Grandma’s Pickled Beets

The beet goes on. I should clarify that. I have a nice pot of beets cooking on the stove, destined to be canned in a homemade brine within hours.

I love pickled beets and have been making them for several years. The recipe I use came from my Grandma Menard. It’s one she used since my mom was a kid. They were called “Grandapa’s pickles” back then because they were a favorite of my great-grandpa, Rudy Burkhardt. Mom tells me that they would be have to be at table for every meal because the old gentleman liked them so much.

I know why, and so do a lot of my friends who use Grandma’s recipe. They’re also a favorite at our house, where they’re called “Grandma’s pickles” because Therese likes them so much.

I’m only making one batch of pickled beets this year, since we have a dozen or two pints left in the pantry from last fall. It was a banner year for beets in 2009, so I went nuts and made upward to three dozen pints, some of them just plain canned beets – for use in borscht or cooked alone and buttered.

Nutritionally, beets can’t be beat. One cup of cooked diced beets contains only 50 calories. They also are a good source of fiber, folacin and a source of vitamin C, iron magnesium and potassium as well as being very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Beets also contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

Grandma Menard’s Pickled Beets
3 cups sugar
2 cups vinegar
2 sticks whole cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
Place about two to three dozen small to medium-size beets in 1 gallon of water that contains 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until tender.
While beets are cooking, mix the other ingredients and bring to a boil.
When beets are done, pack in hot pint jars, and cover with brine. Process 30 minutes in water bath.
Yield: About 6 pints.

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