Beets on deckFor this Grow with Nutrition post, I’m featuring Guest Blogger Donna Bottrell, who is a colleague, friend and fellow dietitian. An expert in the Foodservice Industry, Donna is contributing a three part Culinary Series to my Grow with Nutrition site. This is Donna’s second post about her simple shortcut to preserving her family’s favourite taste of summer.

Preserving your favourite fresh local produce to enjoy the taste of summer all year long is wonderful. You can preserve foods in many ways – freezing, drying, fermenting or canning. I love preserving vegetables by canning or pickling them but find I do not always have enough time over the short summer months.

The one veggie I do take the time to preserve every summer is beets. This is my family’s fave and it’s the only way I can get them to eat beets without hiding them in their food! We add the tang of pickled beets to just about everything – burgers, salads or as a side with grilled meats – all year long. If the idea of canning makes you think of hours spent in the kitchen on a hot summer day, then keep reading, because I have a shortcut for you…in the refrigerator.

Five Reasons to Pickle Veggies in the Refrigeratorbeetandkohlrabi_cropped

  1. Easy
    – No canning equipment required
  2. Versatile
    – Add flavour and crunch to summer barbecues, picnics, charcuterie boards and even cocktails
  3. Flexible
    – Use a variety of vegetables and flavour them the way you like
  4. Convenient
    – Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
  5. Great Gift
    – Ready when you need them for a gift or social event (don’t forget to add a nice tag on the jar)

As a dietitian, I love playing with food. This summer I combined a few food trends into one recipe – a refrigerator pickle that features kohlrabi and beets with a bit of a kick from Sriracha hot chili sauce. Make a batch and enjoy them with your favourite summer meals!

Seven Easy Steps to Make Spicy Pickled Kohlrabi Beets
Makes 1L (4 cups) which equals 2 x 500 mL jars

Ingredientsbeet and kohlrabi

  • 400 g (14 oz) peeled kohlrabi bulbs (3 or 4)
  • 200 g (7 oz) peeled beets (2 or 3)*
  • 375 mL (1½ cups) cold water
  • 375 mL (1½ cups) cider or white vinegar
  • 30 mL (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 5 mL (1 teaspoon) + 15 mL (1 tablespoon) pickling salt or Kosher salt, divided (use pure salt with no additives)
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) celery seed
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) Sriracha hot chili sauce (optional)

*Note: You can substitute the beets with additional kohlrabi.

Pickled Beets Directions in 7 Easy Steps

  1. Clean and sanitize jars or containers. Dry well. Add celery seed. Set aside.
  2. Wash, peel and cut vegetables into wedges or thin rounds.
  3. In a bowl, toss kohlrabi with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain liquid.
  4. In a non-reactive heavy pot combine water, vinegar, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve salt. Add sliced beets. Let simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Add drained kohlrabi. Bring back to the boil and then remove from heat and stir in Sriracha chili sauce, if using.
  5. Using clean tongs, place kohlrabi and beets in jars or containers leaving a 2 cm headspace at the top.
  6. Pour hot vinegar mixture over vegetables to cover completely. Maintain a 2 cm headspace.
  7. Wipe jars and place lids on top and let cool on counter until room temperature and then put in fridge. Chill at least 48 hours before serving. They can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Enjoy the taste of summer all year long with these Spicy Pickled Kohlrabi Beets!

If you want to learn more about preserving foods visit bernardin.ca

DBottrell_headshotDonna Bottrell has been a Registered Dietitian since 1994. She attended Brescia University in London and completed her internship with Aramark (Versa Foods). Donna has years of diversified experience in the foodservice industry, providing strategic direction to a variety of initiatives relating to wellness. She is a food consultant who connects nutrition, culinary and sustainability in her holistic approach to smarter food choices, marketing and the customer’s experience.