pgtruspace's blog

about things that interest me.

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Canned Spiced Beets

Canned Spiced Beets

Plate of canned spiced beets

Plate of canned spiced beets

Canned spiced beets are a great way to preserve a beet crop for salad addition, vegetable dish or even desert.

After asking several people for their favorite recipe for canned beets, I put them together for this recipe that has turned out to be a tasty way to preserve part of my gardens production.  After a full season of growth and several fall frosts I harvested about 50 feet of single row of “torpedo” beets, “Fortex” from Johnny’s seeds.  A very sweet red beet when mature and good eating, thumb size young or fist size late harvest.

Beets to be cleaned

Beets to be cleaned

Pot of beets

Pot of scrubbed beets for the first cooking

Taste test of Canned Spice Beets

Taste test of Canned Spice Beets

Prepare beets by trimming off root tips and leaf head.  Scrub the beets very clean as we will be saving the juice to preserve all of the nutrients. As I picked beets enough to fill a 18 quart cook pot, this recipe is sized for this amount, 12 pounds of beets, 12 quarts yield.

12 pounds cleaned beets.

12 cups apple cider vinegar

the saved beet liquid

5 cups sugar

2 table spoons salt

10 table spoons spices

ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg            one third each or to suit your taste

Add 6 cups water and half the salt to the beets, in the pot .  Cover and cook 20 minuets and then allow to cool to working temperature.  remove beets from pot and save liquid. Scrape off skin, a small knife held 90 degrees to the beet surface works best. If the beets are cooked to just soft, the skins will slip off with thumb and finger pressure, Fun!

Add ingredients to liquid in pot and simmer/low boil for 30 minuets, stir occasionally while you skin and slice beets. Slice 1/4 inch or thinner,  smaller pieces will pack tighter in jars.  Suit your needs, be creative.  Pack jars to 1/2 inch of jar rim. 12 pounds should yield 12 quarts of packed jars.

After liqueur has settled pour over packed beets, leave at least 1/4 inch of head space in jars,  clean jar rims and add jar lids and rings. You should have extra liquor left over, a little more then a cup. I save the left over and add it to carrots canned with the same recipe  to improve their flavor.

After the water in the wet bath reaches 210F. Boil sealed jars of beets 20 minuets to complete cooking and canning. Age a week or more and enjoy!  pg

Update: this recipe works well for carrot’s as well.  pg


a comment from Chiefio that I just had to appropriate!

E.M.Smith says:


Cloves are a known anesthetic. ( Just put a bag of ground cloves on a sore spot in your mouth and notice how it stops hurting ) so I’d guess it to be part of the fix. I try to make sure there are always cloves in the house for just that sort of need. ( Making a tooth ache go away at 3 AM until the dentist wakes up, for example…).

Apple Cider Vinegar is also reputed to have beneficial effects on health, though I have no plausible reason (other than a rampant speculation that it might help get the acid / base balance back in line if you are at a basic fringe state).

Cinnamon tends to have a bit of ‘burn’ and most anesthetics burn when first applied, then shift to anesthesia, so perhaps it does a bit of that too? ( he does a search…) Yup.

Health benefits of cinnamon

The active principles in the cinnamon spice are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

Cinnamon spice has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. The total measured ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value for this novel spice is 2,67,536 trolex equivalents (TE), which is many hundred times more than in chokeberry, apples, etc.

The spice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrance to it. Eugenol has got local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; employed in the dental and gum treatment procedures.

Other important essential oils in cinnamon include ethyl cinnamate, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, beta-caryophyllene, and methyl chavicol.

Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon-sticks has been found to have anti-clotting action, prevents platelet clogging inside the blood vessels, and thereby helps prevent stroke, peripheral arterial and coronary artery diseases.

So in addition to general health promoting properties like mineral content and such, there are a couple of essential oils with anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutmeg is known to have mild effects on the nerves ( in high doses is reputed to be a very mild hallucinogen)

Medicinal uses

Since ancient times, nutmeg and its oil were being used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicines for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. The compounds in this spice such as myristicin and elemicin have been soothing as well as stimulant properties on brain.
Nutmeg oil contains eugenol, which has been used in dentistry for toothache relief.
The oil is also used as a local massage to reduce muscular pain and rheumatic pain of joints.

Freshly prepared decoction with honey has been used to relief of nausea, gastritis, and indigestion ailments.

So looks to me like a decoction of those three spices, long with the vinegar and all the minerals and such from the beets would be not only generally health supporting, but likely have some effect on joint discomfort.

And what do you mean by my “fixation”??? 😉

It’s not a fixation, just a fruitful area of exploration 8-0 …

I wonder if that’s why I like the occasional pickled beets and odd cucumber pickle…

@R. de Haan:

Yup, fish oil is a known way to get the Omega-3 oil up, so shift the 3 / 6 ratio rapidly in the ‘good’ way.

Nice link on Devil’s Claw. Answered a question or two for me (like what the active ingredient is thought to be and that it blocks some inflammation pathways).


Interesting too. Any “synopsis” of his proposed method?

FWIW, I was referred to a specialist for a root canal / patch on a lower molar that had (on the x-ray) the root pulp pushing a small abscess out of the root tip. Hurt a lot, and was clearly a big issue. But, at the time, I had no job and not much money. A couple of $K was not on the cards. This was a couple of years ago. Well, at home in a drawer I had some antibiotics… I decided to run an experiment.

Took a normal dose of the antibiotic ( don’t remember which one, but think it was doxycycline ) and did mouth rinses with peroxide. In a day the pain was going down. In a couple it was gone. End of the week, everything was fine.

Now, a couple of years later, it’s still fine. Odds are that I’ll go back to the dentist for a cleaning and check up when back in his area. It will be interesting when the question of “How did my root canal go?” comes up and he snaps an X-ray of it 😉

I’ve learned, from way too many cycles of it, that if I totally avoid sodas (coke, pepsi, etc.) I have no cavities. If I indulge in them, I end up at the dentist in about a year. Just don’t drink things with phosphoric acid in it and teeth are much more happy…

Now I drink iced tea, hot tea, coffee, beer, and a lot of water. Occasionally goat milk, but rarely (as it is $4 / quart…). Avoid all soda whenever possible. Been a couple of years now and nothing hurts…

I’m certain there is a large opportunity to stop / reverse / prevent tooth decay with diet alone and maybe with the occasional antibiotic treatment if things have gotten infected.


thank you Mr Smith