Dwight Schrute, my mom, and I all share the same burning passion for beets. They are delicious roasted, boiled, and thinly sliced on salads, but my favorite way to enjoy them is pickled. I eat them right out of the jar as my husband makes a disgusted, disapproving face.
I consider beets a super food because they have been found to reduce blood pressure, are full of antioxidants known to reduce nerve damage, reduce inflammation, and contain considerable amounts of folate and manganese. If that’s not enough to convince you to add them into your diet, they’re also super delicious.
While most pickling methods include lots of refined white sugar and a hassle-full canning method, this “quick pickling” method takes less than an hour and is refined sugar-free! Also known as “refrigerator pickling,” this trick results in the same vinegar-y deliciousness and lasts up to 3 weeks in the fridge. If you’re looking for another pickling idea, try my Quick Pickled Red Onions!
As I mentioned, I will literally stick a fork in the jar when I need a snack (I know, not the most sanitary way to enjoy them but I feel like the vinegar kills bacteria- no?) but these pickled beets are also amazing in salads. I love combining blanched green beans, cucumbers, avocado, red onion, a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil, and some pickled beets for a light, summery salad.
If you grow veggies in your garden, this method can be applied to just about any vegetable you’d like to preserve! Green beans, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes all make for great pickling subjects when you have more than you know what to do with. Give this recipe a try!
Quick Pickled Beets
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 35 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Special Equipment: Canning jars (I love these from Williams Sonoma)
2 large red beets (about 3 lbs.)
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1 C filtered water
2 T honey
1 t sea salt
1/2 t black whole peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Rinse and scrub beets with a veggie brush and trim ends off. Place in large pot and cover with cold water, an inch higher than beets. Bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 minutes until fork-tender.
Drain and rinse the cooked beets with cold water. Set aside to cool.
Tip** wear kitchen gloves for this next step to prevent the beets from staining your hands! Any beet color you get on your skin will fade in a day or two if that doesn’t bother you 🙂
Peel skin off beats using a vegetable peeler or pairing knife, and slice or cut beets into preferred shape. Add to jar(s) along with red onion and bay leaves.
Add vinegar, water, honey, sea salt, whole peppercorns and garlic to saucepan, and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, then turn off heat, and carefully pour liquid into jar over beets and onions. Let sit until it reaches room temperature. Seal and refrigerate.
You can enjoy your beets as soon as 6 hours later, but optimal pickle flavor sets in after about two days. Keep refrigerated and enjoy within 2-3 weeks.