Pickled beets are so delicious, pretty to look at, and easy to make. Here is a way to use the wonderfully straight and tasty stems as well. For a batch of pickled beets you may only get one or two jars of the stems but it’s a great way to use them up and have a different kind of pickle. You can chop them if you want, though I prefer to leave them long and chop them later if needed. Beet stems look gorgeous in the jar and could be a colorful and unique addition to a veggie tray or used as dipping sticks.
You can use the same pickling liquid that you would for beets. With the stems though, you just barely steam them so they are slightly tender but not too soft or mushy. They should be a little crisp.
Beet stems trimmed to fit nicely in your canning jar (about 4 inches for a pint jar).
For each pint jar you will need:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed (optional)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
1 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
1 teaspoon coriander seed (optional)
Lightly steam the trimmed stems.
Mix together all the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Fill your sterile canning jars with the stems, leaving at little space (about 1/2 inch) at the top.
Pour the liquid over the stems, leaving 1/4 inch of head space.
Remove any air bubbles.
Place lids on and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
You can also skip the water bath and store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for as long as it takes you to eat them up.
Variation: Try this with chard stems (or kale?) too!
To find local grown veggies for preserving in your neck of the woods, check out Pick-A-Pepper.com!
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