This year I grew for the first time Seed Savers Albino Beets which I got from the Urban Hometeading Store (which I adore!) on a visit through Northern Alberta in the snowy early spring. I was eager to try to pickle these white beets and see how tidy the process might be without pink hands and a crime scene kitchen clean up. So far I have really enjoyed cooking with them. Adding albino beets to many soups and stews for that great fresh beet flavor without odd tinting of my meals, or the mess that goes with traditional beets. These look an awful lot like salad turnips, but are sweet and tender.
As harvest winds down I finally had time today to address the small beets harvested last week that were bursting from my refrigerator drawers. I decided to split the difference this year with my harvest; Half of my big beets and carrots were bundled up in peat moss and set in the cold room for storage, their wee companions have been patiently awaiting a brine bath and my attention. The other half of my harvest will stay in the ground for the season, which I am only now reminded I need to flag off the sites so when I am digging through a couple feet of snow to find those crisp winter jewels I will know where to dig!
My harvest list today was as follows:
harvest the last of the green tomatoes from green house
• pack cabbage into sand and bundle for storage
process fermented hot sauce batch #2
• harvest brussel sprouts
while I did manage to rcoss a whole lot off my list today the brassica’s will have to wait for tomorrow! But lets get back to the beets…
Today I put up a few jars of various beets and really did enjoy processing the albino ones. I used my favorite pickled beet brine recipe made with cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, hints of ginger, cinnamon and just a couple star anise for good measure. I kept the 3 varieties I was canning separate and ended up with 3 lovely and very different colored jars; the bulls blood beets are crimson blood colored, deep and rich as you expect to find with pickled beets. I also canned some chioggia “candy cane striped” beets, and then the albino ones. The chioggia beets made a light rose colored jar and the albinos were clear and a little ghostly.
A few years ago I did some jars of beets where I mixed golden, chioggia, and a dark cylindra beet together in jars and found that when you came upon a pink stained golden beet in the pickled mix it looked off almost greyish and really not right, so I was pretty adamant I wouldn’t mix them ever again!
I will certainly grow these little white beets again, if only for the ease of addition to just about any meal!