Preserving Beetroot

Preserving Beetroot
tidying up in the garden

I was really meant to be doing some coursework this morning but the winter sun beckoned me. The first morning have felt well enough to get out in the garden for a couple of weeks, so weeded and tidied up a bit, found a couple of spring onions still in the ground that are going in my lunch and dug up the last of the beetroot. Such a good year for beetroot. Found this lovely recipe from Morrison’s and for once had all the ingredients, okay (except the red chilli so used my green). Lovely morning.

such a wonderful colour

Ingredients:
1 kg fresh beetroot
700 ml red wine vinegar
100 g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds                                                                                                         1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 red chilies or to taste halved 

Method:
1. Wash the beetroot taking care not to break the skins. Trim tops and remove leaves but don’t cut the flesh. Place in large pan boiling water, bring to boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.
2. Drain and allow to cool, rub off skins.
3. Place vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a pan and heat gently until all the sugar dissolves. (Preferably use a stainless steel pan as vinegar is acidic).
4. Wash and sterilize 2 x 1 litre kilner jars in a warm oven for 15 minutes.
5. Quarter the beetroots and pile into the warm jars with two chilies per jar.
6. Top with the hot vinegar spice mix.
7. Seal while hot and label.

Leave to pickle for at least a week before using. I have kept my jars for a year now storing in a cool dark larder and have been so grateful to have some to open in the cold winter months. Once opened keep refrigerated and use within 5-7 days.

Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. Beetroot is thought to aid in lowering blood pressure, is an aid in boosting exercise performance and according to the NHSlivewell/superfood website can be an aid in the fight against dementia.

Notes: 
When boiling vinegar it takes the oxygen out of the air so keep a window open and be aware if you are asthmatic. 
Use more but smaller jars so as not to open a big jar if you do not think you will use it all in a week. 
I de seeded my chilies this time as the recipe did not state whether to or not, only because I’ve made a lot of spicy recipes recently, this occasion I de-seeded, I might try it though another time with the seeds intact. Would love to hear what other have done. 



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