I have been bottling beetroot.
Gorgeous, ruby red beetroot.
Bullsblood Beetroot which according to Peter Cundall is the best kind of beetroot to grow. He’s right. It’s colour and flavour are amazing and I love that it has dark and light coloured rings when you cut it.
I have managed to preserve 11 bottles to use over the coming summer…. Yumm…..and this year I finally found a recipe for the preserving solution that I like….
250 ml of the water the beetroot was cooked in
250 ml brown vinegar
200 grams white sugar
Pinch of salt
Heat all ingredients gently until sugar is dissolved and pout over sliced, grated or whole beetroot.
At this stage you could just pour the mix over the cooked beetroot in a container and pop it in the fridge to use in your salads however I wanted to preserve far more to use in the months ahead.
Cook the beetroot in plenty of water until soft. Allow to cool slightly, peel off skin (it will come away really easily) then slice or grate or just cut into chunks and place in clean preserving jars. Pour solution into the jars until beetroot is covered removing any air bubbles that may be trapped. Pop on lids and seal with clips and “cook” the jars in a Fowlers Vacola preserving unit for 1 1/2 hours on 210 degrees, then turn the unit off and let the jars sit in the hot water for another 1 1/2 hours then put the bottles on a towel with another towel on top and let them cool over night.
All the information I can find says you shouldn’t preserve vegetables this way due to various health risks however Mum always told me that Grandma preserved vegetables following the chart that came with the preserving unit (which shows just how old the unit is when Grandma used it and now I am) and it says it’s fine providing you “cook” the veg twice in the unit. So far I have stuck to just beetroot and of course tomatoes but I am keen to explore different ways of preserving vegetables. Perhaps a dehydrator might be next on the list – either that or another freezer….which I might add Ashley is looking into except he wants to buy a 12 volt one that will run on solar power. I’m quite keen on the idea. Anything to cut the power bill but give me more room for produce.