For a quart, I use about 2 1/2 cups cooked sliced beets saving the juice, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 small sliced onion, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp pickling spice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 bay leaf. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar and 1/2 cup beet juice and bring to a boil. Add onion, sugar, pickling spice, salt and bay leaf, and return to a boil. Remove from heat, and pour mixture over the beets. Toss until coated, cover and chill. Serve the beets very cold. Keep refrigerated.
Do I have to use so much sugar? Beets are already sweet and I watch my sugar. Any suggestions?
Hi, Terri. The sugar used in pickling is necessary to preserve the vegetables and it also helps to retain texture. But you can see JR’s comment above yours on this page who offers a different recipe with a smaller amount of sugar. We of course have not tried it ourselves, but you may want to.
Hi, Sam. If you are going to can and process the pickled beets, it is not recommended to leave the skin on. However, if you are making them to be eaten right away, you do not have to peel them.
Thank you for answering my question. I did notice the bay leaves in the picture but was not concerned with them. Your method for using the star anise seems to be a really good one to use---and not just for anise. Just looking at that picture makes me want some now and I do plan on making these with and without the anise.
Hi Doris. I suggest that if you like the taste of star anise that you add it with the rest of the spices. If you're not sure, I strongly suggest that you simmer some pods alone and smell or taste the resulting liquid before making an entire batch of beets with it as it may not be your cup of 'tea' and it will make a strong impact on their flavor. As for how much to use, that would be a matter of personal preference as it does impart a strong, distinctive flavor. I'm not partial to it myself, even though I love anise flavoring in baked goods and licorice. You might start with one 'star' and proceed from there. Good luck. By the way. I also see some dried bay leaves in the picture but not included in the recipe. I personally wouldn't add them either.
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. Love them pickled too. Does the recipe really use ground AND whole cloves? There seems to be a star anise in picture of the beets in the jar but no mention of star anise in the recipe. Please verify so I can try the recipe. Thanks for your help.
I use only the beet water, brown sugar, white vinegar and sliced onions. Will try adding other spices.