Submitted by Lisa Shaftel

Clean glass Mason jars. 1 quart wide mouth size is good for this.


3 quarts fresh beets, trimmed and scrubbed


3 ½ cups apple cider vinegar (or half apple cider vinegar and half rice vinegar for milder brine)

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon allspice

Optional- 2 pieces dried star anise

2 cups sugar (do not use stevia, agave or honey)

1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a large spaghetti pot, drop the beets into boiling water and boil until just tender. 20 – 40 minutes depending on the size and freshness of beets. Stab with a fork to test.
  2. Drain the beets and rinse with very cold water. Soak in ice water until the skins slip off easily. Discard the skins. Drain the beets.
  3. Cut the beets into quarters, or chunks about ¾ inch across. Tiny beets may be left whole.
  4. Pack the beets tightly into the Mason jars up to 1 inch from the top of the jar.
  5. Make the brine. Add all ingredients to a saucepot and heat on medium high, stirring occasionally until all the sugar and salt is dissolved, until just boiling. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes. (Refrigerate extra brine for your next batch)
  6. Let the brine cool a bit and remove the whole spices. Pour the brine into the jars up to ½ inch from the top. All the beets should be covered.
  7. Wipe the rim of the jar with a paper towel to be sure it’s clean and screw the lid on tightly.

Refrigerate without processing:

  1. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Allow 3 days for the beets to pickle before opening. They should keep 2 weeks or so in the refrigerator.

OR, process for storage:

For Canning you need:

          Clean glass Mason jars.  1 quart wide mouth size is good for this.

          Use glass Mason jars with new lids. (Don’t reuse the metal lids, they will never seal airtight.)

          Knife and cutting board

          Measuring cup and measuring spoons

          A tall stock pot with a lid

          A round metal rack, flat steamer insert or several wooden chopsticks for the bottom of the pot.

  1. Place the metal rack, steamer insert or wooden chopsticks in the bottom of the tall stock pot. The idea is that the glass jars should not sit on the bottom of the pot. Place the mason jars on top of the rack or insert so they don’t touch each other.
  2. Fill the pot with hot water to cover the jars by about ½ an inch; the jars should be submerged.
  3. Cover the pot, heat on high until boiling. Then, boil gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the jars and allow to cool. They can now be stored without refrigeration for a year, maybe longer. Allow 2 weeks for the pickling to happen before eating. Refrigerate after opening.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.