Before I share this recipe, I need to apologize for my photography skills.
And by skills, I really mean, lack of.
Apparently, red beets + sunny day + flash on a digital camera = with the naked eye, you're just begging for permanent eye damage. These pictures require a pair of sunglasses with a valid seal of approval from the American Eye Association before viewing.
Go ahead and get some on. I'll wait.
Now that you are protected, I'll continue.
Beets. They don't care if my summer has been plagued with a late start, illness, or an-as-yet to be determined fall from a camper. They continue to grow regardless of the fact that our entire family was down with strep. Beets don't care if I am on crutches and have to lean over the sink, bearing weight on my "good" leg, which just so happens to be the one that is still suffering from numbness due to a back injury last year. They just continue on their journey to maturity.
Beets don't wait for no one. Not even me.
I prefer beets that are small in size; not too big to keep one's mouth from closing (grody), but not too small to be considered a choking hazard to small children. Alas, that is not what I got out of my garden this year. I got softball-sized beets.
Try putting one of those in your mouth. It's not pretty.
If you are one of the fortunate ones who harvested the perfect beets, by all means, pickle them whole. But, if like me, where the craziness of life interfered with the gardening season and you were only able to harvest humongous beets, shredding is best.
Trust me. It's for your own good.☺
~Spiced Pickled Beets~
Brine: 2 cups water
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups organic sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground allspice
Beets, washed with roots and shoots removed (save the shoots...greens...for dinner!)
In a large saucepan, mix the brine ingredients. Whisk to incorporate the spices. Set on med-high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low until needed.
|This smells very autumny!|
In a large stockpot, cook washed beets until tender, but not mushy; 20-30 minutes. You want them to be firm, so do NOT overcook them!
Remove from pot and plunge into ice water to remove skins.
Use a food processor with a shredder attachment and shred the beets.
|Still have your eye protection on?|
Fill pint-sized jars about 3/4 full. Cover with brine. Remove air bubbles by running a butter knife down the inside of the jars. Add more brine if needed to cover beets.
Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
Enjoy over salads this winter!