Spicy Pickled Beets

I'd been meaning to can for a while. My hesitation wasn't that I was intimidated by the process as much as trying to manage it along with filming a video and taking photos. Even the simplest recipe becomes complex once you add on the "food blogging" factor.

When my friends at Whole Foods Market asked for a recipe, this was the perfect time to start! I modified a recipe I got from my friend Michael and the book he lent me, the Preservation Kitchen. Funny thing, I met Michael over Instagram because of, well, food photos. Go figure.

I want to make one important note here. I fudged on filling these jars up enough so don't do as I do in this scenario. Make sure you see the note below on proper head space.


  • 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 pounds beets (1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 sticks cinnamon, broken


  1. Wash and drain beets. Leave about 2 inches of the stems on the beets. Cover with water and cook until fork tender. (This takes quite a while, and depends on the size of your beets.)
  2. When beets are done, remove peel and trim off the ends. Leave whole if they're small, or slice. (I usually slice mine about 1/4 inch thick.) Set aside.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add beets and cook until hot throughout. Remove cinnamon sticks.
  5. If you are canning these, pack hot beets and onions into prepared hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Ladle hot pickling liquid over beets, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 30 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
  6. If you are not canning them, pack beets and onions into jars and cover with pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate.

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