Pickling beetroot

Introduction to growing and pickling beetroot

pickling beetroot - starting with a raised garden bed
The raised garden bed
Pots in the pool room

As I use a wheelchair for mobility, this blog shares my growing and then pickling beetroot from my garden. Please see my blog about freezing carrots for cooking. For the growing season commencing in Spring 2021, I decided to grow all plants from seeds. Some of the seeds were planted directly into the raised garden bed and others into pots placed near my pool for the heat and humidity. The beetroot seeds went directly into the garden.


pickling beetroot - the beets are ready to be pulled
Beets ready to be picked

Storing beets in the fridge

I wet the garden area to make it easier to pull out the beetroot and then prepared them for the fridge.

  • Wash to remove dirt
  • Chop off the leaves about 5 cm from the beet
  • Allow beets to completely dry
  • Pack in a large zip lock sandwich bag and squeeze out the air
  • Store in the refrigerator crisper draw

Preparing beetroot for pickling

pickling beetroot - the beets with the stalks chopped off and ready for boilingIf I need to do a great deal of chopping it occurs on my dining table, but I chopped the beets on my kitchen benchtop. I half-filled a large saucepan with water and commenced heating it. After removing the stalks, I placed the beets into the saucepan before the water got too hot, to avoid splashing onto my legs. As a few of the beets were large, I boiled the water for 40 minutes with the lid on the pan. There is no way I could safely move the pot to the sink for draining. Instead, I placed a container near the pot, and carefully removed the beets from the saucepan. Much later I can place the cool pot on my leg, and move it to the sink and pour the contents into the drain.

pickling beetroot - boiling them in a saucepan

pickling beetroot - cooling down in a pot of water with some running water too

As the beets are hot, particularly the insides of the larger vegetables, I cooled them via pouring water for a few minutes. I put on latex gloves and removed the skin, which came off quickly and easily. The large beets were still hot in the middle. Slicing the beets was tricky, as they were slippery and the knife was sharp.

pickling beetroot - sliced beetroot in a white plastic container

Preparing the jars and picking mixture

I gathered all the items required for pickling 8 beetroots

  • Pickling jars
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 4 whole cloves (I used powder)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (I used powder)
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To sterilise the jars, they were cleaned in the dishwasher, followed by 15 minutes in the oven set to 110 C. Using gloves I placed the jars onto the bench and divided the sliced beetroot between them.

pickling beetroot - 3 jars in an oven

After adding all of the ingredients to the saucepan, I brought it to a boil and simmered for 5 minutes. I drained the mixture and poured it into the containers, ensuring they were sealed tight. I labelled the jars with a use-by date within 2 months. They should be stored in a dark and cool place until opening, and then kept in the fridge. Thanks to Spartacus, our cat, for his support by staying out of my way.

pickling beetroot - the finished product of 3 half filled jars with sliced beteroot and labels 'wheelchair john beets'

Growing, preparing and picking beetroot can be done in a wheelchair!

I hope you enjoyed the blog and now will go and grow and pickle your beetroots.

Click here for information about the blog WheelchairJohn.

More information about me is found at johnduthie.com

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