DIY Canned Pickles and Beets

September 15th, 2012

Oh! Hi Autumn, I missed you.

I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing colours (yes with a u) to vibrant yellows and reds! I love this season so much that I can’t wait to wear cute boots even though the weather is clearly way too hot for that. It’s a shame really, it’s hard to look fashionable in the winter time :(

Another thing I love about Fall is the food, minus the overload of pumpkin. Shocking, I know. I’m not a fan of pumpkin (except for the seeds, those are great!).

A few people have asked me to tell them my canning techniques over the past few days. So I decided to share it with the world.

DIY Canned Pickles and Beets


The pickling liquid

  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp. pickling spice

Bread & Butter Pickles (makes 1L jar)

  • 4 cups cucumbers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tbsp. pickling salt (or sea salt)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic

Beets (makes 4.5 x 1L jars)

  • 20 lbs beets


  1. Boil clean beets in water for about 20-40 minutes or until tender (when you insert a fork and feel no resistance).
  2. Drain the water and cool the beets a bit with cold running water.
  3. Put on gloves this part is messy (unless you love having purple finger tips and cuticles). Cut the roots and stems of the beets and peel off the skin. Cut beets into bite- size pieces or quarters and reserve.


  1. In a medium bowl, mix cucumbers, onion, salt and water. Cover and let sit for 2 hours.
  2. Drain vegetables, rinse and drain again.
  3. Add the garlic to the sterilized jars.


  1. Wash all jars, unused sealing lids and screw bands with soap and water. Sterilize them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Carefully take them out of the jars out of the water and fill with vegetables.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix the vinegar, sugar and pickling spice. Bring to a boil.
  3. Pack sterilized jars with vegetables (leave about 2 cm or 3/4 inch space on top).
  4. Add hot pickling liquid*  to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar place unused sealing lid and screw band. Finger tighten.
  5. **Process the jars in a canning bath by immersing in boiling water for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from boiling water and let cool undisturbed (do not touch the sealing lids!!!)
  6. You know the jar is sealed when the lids curve downward and do not move when pressed.


* I strain the liquid mixture to remove the spices for the beets. But keep the spices for the pickles.

**Skipping the canning bath
Both my mother and grandmothers have always skipped processing. It seems like a very controversial thing to do and I must admit to have done this quite often. No one I know has died from it. However, my husband convinced me to do the canning bath, so that’s what we do now.

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