mean this forum has no purpose. It only means we are the mechanics; we are not the manual.

Carol


 o
RE: Canning Beets

malna, just spent the last hour with your blog and making up some zuch bread. So sorry did not see this post earlier. Really enjoyed your blog.

ML


 o
RE: Canning Beets

A big thank you to all of you who helped me out with your POSITIVE comments on how to can beets. I appreciated getting your recipes. I did research "canning beets" before coming to all of you. Many of the recipes were for pickled beets, and being unfamiliar with canning, I turned to you for help. I've only canned once and that is a few weeks ago when I made pickles with my father-in-law. I found this site to assist him. He doesn't have internet, therefore, he must come to me with his questions and I come to you. My mother in law was the big canner in the family, but now she sits quietly and watches us as we scurry around the kitchen. She has Alzheimer's and has only faded memories of canning as a young lady. Thank you again for sharing what you know with us. Many of you have sent me the nicest and most helpful links. I have read them all and shared what I learned with him.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Thank you for sharing with us that picture of your father-in-law and mother-in-law in the kitchen with you. Who knows what comfort your mother-in-law derives, sitting there watching familiar activities. Despite the hectic pace, there is a peace in canning.

I think it's wonderful that you're helping your in-laws and building on family rituals.

It can be extremely challenging to "start from scratch." Kudos to you and also your father-in-law for keeping on.

Carol


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Biggy,
I am glad you are learning to can. It will help out your family so much. I am sure your FIL is very proud of you, as well as very grateful to you. You seem like a real blessing to him.
You come and ask your questions anytime ! Happy you got the help you needed.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

  • Posted by malna NJ 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 13, 09 at 19:37

Biggy,
Glad some of the responses were of help to you. I re-started canning about eight years ago, and it was - to say the least - a bit overwhelming trying to understand the "new" process(es), as I grew up doing it the way my grandmother and my mother did.

Bless your heart for helping your in-laws. The most difficult four years of our lives were when we were taking care of my father-in-law after my mother-in-law passed away. I now know (up close and personal) how horrible Alzheimer's is for both the victim and the family.

Best to you and your in-laws and anytime you have a question, just ask!


 o
RE: Canning Beets

biggy, I'm always happy to help too, any time. Good for you for helping your FIL and MIL. Elery's Mom had Alzheimers before she passsed away, and it was a horrible thing. As Carol noted, who knows what comfort she gets from watching familiar activities like canning. It's a peaceful and calming activity for me, hopefully it is for her also.

Annie


 o
RE: Canning Beets

A comment regarding canning beets. The books say to boil the beets but I think roasting them is ok too - the idea being that they be cooked. I had trouble with my pressure canned beets in that they lost their color. I haven't made them since but I wonder if I had roasted them instead of boiled them would they have started out with more color and not gotten so pale...

Cindy


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Canning -- Vegetables
Why do beets sometimes lose their color after they are canned?

Beets might look yellow or pink after canning. This may be due to the variety of the beets. Detroit Dark Red and Ruby Queen are two dark pigmented varieties that should retain color. To help retain the color, leave an inch of the stem and roots on the beets when they are cooked. After cooking, slip skins off and remove top and stem. Another possibility is that the water was alkaline. Alkaline conditions cause a change in the pigment from red to yellow. Acid helps retain the red color. The beets are safe to eat.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Oh thank you Linda Lou. That info is new to me but now that I know I want to try out a few things. I might add just a touch of vinegar to the water to get the pH below 7. Not much I can do about the variety as the beets are given to me but I will be inquiring what type they were. I did leave the stems and root on but the cooking water was still dark red when they were finally done and I just figured that was what was causing "loss" of color. I will say - no one wanted to eat the yellow/pink beets after they were canned though.

Thanks again,
Cindy


 o
RE: Canning Beets

I wonder if a drop of food color would work? Especially for those varieties that tend to be somewhat anemic in color to begin with. The green food color works for lime pickles but wonder if the beets would absorb the food coloring?

Dave


 o
RE: Canning Beets

Detroit beets are very deep red and never lose the color even after cooking and/or pickling. It may be that your boiliing water is a bit hard with calcium. This is usually the case when doing a BWB and you see a whitish film on jars. A dash of vinegar in the cooking water would help and also avoid adding any salt to the water like you would do with cooking potatoes. As mentioned, I leave about a inch of stems and root, and yes, the cooking water does get red, but doesn't cause the beets to fade in red color. Red food coloring isn't like it used to be. The original red food coloring was found to be cancer causing as it had quickly penetrated most any foods. The current red coloring lacks that effect. Same with the red sauce used for making BBQ Chinese pork strips. Now once cooked, they dont seem to absorb as much of the red color in the sauce, even if its marinated in it. I find a LOT of red color exues when cutting off the stems, root and peeling, but not enough that they fade.


 o
RE: Canning Beets

I agree with Ken on the Detroit Dark Reds, I love 'em and that's what I always grow. I just canned 7 quarts of them, and they do leech a bit of color but stay nicely dark burgundy after being canned.

I don't know about the red food coloring, I'm afraid it would be red, instead of "beet colored", and I don't like to add stuff to my food, but in your case, it might be a necessity.

Annie


 o
RE: Canning Beets

There are yellow beets too, really odd in borsche as they have beet taste but no red color.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Harvest Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here